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Belong To Welcomes Government Commitment to Outlaw Conversion Practices

Belong To Welcomes Government Commitment to Outlaw Conversion Practices 

Belong To strongly welcomes Minister O’Gorman’s announcement today that the Prohibition of Conversion Practices Bill will be brought to Cabinet for consideration in the coming weeks. 

Conversion practices, also known as ‘conversion therapy’, are discredited, dangerous and unethical. A study published by Trinity College, Dublin this year found that conversion practices are taking place in Ireland, with severe, long-lasting psychological impacts.* Research shows that trans people are more likely to endure this practice that has no place in the modern world.**

A law banning conversion practices is particularly important for LGBTQ+ youth aged under 18. Under the Mental Health Act, those under 18 do not have the right to refuse mental health treatment, including conversion practices, once their parent has consented. It is also important that this legislation complements the Online Safety and Media Regulation Act, to ensure that social media companies fulfil their responsibility to remove advertisements for this harmful practice. 

In particular, Belong To welcomes the following elements to be included in the draft law as announced by Minister O’Gorman today: 

  • inclusion of gender identity and sexual orientation; 
  • measures to ban advertising of conversion practices; and 
  • provisions to protect those removed from the country for the purpose of conversion practices. 

Moninne Griffith (she/her), CEO of Belong To, said: 

“Many people are surprised to hear that conversion practices still take place, and are further shocked to learn that it happens here on the island of Ireland. We need a complete ban on this dangerous and discredited practice.  

We welcome the important announcement made by Minister O’Gorman today, and commend the work of his Department on developing legislation to ban conversion practices. Banning conversion practices not only protects those at risk of these harmful practices, but also sends a strong message – we don’t need a cure. 

Attempts to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity is often a form of family rejection that can have a serious impact on a person’s mental health. LGBTQ+ youth deserve acceptance, and we are proud to support an increasing number of parents, carers and family members who are reaching out to Belong To so that they can better understand and support the LGBTQ+ young person in their life.” 

* Keogh, B., Carr, C., Doyle, L., Higgins, A., Morrissey, J., Sheaf, G. and Jowett A. (2023) An Exploration of Conversion Practices in Ireland. School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin. Available at: 

** Government Equalities Office [UK]. (2018). National LGBT Survey: Research Report. Government Equalities Office. Available at: