SCOTLAND’S largest trade union body has declared its support for a Scottish Government ban on conversion therapy, with the top trade unionist in the country saying “there can be no conflation” with the dangers posed by the practice.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) is holding its annual congress in Dundee until Wednesday, where workers from across Scotland are gathering to vote on important policy matters.

Delegates have so far heard speeches from Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, who reiterated calls for an immediate end to UK arms sales to Israel, and First Minister Humza Yousaf, who announced he would be laying out the Scottish Government’s plans to devolve employment law in the coming weeks.

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On Wednesday, workers voted in favour of a motion to support a ban on conversion practices, which aim to change or suppress an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The motion “unequivocally” supports the campaign to ban conversion therapy, as well as rejecting “any attacks on the conversion therapy ban, including attempts to usurp its meaning and attack or delegitimise health and other supports for trans people”.

The National: Janitor and cleansing staff protest in George Square, Glasgow ahead of strike action next week. Pictured is Roz Foyer, STUC General Secretary..Photograph by Colin Mearns.3 December 2021.For GT, see story by EszterTarnai.

Commenting ahead of the motion being passed, STUC general secretary Roz Foyer (above) told the National: “Our STUC congress are resoundingly backing a ban on conversion therapy, ensuring we show support for LGBT+ people facing persecution or harm for their sexual orientation or gender.

“There can be no conflation. This is a harmful practice that must end.

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“I am deeply pleased that our congress, representative of Scotland’s workers, looks set to support this ban and look forward to our STUC LGBT committee leading the way in supporting those who fall victim to this heinous act.”

A consultation on banning conversion practices in Scotland closed earlier this month, with Equalities Minister Emma Roddick (below) saying they have “absolutely no place in Scotland”.

The National: Emma Roddick represents the Highlands and Islands at Holyrood

A similar consultation took place in England in 2022, however the UK Government is yet to issue a response or publish a draft bill.

Once the Bill is drafted, it will proceed to Stage 1 where it will be sent to a committee for consideration, before being debated by MSPs in the chamber.