Scot Govt urged to scrap ‘trans-affirming’ conversion practices law

The Scottish Government has been told to ditch its plans for a new law on ‘conversion practices’ over concerns it could push gender-confused children “down a medicalised pathway”.

Retired psychologist Carolyn Brown warned that the “trans lobby” has redefined “conversion as anything not affirming a trans identity”, and a wide range of professionals are concerned about the proposals, “given the official support for strictly affirmative approaches in the health service as well as in schools”.

The SNP/Green coalition wants to outlaw ‘practices’ that seek to change, suppress or inhibit someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Activists are campaigning for a ban to cover “casual conversations” and “gentle, non-coercive prayer”. They even say children should be able to change gender without their parents’ consent.


The Cass Review’s final report on gender identity services for young people in England, which concluded that giving trans drugs to children is “based on remarkably weak evidence”, highlighted that some clinicians are fearful of “accusations of conversion practice” and the “interpretation of potential legislation” on the issue.

She said it is “harmful” to equate psychological intervention with “conversion therapy as it may prevent young people from getting the emotional support they deserve”, and emphasised that clinicians must not feel that doing their job exposes them to legal action.

Retired Scottish paediatrician Jenny Cunningham said: “The evidence of harm in conversion practices in Scotland is risible, however, the Cass review indicates that the harms of gender affirmative treatments are increasingly well evidenced.”

‘Ideological capture’

Earlier this month, MSPs were advised to review the use of cross-sex hormones and restrict access to puberty blockers following the Cass Review’s final report.

When NHS England stopped routinely prescribing puberty-blocking drugs to children because of insufficient evidence to support their safe or effective use, the Scottish Government merely said it would continue to discuss what “future engagement is appropriate”.

It has now stated that the Cass Review only applies to England, and that it will consider the findings in the context of how services can “best be delivered here in Scotland”, but former Tavistock staff governor Dr David Bell questioned how anyone could claim the report doesn’t apply to Scottish children.

He said: “One of the things Cass points out is that the ordinary canons of clinical judgment have been overtaken by gender ideology and this is continuing in Scotland. Children are still being damaged in plain sight because of ideological capture instead of proper clinical evidence-based work”.

Also see:


CI: ‘Scot Govt will land itself in court over new conversion practices law’

‘Conversion practices’ Bill fails in House of Commons

‘Jellyfish legislation’: Top KC launches searing attack on Scots ‘conversion therapy’ law

Related Resources