Words: Eva O’Beirne
The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth has previously described conversion therapy as “a cruel process rooted in the promotion of shame”.
Green Party TD Roderic O’Gorman has reaffirmed that he hopes to introduce legislation banning conversion therapy in Ireland into the Dáil by the end of the year, but “it could drift into 2024”.
‘Conversion therapy’ is considered to be any attempt at changing or suppressing a person’s sexuality or gender identity, often involving techniques such as electroshock therapy or prayer.
It has been widely condemned by health experts and bodies worldwide, including the National Health Service and the World Health Organisation, with some comparing it to torture.
O’Gorman also told the Irish Mirror legislation will be put in place that could outlaw socio-economic discrimination that sees people disadvantaged for their address or their accents.
The Anti-Conversion Therapy Coalition has been campaigning against the practice in Ireland since April 2021, due to frustrations over the delay of the Prohibition of Conversion Therapies Bill in the Seanad.
Almost 20 senators co-signed the bill when it was first put forward, but four years later, it has only reached the third stage in the Seanad.
“The most pressing question is when will this practice, which has been described as torture by the UN, be outlawed. We can’t say that we’re a country that leads in LGBTQ+ and human rights when people can be subjected to this treatment. It’s not good enough,” the organisation said to District in 2022.
The Anti-Conversion Therapy Coalition’s Uplift petition currently has over 20,000 signatures. You can check it out here.
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