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Conversion therapy Downing Street banner.jpg
Conversion therapy Downing Street.jpg
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World News

Church of Scotland submit support for conversion therapy ban

by Heather Preston

The Church of Scotland has set out its position in favour of ending conversion practices in the country, urging the Scottish Government to ban conversion therapy.

It comes after a consultation to end to the practise was published in January.

The legislation seeks to “protect against the change or suppression of a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity” and ensure religious freedom and the right to family and private life, are upheld.

In 2022, the Church’s General Assembly endorsed a definition of conversion therapy as “unethical, potentially harmful and not supported by evidence” as stated in the Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy in the UK.

The Church of Scotland has also agreed to instruct the Church to make representations to the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament.

Emma Jackson, of the Church's Public Life and Social Justice Programme said the Church’s response “is deepened by hearing the experiences of survivors of conversion practices.”

"We have been very mindful of the diversity of views within the Church and have sought to reflect in our response that we are a community that often live with contradictory convictions.

"We are all created in God's image, and we all have inherent dignity. We must do all we can in our public witness to respect and affirm this high principle.

"These discussions and ideas have informed our position and I would urge Church members to read our consultation response and consider the issues raised."

Similar legislation to ban conversion practices is set to be brought forward by the UK and Irish Government.

The consultation on the proposed legislation closes in April.

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