A Christian watch group is warning that the Welsh government has admitted pastors risk prosecution for its proposed law to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’ in Wales.
According to Christian Concern, a project of LGBTQ + action plan which was released in July will ban “all aspects” of sexual orientation change therapy, or what is often derisively referred to as “conversion therapy.”
Some British Christians see this plan as a threat to pastors’ religious freedom and would not allow them to counsel members of their flock who have unwanted same-sex attractions.
In the equality impact assessment recently released by the government on the plan, the watchdog noted, “A proposal in the draft plan to ban conversion therapy practices may restrict religious freedoms and put religious leaders at risk of prosecution.”
Since the Welsh government cannot make criminal law, Dr Carys Moseley of Christian Concern assumes the government wants people to be able to report religious leaders to police for ‘hate incidents’.
Moseley also cited a section of the integrated LGBTQ + impact assessment. A section on religion and belief says:
“The LGBTQ + Action Plan sets out our ambition to be the most LGBTQ + inclusive country in Europe. This means that we must pursue systemic cultural change and move forward in creating an inclusive LGBTQ + Wales. LGBTQ + people have the right to feel safe at home, at school, in the workplace and in the community at large. This includes supporting faith communities to include LGBTQ + people. “
“The Welsh government does not have direct powers over human rights issues such as religious freedom, so it is clearly pushing the boundaries here by offering ‘support’ to those who would attack Orthodox Christianity,” said Moseley. “He should really maintain a neutral stance.”
Moseley is warning Welsh pastors to wake up and take a stand against the proposed law.
âThe long and short of it all is that the process of this Welsh government consultation cannot be trusted. The consultation involves an attack on religious freedom and the rights of singles, threatening to send responses to the police, sowing confusion about the law, and pure cronyism, âhe wrote.
“Welsh pastors need to wake up and realize that they could be in danger of prosecution just because they faithfully do their job. It is time to stand up and step back for the Kingdom of God,” Moseley concluded.
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