Welsh minister ‘working rapidly’ to work out where power sits on banning conversion therapy
A Welsh Government minister has said that they are “working rapidly” to work out what powers the Welsh Government has to ban conversion therapy.
Hannah Blythyn, the Deputy Minister for Social Partnership told Sunday Supplement that the impact the debate around banning the practice was having on people’s lives was “absolutely disgusting”.
She said that the Welsh Government would “take whatever action it is able to take” once it is able to investigate what powers it does have to ban conversion therapy.
Health is devolved to Wales, but not justice, so it is currently unclear whether they have the power to unilaterally ban conversion therapy.
“Is it that sort of question that it’s not quite clear where the power sits,” Hannah Blythyn said. “Yeah, so that’s why we need to do this, this very rapid piece of work now to really get a better understanding of where the power is.
“And what the levers we do have to legislate. Given everything we’ve heard in the last few days and the harmful impact that conversion therapy has on people, we really need to make sure that we explore every avenue we can and that we get this right as well.”
On Thursday 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.
Hannah Blythyn described the decision to u-turn on the issue after promising a ban in Wales and England as a “betrayal of trust”.
“I was surprised and appalled by the information that we saw at that point on Thursday afternoon,” she said. “I know that the Welsh Government and organisations representing the LGBTQ community engaged with this good faith with the UK Government.
“Not only is it a breach of trust, I think it’s very much a betrayal of the LGBT community.
“This is something that has been promised by the UK Government for a number of years and a number of occasions by more than one prime minister and the reason why it really is a betrayal of the LGBT community.
“They made a very direct promise in their proposals that it would be universal and protect everyone wherever their sexual orientation and whether they are transgender or not, and this is clearly what they’re not proposing to do.”
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