In August 2021, we submitted a response to The Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee’s call for views on the public petition PE1817: End Conversion Therapy.
We support the action called for in petition PE1817 to ban the provision or promotion of LGBT+ conversion therapy in Scotland.
This would mean a full and effective ban on practices that demonstrate an assumption that any sexual orientation or gender identity is inherently preferable to any other, and which attempts to bring about a change of sexual orientation or gender identity and/or seeks to suppress an individual’s expression of sexual orientation or gender identity on that basis.
LGBT+ people in Scotland already experience poorer mental health – this is not caused by their sexuality, but as a direct result of stigma, prejudice, discrimination, bullying, homophobia and transphobia.
People who have experienced conversion therapy are more likely to have had suicidal thoughts or have attempted suicide. Research has also shown that conversion therapy contributes to higher rates of depression and anxiety¹, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)1.
1Horner, J. (2010). Undoing the Damage: Working with LGBT Clients in Post-Conversion Therapy. Columbia Social Work Review, 8(1), 8-16