Llamau, as the leading charity talking youth homelessness in Wales, stands firmly in full support of the call for an Absolute Ban on Conversion Therapy by the Welsh Government.

The term 'Conversion practices,' commonly known as 'conversion therapy,' encompasses a spectrum of harmful interventions grounded in the misconception that an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity can be altered, "cured," or suppressed. Llamau recognises the severe impact these practices can have on the well-being and mental health of vulnerable individuals, including those who may already be marginalised or experiencing homelessness.

We commend the Welsh Government's initiative to address the diverse and clandestine methods employed in conversion practices, which are often poorly documented. By using the term 'Conversion practices' as an umbrella, the Welsh Government acknowledges the broad range of interventions that may seek to change someone from gay, lesbian, or bisexual to heterosexual, or from trans, non-binary, or gender-diverse to cisgender. This comprehensive understanding is crucial for implementing effective policies to protect the rights and dignity of all individuals.

As published, note 1 emphasises the importance of affirmative care, defined as healthcare approaches that recognise, validate, and support an individual's gender identity and sexual orientation. Llamau appreciates the recognition that affirmative care is distinct from conversion practices and supports the free exploration of gender identity and sexual orientation without fear of impediment.

It is essential to note, as outlined in Note 2, that conversion practices occur in various settings, including religious, family, and healthcare environments. Llamau acknowledges the potential harm that can arise in religious, faith-based, or spiritual settings, where practices may be incorrectly labelled as therapeutic interventions. The Absolute Ban on Conversion Therapy in Wales is a crucial step in safeguarding individuals from these harmful practices.

Llamau is committed to ensuring that youth, particularly those experiencing homelessness, have access to affirming and supportive healthcare provisions. We assert that any ban on conversion practices must not negatively impact transgender, non-binary, or intersex individuals' access to healthcare or affirmative care.

In endorsing the Absolute Ban on Conversion Therapy in Wales, Llamau aligns itself with the Welsh Government's commitment to creating a safer and more inclusive environment for all, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity.