LGBT Conversion Therapy Debate

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Department: HM Treasury
Monday 8th March 2021

(3 years, 2 months ago)

Westminster Hall
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Hywel Williams Portrait Hywel Williams (Arfon) (PC) [V]
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In my constituency of Arfon, 243 people signed this important petition. I add my support and that of Plaid Cymru to the calls for a legislative ban on conversion therapy across the UK and on minors being taken out of the UK for conversion therapy abroad. This must include a ban on the advertising and promotion of such practices, and proper support for victims.

In 2018, the Conservative Government acknowledged the issue and committed to ending conversion therapy in their LGBT action plan. Nearly 1,000 days later, this practice is still legal. Cranogwen, who was an important 19th-century figure in the history of LGBTQ+ people in Wales and a literary figure of national importance, said:

“It is a pretence in everybody…to try to be what they are not; and it is a loss for anybody not to be what they are.”

Despite progress since then, her words still ring true. In fact, Stonewall Cymru found that a third of LGBTQ+ employees in Wales hid or disguised their identity at work.

Banning conversion therapy is an important step towards creating a truly equal society, as is the Plaid Cymru policy of ensuring that trans people have legal recognition of their gender through a streamlined and de-medicalised process based on self-declaration.

Lastly, the action plan says that ending conversion therapy will require a UK-wide approach. What discussions has the Minister had with the Welsh Government about this issue and have the Welsh Government requested legislative competence to introduce a comprehensive ban in Wales?