Expert group to advise on banning of conversion practices
An expert group will be established to advise the Scottish government on the banning of conversion practices, which aim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The group will include people with personal experience of conversion practices as well as representatives from LGBTI organisations, faith and belief communities, mental health professionals and academics.
The Scottish government has committed to introducing legislation to end conversion practices as comprehensively as possible within devolved powers by the end of 2023.
It is anticipated the expert advisory group will begin its work early next year and this, alongside recommendations from the Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee and other evidence and research, will inform the Scottish government’s approach.
Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said: “We are clear about the need to end conversion practices in Scotland – ensuring that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, is safe from them. These practices are harmful, discriminatory, and have no place in our society.
“Work is now underway to establish an expert advisory group on banning conversion therapy and its remit will include recommending an agreed definition of conversion practices.
“We will explore how legislation can best protect and support those who need it, while ensuring that freedoms – including freedoms of speech, religion, and belief – are safeguarded.
“We are also considering what non-legislative steps we can take to end conversion practices, and support survivors.”