Sinn Féin spokesperson for the arts, youth affairs and LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield will table the Prohibition of Conversion Therapies Bill 2018 in the Seanad for second stage on Wednesday 12.45pm.

The bill aims to make the practice of performing so called ‘conversion’ or ‘reparative’ therapies illegal in this State. ‘Conversion therapy’ means any 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.

Senator Warfield said;

“I am pleased to be able to bring this bill to the Seanad. The practice of conversion therapy has been condemned and discredited worldwide by institutions such as the UN Committee against Torture, the European Parliament and by the Irish Council for Psychotherapy.

“We have been aware that conversion therapy has been ongoing within the State for some time.

“Investigative journalism by Hot Press magazine, Gay Community News and comments by former President Mary McAleese on RTÉ Radio One in March all shed a light on this harmful and deceptive practice. Organisations such as Courage International, who promote the use of conversion therapies currently active within the State and have been advertised through parish newsletters.

“I am hopeful that the cross-party support we have received for this Bill will ensure its passage through the Oireachtas.

“To date, twenty one Senators have co-signed the bill; from Sinn Féin, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, the Labour Party, Green Party and Independents.”