Ending conversion practices in Scotland: consultation

Closed 2 Apr 2024

Opened 9 Jan 2024


In the 2022-2023 Programme for Government (PfG), the Scottish Government reaffirmed its commitment to introduce a Bill on ending conversion practices in Scotland, including both sexual orientation and gender identity.

The UK Government committed in its 2018 LGBT Action Plan to end the practice of conversion therapy and published a consultation in October 2021. However, a Bill has not been included in the UK Government’s legislative programme 2023-2024.

The Expert Advisory Group on Ending Conversion practices (EAG) was set up in March 2022, to advise the Scottish Government on its approach to ending conversion practices. Its report was published in October 2022.

The Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice (EHRCJ) Committee also published a report in January 2022. This report responded to Petition PE1817: “Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ban the provision or promotion of LGBT+ conversion therapy in Scotland”.

Policy context

The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that the rights of everyone in Scotland are respected, protected and fulfilled.

Conversion practices are harmful. They are promoted within an ideology that views LGBTQI+ identities as wrong and believes that they can be changed. This legislation aims to protect people from the harm of conversion practices.

Growing international momentum to tackle conversion practices 

Laws on conversion practices have been passed in: Malta, Ecuador, Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Cyprus, Belgium, Iceland, New Zealand, and Canada, as well as several states and territories in Australia, Mexico, and the USA. The Republic of Ireland has also committed to bringing forward legislation to ban conversion practices.

What are conversion practices?

There is no international, universal definition of the term “conversion practices”.

The Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on Ending Conversion Practices’ defined conversion practices as “any treatment, practice or effort that aims to change, suppress and/or eliminate a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression".

Our specific proposal for defining conversion practices for the purposes of this legislation is set out in Part 4 of our full consultation document

Read our full consultation document

To see more detailed information about our proposals, we would encourage you to read our full consultation document

You can also view a summary version, and an easy read version of our consultation document.   

Why your views matter

Consultation is an essential part of the policy-making process. It gives the Scottish Government the opportunity to get public opinion and expertise on a proposed area of work. We value your views on this important issue. 

What happens next

The consultation was published on 9 January 2024 and closes at midnight on 2 April 2024. 

After the consultation is closed, we will publish responses, where we have been given permission to do so. The responses will be analysed, and used to help inform policy in this area. Analysis of the consultation will be published in due course.


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