‘A person’s sexual orientation or gender identity are not up for debate’ – Minister O’Gorman restates Government commitment to conversion therapy ban
Marking the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia today (May 17th), Green Party Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman restated the government’s commitment to bring in legislation to end the practice of conversion therapy. The Green Party has campaigned for many years to ban this practice and it is an important commitment secured by the Party in the Programme for Government.
Speaking at the LGBT Ireland campaign launch to highlight the harm caused by conversion practices, the Minister re-asserted his commitment to bringing in comprehensive and inclusive legislation to ban conversion practices as swiftly as possible.
Minister Roderic O’Gorman said;
“On this International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, and as Minister for Equality, I want to re-state the Government’s commitment to legislate to ban the practice of conversion therapy.
“Since coming into office, I have met with people who have experienced so-called conversion therapy, both in Ireland and abroad, and I want to thank them for their courage in sharing their experiences with me. They have told me about the impact of a process which, at its core, attempts to deny an individual’s very identity and, in doing so, leaves a lasting trauma. It is a cruel and furtive process, rooted in the promotion of shame, and there is no place for it in Ireland.
On this International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, and as Minister for Equality, I want to re-state the Government’s commitment to legislate to ban the practice of conversion therapy.
“Conversion therapy speaks to a dark history where an individual’s sexuality or gender identity was forced to be denied, where people could not be their true selves. This is not who we are as a country in 2022. A person’s sexual orientation or gender identity are not up for debate.
“All of us, particularly those who have witnessed, or played a part in the social movement for LGBTI+ rights in Ireland, would have liked to have been able to say, that in 2022, we exist in an Ireland that is free from bigotry, and free from LGBTI+ discrimination and hate. Growing up in Ireland as a gay man, that is the Ireland I had hoped for - one that promotes equality, celebrates its diversity and embraces its people for who they are.
“Now, we must redouble our efforts to promote and defend the rights of LGBTI+ people. Tackling prejudice against the LGBTI+ community requires action at all levels, from the grassroots up, but I am particularly mindful of the role that parliamentarians and the Government can play in this.
“I am pleased to say that my department has now commissioned research to capture the views and experiences of people who have been subject to conversion therapy. The multi-phased mixed-methodology research is expected to be completed in late summer 2022, and we look forward to sharing the final report with everyone upon completion. We see the research as a key step towards banning conversion practices and the findings from this research, as well as learnings from international best practice, will assist the Government in developing the legislation we need in Ireland.”