Top KC says Scot Govt ‘incoherent’ on so-called conversion practices

Activists must stop playing “student politics” with the Scottish Government’s plans for a new law on ‘conversion practices’, a top lawyer has warned.

Posting on X, Dean of The Faculty of Advocates Roddy Dunlop KC said there is no “legally coherent” definition of ‘conversion therapy’ or data to prove that it is happening in Scotland.

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”. They even say children should be able to change gender without their parents’ consent.

‘Student politics’

Responding to columnist Cameron Archibald, Dunlop said: “It all comes back to the definition. Until you have a legally coherent one, and you don’t (as you have accepted) there’s a problem.

“This is the criminal law we’re talking about. Not student politics.”

Also posting on X, Scottish Greens MSP Maggie Chapman pushed others to respond to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the proposed law to “help us ban this cruelty” of ‘conversion practices’.

But Dunlop stated: “This is an important consultation that requires full and candid discussion from all sides.”

‘No evidence’

Last month, claims about the prevalence of ‘conversion practices’ in Scotland from a leading proponent of a ban were thrown into doubt.

Blair Anderson, a Scottish Greens councillor who has been lobbying for a broad new law, claimed that many Scots are currently being subjected to so-called conversion therapy.

But journalist Susan Dalgety hit back: “Hi Blair, could you point to the data source which shows 1000s of Scots undergoing conversion therapy. The consultation document only highlights the self selecting 2017 UK wide LGBT survey and in 2021 the Scot Govt said it held no information on numbers. Thanks.”

The Christian Institute has threatened the Scottish Government with court action if it goes ahead with a new law banning ‘conversion practices’, warning that it could criminalise parents and church leaders.

Also see:

People praying

MSP accused of endorsing torture for saying ‘conversion practices’ law must not criminalise parents

CI remains ready to take Scot Govt to court over new ‘conversion practices’ law

Peer: ‘So-called conversion therapy is already banned’

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