Conversion Therapies Bill

Sir, – We wish to state our firm commitment to a ban on so-called “conversion therapy” – an abusive and dehumanising practice that seeks to “cure” or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

In doing so, we reject any assertion that the kind of legislation proposed would in any way hinder ethically responsible professionals from providing care, counselling and support to clients – a vastly different proposition to the highly unethical and widely discredited practice of deliberately seeking to change or suppress a person’s LGBT+ identity. In short, no one can accidentally engage in so-called “conversion therapy”.

We agree with Minister for Equality Roderic O’Gorman, who, when referencing the programme for government commitment to outlaw this “therapy”, stated that “a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression is not up for debate”. Furthermore, Ireland will be following the growing number of other jurisdictions (New Zealand being the latest) that have already enacted prohibitions in this area, explicitly encompassing not just sexual orientation but gender identity too.

Nor is this an abstract or theoretical concern for LGBT+ people: As former president Mary McAleese reminded us recently, it is something that is still happening in Ireland today.


Thankfully, there now exists a strong political and societal consensus that “conversion therapy” – in any guise – is unacceptable.

We now need to get on with enacting a comprehensive, fully LGBT+ inclusive ban. – Yours, etc,

National LGBT Federation, Dublin 2,
and on behalf of
Transgender Equality
Network Ireland (Teni),
Abortion Rights Campaign,
Action for Choice,
Alliance for Choice,
Amach Lgbt Galway,
Amnesty International Ireland,
Anti-Conversion Therapy Coalition,
Belong to,
Bi+ Ireland,
UCD Centre for Gender, Sexualities and Feminisms,
Disabled Women of Ireland,
Dublin LGBTQ Pride,
Dundalk Outcomers,
Fingal Feminist Network,
Galway Community Pride,
Gay Project (Cork),
Gossip Galway,
LGBT Ireland,
Outhouse – LGBT Centre,
Shout Out,
(2020 President, Psychological Society of Ireland).