Dominic Hannigan calls for ban on gay conversion programmes

08 April 2019

Dominic Hannigan, the Labour Party’s European Election candidate in the Midlands North West constituency, has called for a ban on gay conversion programmes in Ireland.

Mr. Hannigan – one of the first two openly gay TDs elected to Dáil Éireann – said that, if elected, he will work towards progressing a Europe-wide solution to the “gravely harmful practice” of LGBT conversion.

Commenting today (08.04.19), Mr. Hannigan said: “Recent media reports that gay conversion programmes are operating in Ireland are extremely worrying.  These grotesque practices are based on religious fundamentalism, rather than evidence-based science. 

“Conversion programmes have been condemned by the United Nations and the Psychological Society of Ireland, amongst many other professional bodies.  They are profoundly damaging, not only for the young people forced to participate in the programmes, but also because of the impact they have on the wider LGBT community. 

“Being gay is not an illness or a psychological disorder.  It is repulsive and offensive to hear that organisations are active in Ireland that hold such beliefs.  I welcome former President Mary McAleese’s comments today, calling on the government to ensure groups involved in gay conversion are kept well away from young LGBT people.

“I am calling for a ban on such programmes here in Ireland.  Furthermore, I will work with MEPs from across the European Union to find Europe-wide solutions to ensuring such programmes are shut down.  As a starting point, this week I am signing the ILGA’s ‘Come Out Pledge’, which calls on European candidates to stand up for LGBT rights. I’m calling on all candidates in the Midlands North West constituency to do this too.”

“Ireland has been a leader in recent times when it comes to extending rights to LGBTQI people.  We can – and should – be a leader again by banning these types of programmes.”

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