LGBTQ+ organisations on both sides of the border are joining in partnership to urge policymakers to implement an all-island ban on the dangerous and shameful practice of ‘conversion therapy’.
The Community Foundation funded anti ‘conversion therapy’ campaign is aiming to develop a “shared legal policy position which can be included in legislation in both jurisdictions” and will be accompanied by awareness-raising initiatives to ban the practice outright.
Paula Fagan of LGBT Ireland shared, “These are dangerous and degrading practices which not only do not work but have a lasting and long-term effect on the health and wellbeing of people. The only way to ensure that our community is protected from these therapies which have no scientific or medical basis is to bring in an all-island ban.
“We look forward to working together with the Rainbow Project in Belfast. Together we will share our experiences, research, and knowledge. Through this partnership, it is our hope that we will deepen the knowledge required amongst lawmakers to bring about much-needed change.”
Fagan continued, “Only by achieving a shared legislative and policy response will we avoid LGBTI+ children and adults being exposed to these harmful practices on this island. If legislation is only achieved in one jurisdiction, or religious exemptions are included in one law and not another, there will be a very real risk that people will continue to be exposed to these treatments, by being sent across the border.”
This project will seek to influence policy in both jurisdictions & shared an awareness-raising campaign with intention of securing an outright ban. pic.twitter.com/q8CbAEdzQw
— The Rainbow Project (@TRPNI) August 26, 2021
John O’Doherty of The Rainbow Project added “LGBTI+ organisations across this island have been working collectively to ensure the most effective legislative ban on the dangerous and damaging practice of conversion therapy. The Rainbow Project has been supporting clients who are living with the trauma of conversion therapy often decades after exposure to this dangerous practice.
“Everyone on this island needs to be protected from the pseudo-science behind this practice and the underlying mindset that LGBTI+ people need a fix or a cure. Conversion therapy is wrong and causes harm no matter how or where it is delivered.
“This opportunity provides our sector with increased resources to engage with our community, and in particular victims of conversion therapy, and with our partners across this island to ensure that same level of protection is ensured across the United Kingdom and Ireland.”
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