UK urged to stick to commitment on conversion therapy ban

Trans people are not included under legislation to ban conversion therapy in England and Wales.

UK urged to stick to commitment on conversion therapy ban Scottish Parliament TV
Scottish Conservative MSP Jamie Greene urged the UK Government to reflect on its commitments.

The UK Government has been urged to stick to its commitment to ban conversion therapy for all LGBTQ+ people.

It comes after the Government confirmed that a ban on conversion therapy would go ahead in England and Wales, but that the plans would not include trans people.

They said that transgender conversion therapy is currently too complicated to be included under the legislation.

However, the Government has faced criticism over the move, including from Conservative backbench MPs who have outlined plans to bring forward an amendment to the legislation.

In Scotland, the Scottish Government has committed to introducing legislation to ban conversion therapy by the end of 2023.

At a summer reception hosted by media organisation PinkNews at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, MSPs spoke in support of trans people being included under the conversion ban.

Scottish Conservative MSP Jamie Greene indicated that the “explicit” commitment by the UK Government to include trans people under the legislation.

“I’m not a member of the UK Government first of all, I want to make that clear, and it’s not my job to defend the indefensible,” Greene said in a speech at the reception.

“I was asked here to share my experiences and why it’s relevant to you being here today and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

He continued: “I went to a strict Catholic school. I was bullied for most of my secondary school years. The term ‘you’re gay’ was used daily to me.

“It was probably just a general derogatory term as it often was in those days, not necessarily a sexuality based one, but nonetheless I used to think to myself probably quite rightly, if only you knew.”

The Conservative MSP said he hopes that the UK Government reflects on the commitments made.

And he said that the same steps should be taken in Scotland.

“We made a commitment to do that, it was very explicit, and I think it was welcomed at the time and we should stick to it,” he told Pink News.

“We made a commitment to the LGBTQ+ community that we would ban conversion therapy. We should fulfil that promise and the Scottish government should do exactly the same.

“We should do it here, we should do it in Westminster, we should do it in Wales, we should do it in Northern Ireland.”

He added: “I hope the UK government reflect on commitments that they’ve made. I think commitments are important to people.”