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Welsh Government say they will take ‘unilateral action’ to ban conversion therapy after ‘shameful’ u-turn by PM

01 Apr 2022 3 minutes Read
Hannah Blythyn. Senedd Cymru. Boris Johnson. Picture by Cancillería Argentina (CC BY 2.0).

The Welsh Government have said that they will be commissioning urgent legal advice to see what action they can take to ban conversion therapy.

Yesterday the UK Government said that they would drop plans to ban conversion therapy, before changing course and saying they would ban the practice – but that the ban would not cover trans people.

Deputy Minister for Social Partnership Hannah Blythyn condemned the move, saying that on the day of Transgender Visibility, the Prime Minister “chose to abandon the pursuit of protections for a part of our community”.

“I have written to the UK Government expressing my strongest condemnation of this move and pressed for urgent clarity on their intentions,” she said.

“Today, I can announce that the Welsh Government will be commissioning urgent legal advice on the unilateral action we are able to take to ban conversion ‘therapy.’ We will do all we can within our devolved powers to protect our LGBTQ+ community. We can no longer have faith that the UK Government will do the same. We will also seek the devolution of any necessary additional powers required to see this through.

“Reneging on this commitment represents a grievous and shameful breach of trust given the good faith shown by the LGBTQ+ community and Human Rights campaign organisations.

“It also signals in no uncertain terms that the UK Government is indifferent to the very real and grave threats that exist to the LGBTQ+ community and those who have suffered.”

She added: “It is alarming and shameful to read how the concerns of LGBTQ+ individuals are dismissed by the UK Government as ‘noise’ to be managed.

“This is wholly unacceptable. The entirely justified backlash expressed by the LGBTQ+ community, friends, families, allies and Welsh Government will be far more than noise to be managed.”

‘Unacceptable’

Yesterday a government spokesperson had said the ban would be dropped and they would instead review ways to stop conversion therapy practices through existing law.

But a few hours later the UK Government said that the ban would feature in the next Queen’s Speech, but would not cover trans people.

The First Minister Mark Drakeford criticised Boris Johnson over the change of course in a series of tweets earlier today.

“The UK Government’s U-turns on banning conversion therapy have been alarming and shameful,” he said. “They have chosen not to protect our Transgender community. This is completely unacceptable.

“The strength shown by the LGBTQ+ community has been remarkable and far beyond a ‘noise’ to be managed. Here in Wales, we stand united – understanding that none are equal while rights are up for discussion or barter.

“The Welsh Government has requested urgent legal advice on the actions we are able to take to ban conversion therapy here in Wales. We will continue to do all we can to protect our LGBTQ+ community and we will seek the devolution of additional powers where necessary.”


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