Tuesday 20 April 2021
Green Party MLAs Rachel Woods and Clare Bailey will vote in support of a UUP motion calling for a ban on conversion therapy today.
Rachel Woods MLA commented ahead of the Assembly debate:
“Nearly a decade after the Green Party NI raised the issue of conversion therapy in the Assembly chamber, a legislative ban on the harmful practice is not in place.
“The lives of LGBTQ people need no cure, no therapy and they don’t need to be fixed. I want to say to our queer young people in particular that they are valued, loved and accepted and that life can and will be fulfilling, healthy and happy.
Rachel Woods MLA continued:
“Conversion therapy has been discredited by every mainstream medical and mental health organization for decades yet we are still debating it as if it was valid. Think of the damage this is inflicting on LGBTQ people, particularly our young people.
“Young people must also be protected and empowered through the provision of comprehensive, mandatory and age-appropriate Relationship and Sexuality Education through schools.
“The Department of Education’s own research into post-primary school experiences showed that two-thirds of LGBT young people do not feel welcomed or valued in their post-primary school. The sad reality is that young people decide not to come out because of the negative attitudes of others.
“This a clear call to action not just for LGBTQ communities, but all those involved in emotional health and wellbeing and including our government.
“The disproportionate impact of poor emotional health and wellbeing amongst queer people is largely a symptom of stigmatisation and the social ascription of inferior status. Broader efforts to ameliorate this stigmatisation and social ascription are key to addressing this health inequality.
“Banning conversion therapy is one of the many actions we must take to counter the real discrimination and abuse that queer people continue to face in their lives.”
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498