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04th Jan 2023

Ireland set to ban “cruel process” of conversion therapy

Sarah McKenna Barry

Ireland’s Minister for Integration described the practice as “cruel”.

The practice of “conversion therapy”, which attempts to change the sexual or gender orientation of LGBTQ+ people is set to be outlawed.

Ireland’s Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman told the Irish Mirror that he plans on banning the “cruel process”. This move would bring Ireland in line with many other European countries who outlaw the practice.

The Minister told the publication: “A process that seeks for somebody to change their sexual orientation or gender identity is extremely exploitative, particularly if undertaken on someone under 18.”

He added that he hopes to bring in legislation next year, but, as these things take time, it may be 2024 before we see conversion therapy being officially outlawed.

Minister O’Gorman said that he has met people who have been subject to the practice, and while it doesn’t happen often in Ireland, it can have a “devastating” impact on those who are subjected to it. He also described it as “exploitative”.

“From the point of view of having some understanding of the damage that it can do to people, it is something I feel strongly about and something I really want to progress as Equality Minister,” he said.

The Human Rights Campaign describes so-called conversion therapy as a “range of dangerous and discredited practices that falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression”. These practices have been thoroughly rejected by all mainstream medical and mental health organisations.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, the risks of being subject to conversion therapy include depression, anxiety and self-desctructive behaviour.

Several states in the US have outlawed conversion therapy, while in Europe, France and Malta have banned it completely. Last year, Greece banned conversion therapy for minors, two years after Germany enacted similar legislation.

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Featured image: Leah Farrell/