Ban on conversion practices to be brought forward this year

Ban on conversion practices to be brought forward this year

Legislation banning LGBT+ conversion practices will be brought forward this year, the government has announced.

So-called ‘conversion therapy’ purports to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression when it does not conform to the perceived dominant norm.

In February, the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights urged Ireland and the UK to make “swift progress” on a ban, saying the “insidious nature” of conversion therapies can have “devastating” impacts on the individuals subjected to them.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth has published research showing that conversion practices are present in Ireland.

Roderic O’Gorman will bring a draft law criminalising conversion practices to the Cabinet “this year”, the government said.

The definition of ‘conversion therapy’ under the law “is likely to encompass practices targeted at a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and which aims to ‘convert’ someone from homosexual to heterosexual preferences”.

Mr O’Gorman said: “Conversion practices are cruel processes, rooted in shame and stigma. The clinical opinion, the evidence and the lived experience of those who have faced conversion practices are clear — such practices are ineffective, unscientific, and most importantly, profoundly harmful.

“The government is committed to banning this outdated practice, and I look forward to bringing legislation through the Oireachtas shortly.”

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