A bill that would punish some practitioners of harmful gay conversion therapy with jail sentences is advancing through Ireland’s legislature. The bill passed its second stage in the Seanad on Wednesday.
The bill aims to make the practice of performing so called ‘conversion’ or ‘reparative’ therapies illegal in Ireland and would carry fines for individuals providing the service and prison sentences in extreme organisational cases.
‘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.
…“This would be the most the most comprehensive prohibition of conversion therapies in the world,” Senator Warfield said. “It prohibits any person from offering or giving conversion therapy to another person. It also prohibits moving someone out of the state, a young person most likely, for the purposes of conversion therapy.”
The bill has received cross-party support, while 21 Senators have co-signed the bill; from Sinn Féin, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, the Labour Party, Green Party and Independents.