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Earlier this year, the government was criticised after it debated a petition which sought to ban gay ‘cure’ therapy, and despite condemning the practice, they didn’t make it illegal. Now, a new petition to ban the harmful practice has been launched.

The petition was launched by Josh Parry, the Liverpool Echo journalist who went undercover and exposed The Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry, which was offering to ‘cure’ people through starvation.

At the time, the pastor of the church defended the practice, saying that in the 20 years that the church had offered the service, “nobody has dropped dead.”

Parry’s petition reads: “Earlier this year the Department of Health acknowledged that conversion therapy is not only ineffective, but also dangerous.

“They also claimed they are already doing enough to make sure it doesn’t happen – however our investigation proved it still goes on today.

“So why haven’t they banned it yet?

“Studies show that those who undergo ‘conversion’ are 8.9x more likely to have suicidal thoughts, and 5.9x more likely to suffer depression.

“They are dangerous and do not work so today we’re calling upon the government to make offering these ‘therapies’ a criminal offence and call an end to these harmful practices once and for all.”

Related: Petition launched against South Korea’s gay soldier arrest – and it’s gaining serious steam

The issue of gay ‘cure’ therapy was raised in the House of Commons again in September, by Labour MP Christian Matherson. His question was answered by the health minister, Jackie Doyle-Price MP, and although she said that the government didn’t view the practice as “legitimate treatment”, they weren’t aware of “widespread instances” of it.

Her response came after only a week after Good Morning Britain aired a controversial segment where they interviewed a practitioner of the practice.

The petition can be signed here.

Related: Amnesty International launch petition to stop ‘abduction, torture and killing of gay men’ in Chechnya