An expert group will be set up to advise the Scottish Government on how to ban conversion therapy by the end of 2023.

Ministers have committed to banning the promotion and practices of conversion therapy, which seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The group will include people with experience of conversion practices as well as representatives from LGBT organisations and faith groups.

It will establish an agreed definition of conversion practices and advise on how to support victims, drawing from international experience.

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Holyrood’s Equalities Committee heard from a number of researchers in favour of a ban on Tuesday, as well as religious groups who had concerns about its implementation.

MSPs were told about the recent ban on conversion practices in the Australian state of Victoria, which passed a law to prohibit them.


Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison said: “We are clear about the need to end conversion practices in Scotland – ensuring that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, is safe from them.

“These practices are harmful, discriminatory, and have no place in our society.”

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She continued: “We will explore how legislation can best protect and support those who need it, while ensuring that freedoms – including freedoms of speech, religion, and belief – are safeguarded.

“We are also considering what non-legislative steps we can take to end conversion practices, and support survivors.”

The Scottish Government says it wants to “end conversion practices as comprehensively as possible within devolved powers by the end of 2023”.

The UK Government has also committed to a ban on conversion therapy.