Map from Wikimedia Commons

Religious freedom, pastoral counseling face limits in Wales

CARDIFF, Wales — The Welsh government openly states that its proposed “conversion therapy” ban will limit religious freedom and put pastors at risk of prosecution, according to the human rights group International Christian Concern.

The statement appears in “LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales,” ICC report.

Although “conversion therapy” usually refers to professional counseling, the government has extended it to apply to pastors counseling parishioners in a private setting. Pastors could be prosecuted for counseling that affirms the traditional biblical view of sexuality, states ICC.

Carys Moseley of the British legal advocacy group Christian Concern says Wales — because it is part of the United Kingdom — “does not have the power to make criminal law or effect fundamental human rights, including religious freedom,” the ICC states. Moseley suspects the purpose of the proposal is for “people to be able to report faith leaders to the police for ‘hate incidents.’ ”

Welsh Deputy Minister of Social Partnership Hannah Blythyn told the BBC the aim is to make Wales “the most LGBTQ+ friendly nation in Europe,” states the ICC report.

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