The Bishops of the Church in Wales have welcomed the announcement in this week’s Queen’s Speech that the UK government will ban gay conversion therapy.
In a statement, the bishops of the dioceses of Bangor, St Asaph, St Davids, Llandaff and Monmouth said conversion therapy is “abusive and traumatising” and “has no place in the modern world”.
“We believe that human sexuality is a gift of God to be cherished and honoured. It is an intrinsic part of who we are as human beings and an expression of God’s glorious diversity in creation,” the statement reads.
“Anything which seeks to suggest that there is something inherently wrong or sinful in those who are non-heterosexual or which seeks to force people to try and change their sexuality is, we believe, wrong. It is both abusive and traumatising; as those who have experienced such ‘therapy’ can testify.”
The government has announced that a public consultation will be launched ahead of passing legislation to ban conversion therapy. Although not timeframe has been specified, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said the consultation will be “short and prompt”.
The Welsh Bishops have sided with The Royal College of Psychiatrists and other healthcare professionals in emphasising the “life-long damage” that the practice has on “those who are forced to undergo it” and urged the Senned to introduce “robust legislation”.
“We understand that the Senedd will also consider this matter, and urge the Senedd to bring in robust legislation that will ban conversion therapy in all its forms thereby offering protection to LGBTQI+ people in Wales from this abusive and damaging practice,” the statement concluded.