Seanad passes Bill to ban LGBTQI conversion therapies 1 year ago

Seanad passes Bill to ban LGBTQI conversion therapies

The Prohibition of Conversion Therapies Bill passed through the second stage in the Seanad shortly after 1pm on Wednesday.

Sinn Féin spokesperson for the arts, youth affairs and LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield, welcomed the passing of the Prohibition of Conversion Therapies Bill 2018 through second stage in the Seanad on Wednesday, 2 May.

The bill prohibits the act of conversion therapy, deeming the practice of performing it illegal in this State.

'Conversion therapy' means any deceptive or harmful practice or treatment that aims to change, repress and/or eliminate a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression.

Additionally, it will make removing a person from the State for the purposes of conversion therapy an offence.

The bill, put forward by Warfield, had been sponsored by some 21 senators including Ivana Bacik, Paul Gavan, Lynn Ruane and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin.

Speaking about the bill's passing in parliament on Wednesday, Senator Warfield mentioned how he believes that the move will create a safer Ireland for all.

“This bill not only bans the deceptive and discredited practice of LGBTQI conversion therapy, but it sends a message from this State that we consider sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to be inherent to a person and as such, cannot be ‘changed’ or ‘converted’," Warfield began.

“Brazil, Malta and Ecuador are the only other countries in the world to have enacted nationwide bans on a practice that has been discredited by worldwide by institutions such as the UN Committee against Torture, the European Parliament and by the Irish Council for Psychotherapy.

“I am heartened that today, the Seanad has passed this bill today and sent a message to our LGBTQI community both here and worldwide that we value them and celebrate their identities. I look forward to the further legislative stages of the bill.”

The National LGBT Federation has also welcomed the new bill.

"This so-called 'therapy', which has been condemned by all reputable health organisations, is not only ineffective but deeply harmful to LGBT individuals subjected to such 'treatment'," a spokesperson from the federation stated.

"It is rooted in homophobic assumptions and ideologies and has no place in any civilised society.

"A legislative ban is required to bring the practice to an end here in Ireland and to criminalise those who would take others out of the State for the purposes of undergoing 'conversion therapy'."

You can read the full bill here.