Gay conversion ban: Therapy is a ‘humiliating and harmful practice’

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04/20/2021

Gay conversion therapy is a humiliating and harmful practice that needs to be banned, a Stormont assembly debate has heard. Politicians on Tuesday passed a motion calling for a ban on gay conversion therapy “in all its forms”. It was proposed by Ulster Unionist assembly members (MLAs) Doug Beattie and John Stewart. The non-binding motion argued it is “fundamentally wrong” to view the LGBTQ community as needing a “fix or cure”. It passed by 59 votes to 24. Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said her officials had started work to inform the drafting of legislation to ban conversion therapy. MLAs rejected a DUP amendment that stated “legitimate religious activities” do not constitute conversion therapy. It said those include preaching, prayer and pastoral support, and argued they “must be protected”. The amendment, tabled by DUP MLAs Pam Cameron and Robin Newton, called for legislative options to ban the practice of conversion therapy but did not include the “fix or cure” wording.

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