The Welsh Government has followed Scotland in announcing its intention to make it much easier for gender-confused people to change their legal sex.
Its ‘LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales’ expresses a desire for Wales to become “the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe”. The Welsh Government stated that it will shortly ask the UK Government to devolve powers relating to gender identity.
Last month, First Minister Mark Drakeford refused to rule out introducing similar legislation to Scotland’s gender self-ID Bill, which has been blocked by Westminster.
The Welsh Government’s action plan also reiterated its aim “to ban all aspects” of so-called conversion therapy and promised to “seek the devolution of any necessary additional powers to enable us to achieve this”.
It claimed it would include a “clear definition of conversion practices” to “make sure that legitimate discussions and support about an individual’s feelings about their sexual orientation or gender would not be included in any ban”.
But LGBT activist and General Synod member Jayne Ozanne, who is part of the Welsh Government’s working group on the issue, has previously admitted wanting to ban “gentle, non-coercive prayer”.
When she joined the group, Ozanne also claimed that so-called conversion therapy “happens in many churches” and is “abhorrent, harmful and abusive”.
Let Us Pray spokesman Simon Calvert stated: “We all want to protect people from abuse or coercion. But ideological campaigners have weaponised the concept of safeguarding in their intolerant campaign to criminalise churches that do not embrace their particular brand of LGBT theology.
“Wales must not repeat Scotland’s mistake of listening only to one side of the discussion. These are contentious issues that require proper consideration and a careful balancing of rights, not appointing a rigged advisory group to validate the idea of cancelling freedom of thought and worship.”
In a recent legal opinion for The Christian Institute, Aidan O’Neill KC warned that the Scottish Government’s “fundamentally illiberal” proposals for a ban are “beyond the powers of the Scottish Parliament to legislate”.
He explained that were the Scottish Government to adopt its ‘Expert Group’s’ recommendations, “this would have the undoubted effect of criminalising much mainstream pastoral work of churches”.