SDLP Newry councillor Doire Finn has urged progress on banning conversion therapy in the North.
Councillor Finn is bringing a motion to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council on Monday asking councillors to reaffirm their opposition to the practice and to express solidarity with the LGBT+ community.
She is also proposing council write to Stormont departments asking them to detail what steps they can take to prepare to ban conversion therapy when the Executive is reestablished.
Councillor Finn said:
“Over two years on from a promise by the then Communities Minister to end conversion therapy in the North we are no further on from seeing this harmful practice eradicated for good. I understand that the collapse of the Assembly has created significant challenges, but there’s nothing preventing work happening in the interim so that we are ready to ban conversion therapy as soon as the institutions are restored.
“There are countless harrowing accounts from those who have been subjected to conversion therapy about the lasting damage it has done to them and how difficult it has made their journey to come to terms with who they are. Nobody should ever be made to feel ashamed because of who they love and allowing this to continue allows certain groups to spread their harmful agenda shielded by the guise of wanting to ‘help’ people.
“I believe that we all have a duty to speak out against conversion therapy and join the campaign to see it banned and that’s why I’m asking my fellow councillors to send a clear message that we stand in solidarity against it. Despite the DUP’s boycott, we can’t allow Stormont to do nothing while our LGBT+ young people suffer and work must commence now so this long-overdue ban can be put in place.”