Church leaders urge Scottish Government to drop planned ‘conversion therapy’ Bill

Church leaders from different denominations have written to the Scottish Government urging it to drop plans for a Bill banning so-called conversion therapy.

More than 1500 others have already signed the letter, including over 400 church leaders and pastoral workers.

The Scottish Government wants to outlaw ‘practices’ that seek to change, suppress or inhibit someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Activists are campaigning for this to cover “casual conversations”“gentle, non-coercive prayer”, and even “depending on your parents’ ‘consent’” to change gender.

Attack on parents

The letter to Holyrood’s Equalities Minister, Emma Roddick, emphasises that existing law is sufficient to deal with abusive practices, but the proposed legislation will go much further and outlaw the ordinary work of churches.

Read the letter.

Co-signatory and Christian Institute trustee Revd Dr William Philip said the planned Bill: “would see parents and churches in the firing line simply for daring to disagree with LGBT orthodoxy.

“The LGBT activists behind this Bill want to target not abuse and coercion – which are already illegal – but ‘private prayer’ and ‘casual conversations’ if the content does not affirm their ideology.”

The proposed legislation threatens to silence legitimate prayerful and pastoral support

Threat to silence

Revd Stephen Allison added: “Central to the Christian faith is the call for people – all people – to turn to Christ for forgiveness from sin. It is what shapes our belief and practice as Christians.

“But those pushing for a ‘conversion therapy’ Bill are clear that they want a ban to include Christian teaching on sin and repentance.

“It is our responsibility as ministers to help our congregations live for Christ in all areas of life.

“The proposed legislation threatens to silence the legitimate prayerful and pastoral support that we can give to those questioning sexual ethics and gender. It also threatens parents’ ability to have loving conversations with their children about sexuality and gender.”


Earlier this week, prominent LGBT activist Jayne Ozanne claimed that repentance is not central to the gospel.

She has previously described affirming the Bible’s teaching on sexual morality as “homophobia” and demanded that “gentle, non-coercive prayer” falls within the scope of a new anti-conversion law.

Humanists UK has also claimed that practices such as confession, fasting, declarations of faith and “attendance on religious courses” could also cause “direct harm” to LGBT people and should be forbidden.

Also see:

Girl praying

The Scottish conversion therapy ban would criminalise prayers and sermons. It must be dropped

Banning ‘conversion therapy’ in Scotland

Top KC says Lib Dem ‘conversion therapy’ Bill threatens fundamental freedoms

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