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05 Jul 2022

LGBT Ireland calls on Carlow Oireachtas members to support a ban on conversion therapy

LGBT Ireland calls on Carlow Oireachtas members to support a ban on conversion therapy

LGBT Ireland calls on Carlow Oireachtas members to support a ban on conversion therapy

LGBT Ireland, the lead organisation in the Ban Conversion Therapy Campaign, is calling on Carlow Oireachtas members to support a ban on conversion therapy.

According to LGBT Ireland, the Government needs to ban LGBTI+ conversion practices as an urgent priority – and must ensure any ban is inclusive of trans people, applies to all age-groups, and covers both religious and clinical conversion practices.

“We are calling on Carlow TDs and Senators to support the campaign to ban conversion therapy. Conversion practices are causing real harm to the LGBTI+ community in Carlow and across the country,” said Alan Edge, Campaign Officer for Ban Conversion Therapy at LGBT Ireland.

“While we are pleased the Government is committed to outlawing these horrendous practices, urgent action must be taken. While we wait, people’s lives are being torn apart because they are being forcibly subjected to bogus therapies and spiritual interventions. The psychological consequences of such practices are grave and long-lasting.

“Countries such as Canada, France and New Zealand have all introduced comprehensive and inclusive conversion practice bans in recent years. Ireland now needs to follow suit. The legislation to ban conversion practices here must cover both sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

“We cannot have a situation where trans people are excluded from the legislation and left unprotected and exposed to real harm and we need to highlight the fact that statistics internationally show that trans people are the largest ‘at risk’ group within the wider LGBTI+ community when it comes to these interventions.

“Our legislation also needs to apply to all age-groups and must cover both religious and clinical conversion practices.

“Mental health practitioners or any medical professionals who engage in conversion therapy by leading LGBTI+ people to a pre-determined outcome which is to change their sexuality, gender identity or gender expression are acting to the detriment of their clients.

“Religious interventions can be equally damaging – the idea that you can ‘pray the gay away’ causes irreparable harm. We need to be clear that there can be no exemption for religious ‘consent’. How can someone conditioned to believe that their sexuality, gender identity or gender expression is a manifestation of sin or of a demonic presence consent to having it cast out of them?

“The new Irish law must cover all scenarios in which people are pushed towards an outcome that is ‘change’, ‘cure’ or ‘fix’ their sexuality, gender identity or gender expression.

“We hope Carlow TDs and Senators will support our campaign to ensure these regressive and cruel practices are finally outlawed.”

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