Taoiseach commits to working towards a complete ban on conversion therapy in Ireland

The Taoiseach has confirmed that the government is committed to introducing hate crime legislation and is working towards a complete ban on conversion therapy.

An Taoiseach Michael Martin surrounded by children waving Pride flags before speaking at the Dublin Pride about Conversion Therapy.
Image: @MichealMartinTD via Twitter

Speaking for the first time at an in-person Pride event, an Taoiseach Micheál Martin took to the stage in Dublin’s Merrion Square and during his speech, he confirmed the government’s commitment to working towards a full ban on conversion therapy and hate crime legislation.  

He began by welcoming the Ukrainian community, paying tribute to a banner which read “Protect Freedom”. Riffing on this slogan he recognised the value of Pride saying “that is what we are all about; protecting freedom, celebrating diversity, inclusion, acceptance, and understanding.” 

Acknowledging the US Supreme Court’s reversing of Roe v Wade as well as escalating homophobic and transphobic attacks and murders he warned against complacency.

“That’s something we’re very conscious of in government and we will be bringing legislation forward shortly in relation to hate crime in particular.” 

The Taoiseach added, “In addition to that, we’re doing a lot of research and work to prepare for legislation to ban completely conversion therapy in this country,” which was met by rapturous applause.

Directly addressing the Trans community, the Taoiseach added “we need to facilitate informed, open, inclusive, acceptance, understanding in terms of our Trans community for proper debate in its proper context into the future.

“That’s something that I’m particularly concerned about, that we do it right in Ireland unlike in other jurisdictions. We do not need divisive debate in this country on issues like that, we do not need it! We need tolerance and a celebration of diversity.” 

During an interview with Adam Long for the annual NXF (National LGBT Federation) ‘Pride Leaders Series’, the Taoiseach echoed much of his Pride speech in articulating the government’s stance on conversion therapy and hate crime legislation and the need for support for Trans rights.

He also confirmed his commitment to delivering an urgent mandatory LGBTQ+ inclusive RSE (Relationship and Sexual Education) curriculum in all schools, regardless of the school’s ethos.

Speaking on the topic of education, he said that he believes that the current review of RSE in Irish schools needs to be accelerated, and called for wider societal support of LGBT+ youth. You can watch the full interview here.

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