Research confirms conversion therapy practices exist in Ireland

Research confirms conversion therapy practices exist in Ireland

Roderic O'Gorman

So-called conversion therapy aimed at  LGBT+ people is taking place in Ireland, according to new research which will inform Irish government plans to ban the practice.

Conversion therapy purports to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (SOGIE) when it does not conform to the perceived dominant norm.

Researchers in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Trinity College Dublin were commissioned by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth to research conversion therapy practices in Ireland.

The 111-page report published today confirms that a “combination of cognitive, behavioural, psychoanalytical and religious/spiritual methods” are being used to suppress same-sex behaviour and transgender identities.

Roderic O’Gorman, the minister for children, equality, disability, integration and youth, said: “Every LGBTI+ person deserves to feel safe from harm in Ireland, be accepted for who they are, and be supported to live full and equal lives.

“That is why the government is moving to introduce a ban on conversion practices, which seek to further prejudice and suppress the lives of LGBTI+ people, and place shame on our difference.

“I welcome the research published today which represents an important step towards legislating for a ban on conversion practices. Legislating to prohibit conversion practices is a continuance of the State’s assertion of the equal dignity of LGBTI+ persons and is a priority for me.”

Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe commissioner for human rights, yesterday urged the Irish and UK governments to make “swift progress” on implementing legal bans.

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