SCOTLAND’S bid to ban LGBT+ conversion practices is “groundbreaking” in places, especially compared to Westminster’s approach, campaigners have said.

Speaking on The National’s Holyrood Weekly podcast, Dr Rebecca Crowther, policy manager at the Equality Network, said that the comprehensive work behind the consultation could lead the way for other countries who have not yet tackled the controversial issue.

While countries such as Malta have introduced a ban, no-one has got the issue completely “right” Crowther said, adding that three years of work had gone into getting Scotland's policy to this stage.

READ MORE: Tory MSP accused of 'homophobic dog whistling' over conversion therapy ban

In comparison, the Westminster Tories ditched plans to introduce a conversion practices ban.

We told how the legislation would seek to criminalise those who try to suppress or change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity through various measures, ranging from therapy to physical and sometimes sexual abuse.

“Yes, conversion practices, legislation has been passed in other places around the world, but it hasn't necessarily been got right,” Crowther said.

“There are some really good examples of practice and things that we would hope that the Scottish Government might consider, but there's also things that haven't gone as well and that haven't done that depth of deep dive into understanding the experiences and the shapes they take.”

Crowther pointed out that some countries consider consent to conversion practices, while others do not. The Scottish Government consultation sets out that “reasonableness” could be used as a defence, but not consent.

“I think what's really great to see is not only the vast kinds of experiences that people have had, have been considered, but also, there's been a real reticle eye on a lot of other things that haven't been thought about before.

“I think some of the things the Scottish Government put forward are groundbreaking, you know, considering coercive control in relation to the kind of the similar legislation in domestic abuse, that's not been considered a problem before around the world.

“Considering the way different cultures and different minority ethnic faith groups may experience it, hasn't been done before.

“I think Scotland would lead the way, if how we hope it passes is the way that it passes.”

​READ MORE: LGBT+ activists 'confident' conversion therapy ban will pass at Holyrood

Tim Hopkins, director at the Equality Network, added that there was a “big contrast” between the approaches of the UK and Scottish Governments.

“Frankly, the big problem at Westminster is the whole cultural thing, not just about trans and LGBT more widely, but about other issues as well,” he added.

“It's very difficult to see how progress can be made there now until after the next election.

Elsewhere, we take listeners behind the scenes at the SNP’s General Election launch in Oran Mor in Glasgow, for the first political huddle of the year with First Minister Humza Yousaf.

We also look at the key points from the FM’s speech, what the arguments are around independence and what to look out for as Scotland and the UK head into a long year with a General Election on the horizon.

You can listen to Episode 1 of Season 3 above, on Spotify and the Omny streaming platform.