Feb 23Liked by Dennis Noel Kavanagh

Excellent and very useful. Just one thing that isn't quite right - at least some psychotherapy and counselling organisations' registers are accredited by the Professional Standards Authority, so I think that would be covered. https://www.professionalstandards.org.uk/what-we-do/accredited-registers/find-a-register/detail/uk-council-for-psychotherapy

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In paragraph 18 where you comment on the defence of showing compliance with regulatory and professional standards you talk about two general "standards of care" (WPATH and that advised by the Interim Service Specification.)

There is also the Memorandum of Understanding signed by 25 organisations including medical and therapy organisations. Might this also be considered a "professional standard" so that a practitioner who did not comply with the MOU would not have a defence? The MOU employs a definition of conversion therapy which is open to wide interpretation, and uses similar vague language such as "suppression" as in the draft bill, and also refers to the therapist's "viewpoint", suggesting that a lack of belief in "gender identity", or even the belief that one outcome is preferred to another (for example the belief that a positive outcome is one where a person becomes reconciled to their sexed body and no longer wants to embark on the medical affirmative treatment pathway), indicates the intention to undertake a conversion practice. If this bill becomes law could the MOU be used in court to undermine a practitioner's defence?


This is the relevant bit in the MOU

"2 For the purposes of this document ’conversion therapy’ is an umbrella term for a therapeutic approach, or any model or individual viewpoint that demonstrates an assumption that any sexual orientation or gender identity is inherently preferable to any other, and which attempts to bring about a change of sexual orientation or gender identity, or seeks to suppress an individual’s expression of sexual orientation or gender identity on that basis."

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Really excellent analysis, Dennis, thanks.

Will cross post


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Proofreading comment: In paragraph 9 you state that "(iv) Clause 4 and 1(2) criminalises an activity, the purpose and intent of which is “to change a person to or from being transgender”. It further provides that the word “transgender” has the same meaning as in the Sentencing Act 2020. In this case the sentencing act does define the term “being transgender” as follows, “references to being transgender include references to being transsexual, or undergoing, proposing to undergo or having undergone a process or part of a process of gender reassignment[9]”." then later on "(vi) Clause 4 states that the term “transgender identity” has the same meaning as that contained in the Sentencing Act 2020. The Sentencing Act contains no definition of this term."

Is this an error, or am I missing something?

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