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Wales Launches In-Person Support Service for LGBTQ+ Victims of Conversion Practices

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The Welsh Government is stepping up its commitment to creating a welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ individuals by introducing the first face-to-face assistance service for those affected by conversion practices, announced Lesley Griffiths, the Social Justice Secretary, on the occasion of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.

In collaboration with Galop, the Welsh Government is set to deliver this groundbreaking service, offering not only direct support but also essential information and resources for organizations seeking to aid LGBTQ+ individuals. Conversion practices encompass any efforts to alter a person’s sexual orientation or suppress their gender identity.

A network of organizations has pledged their assistance to ensure survivors and individuals susceptible to LGBTQ+ conversion practices can access the necessary support. The in-person support service is slated for launch later this year.

Lesley Griffiths, who serves as the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Social Justice, highlighted the significance of this new service as part of a broader drive to enhance the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals. Griffiths urged organizations throughout Wales to join forces in supporting the LGBTQ+ community by expressing their willingness to contribute towards this initiative.

Amy Roch, the Interim CEO of Galop, expressed delight in partnering with the Welsh Government to provide direct aid to LGBTQ+ victims of conversion practices in Wales. Emphasizing the ongoing prevalence and detrimental effects of conversion practice abuse, Roch underscored the importance of sustained expert support for survivors to help them recover and thrive.

Tony Smith, Chief Governance Officer at Principality Building Society, affirmed the organization’s pride in collaborating with the Welsh Government and other stakeholders to foster an inclusive and safe environment in Wales. Smith emphasized the importance of diversity, acceptance, and belonging in the workplace to ensure the well-being of all employees.

The Welsh Government’s initiative to support victims and survivors of conversion practices aligns with the LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales in 2023, marking a significant step towards banning these harmful practices. As part of a cooperation agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, the LGBTQ+ Advisory Group was established to guide the efforts to enhance LGBTQ+ rights and protections in Wales.

Rachel Adams

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