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U.K. to ban "abhorrent practice" of gay conversion therapy

LONDON -- The British government says it will ban gay conversion therapy as part of 4.5-million-pound ($5.9 million) effort to make society more inclusive for LGBT people. The initiative comes after the government released the results of a survey of 108,000 LGBT people, which found that 5 percent had been offered conversion therapies. The government says it will "eradicate the abhorrent practice."

The survey also found that LGBT people experience prejudice daily, with more than two in three saying they avoid holding hands with a same-sex partner in public for fear of a negative reaction.

Prime Minister Theresa May says, "no one should ever have to hide who they are or who they love."

The government's 75-point plan includes appointment of a national LGBT health adviser to improve care for the community.

According to CBS News partner network BBC News, the government will, "consider all legislative and non-legislative options to prohibit promoting, offering or conducting conversion therapy."

In the U.S., a growing number of states and municipalities are also banning gay conversion therapies. Maryland was the latest to make such a move, with Gov. Larry Hogan signing a bill into law in May to prohibit health professionals from using the practice on minors. Maryland was the 11th state to enact legislation against the practice.

Supporters of bans note that gay conversion therapy has been widely discredited by U.S. medical and mental health associations, and say barring it helps protect youths from depression, anxiety and potential suicide by preventing them from being forced into such treatment.

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