Sociologist and criminologist Dr Stuart Waiton has warned that the proposed conversion therapy ban will treat parents in Scotland like “torturers” and criminals for “expressing their moral values and beliefs to their children”.
Some MSPs have called for a far-reaching ban which could make questioning your child’s sexual orientation or gender identity a crime.
Dr Waiton says these arguments disregard family autonomy and undermine parents’ freedom of conscience and beliefs.
Dr Rebecca Crowther of the Equalities Network told MSPs that she regarded a private prayer session as no less dangerous than electro-shock therapy.
Responding via his column in The Herald newspaper, the university lecturer said it could become an offence for a pastor to share his beliefs in a private conversation or when praying with someone.
“The fact that grown adults seeking guidance about their sexuality are disregarded and presented as simply victims of other people is a profoundly degenerate and one-sided idea of human subjectivity.”
He warned, “adults are to be treated like children who cannot make up their own minds about who to talk to about their life or values”.
’Undermining basic freedoms’
The sociologist concluded that this would be an indication that society is “losing a genuine sense of what it means to be free”.
“If the Bill being promoted here is passed it will represent the greatest undermining of basic freedoms in modern Scottish history.”