Irish trans rights groups condemn UK decision on conversion therapy

The practise will be banned but not for transgender people

Trans rights groups in Ireland have condemned a decision by the UK government to exclude transgender people from its ban on conversion therapy.

Conversion therapy involves trying to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. It has been called unethical and potentially harmful by a wide range of health authorities and advocacy groups, including the NHS.

After initially deciding not to ban the practice this week, UK government officials said it would be banned but only as it relates to gay and bisexual people. The ban will not cover conversion therapy for trans people.

Trans Equality Together, an Irish umbrella group, said it is a “dark day” for LGBTQ+ and human rights.

“Conversion therapy is a discredited, dangerous and unethical practice with long-lasting psychological impacts. Research shows that trans people are more likely to endure this practice that has no place in the modern world,” it said.

“A ban on conversion practices that excludes trans people is not a ban. This abusive practice cannot be deemed harmful for some individuals and not for others. As a coalition, we commit to continue to work with Irish legislators to introduce legislation in Ireland that leaves no one behind.”

Legislation to ban conversion therapy in Ireland is being considered by the Government after receiving cross-party support.

Trans Equality Together is a coalition working to create an Ireland where trans and non-binary people are equal, safe and valued.

The coalition is led by three leading national organisations working to promote LGBTQ+ rights in Ireland: TENI, Belong To and LGBT Ireland.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime Correspondent of The Irish Times