Maggie Chapman speaking at Scottish Green Party Conference

A full ban on conversion practices is a vital step for LGBTQIA+ equality and dignity, the Scottish Greens have said.

The comments were made as a Scottish Government consultation on banning the conversion therapy has been published. Conversion practices are acts which intend to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

A ban on conversion practices was a central pledge of the cooperation agreement between the Scottish Greens and SNP.

The Party’s equality spokesperson, Maggie Chapman said: “This is an important day for the rights of LGBTQIA+ people in Scotland. Conversion practices are not therapy. They are abusive and coercive. They are a form of violence that has no place in a modern or progressive Scotland, or anywhere, for that matter.

“The UK government appears to have reneged on its commitment to deliver a ban of any kind, let alone the watertight one that is so necessary.

“Far too many people have suffered for far too long. Nobody should be told there is something wrong with them or be forced to be ashamed of who they are, just because of their identity.

“The Scotland I want to see is one where everybody can live safely and freely as the people they really are. That cannot happen as long as conversion practices are still taking place.”

The consultation has also been welcomed by people with lived experience of conversion practices, including Scottish Green councillor Blair Anderson, who was a member of the Scottish Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Ending Conversion Practices.

Anderson said: “What was done to me was wrong, and I am far from the only person who has been abused in this way. So-called conversion therapy is being done in households and communities across Scotland. Today’s consultation is a key step towards ending these awful practices for good.

“It is a scary time for the LGBTQ+ community, with a resurgence in hate crimes and abuse against our trans siblings in particular. We have seen a brutal and reactionary culture war that politicians and parts of the media have knowingly stoked and encouraged.

“By banning conversion therapy we can take a key step for equality and towards tackling the pain and the prejudice that so many have had inflicted on them.”

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