Wednesday 13 November 2019

New plans to outlaw gay conversion therapy

Katherine Zappone, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Katherine Zappone, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

The Government is to ban gay conversion therapy and overhaul the school curriculum to reflect LGBTI lives under a new strategy.

The LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy is to be published today, outlining 59 actions the Government will take over the next three years.

The Irish Independent understands that among the commitments is a pledge by the Department of Health to draw up legislation to outlaw so-called 'gay conversion' therapy by healthcare professionals.

Separately, the Department of Education will review the school curriculum at primary school and secondary school level with a view to including more representations of LGBTI people in school materials.

Other measures to be taken include a review of hate crime legislation and the rolling out of specific initiatives to tackle LGBTI bullying.

The strategy is the product of an extensive consultation with some 4,000 young people around Ireland.

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone said members of the LGBTI community were still experiencing bullying and discrimination.

"It is clear from meeting young people across this country that despite the big steps forward of the past three decades that there is still work to do," Ms Zappone said ahead of the launch, which coincides with Pride celebrations taking place this weekend.

"It is wrong that in 2018 there are members of our community who are isolated, discriminated against and even bullied. It also wrong that access to services varies depending on whether young people live inside or outside Dublin."

It is expected the Department of Children and Youth Affairs will announce a budget today for developing youth services, especially outside of the capital and also to provide training for people working with young people.

Irish Independent

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