Disappointing gay conversion therapy legislation unlikely to make it before Assembly in this mandate, says Muir

It is disappointing legislation to ban so-called gay conversion therapy is unlikely to come before the Assembly in this mandate, Alliance MLA Andrew Muir has said.

The North Down MLA has received correspondence from Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, who is taking forward the matter as part of the Executive’s Sexual Orientation Strategy. However, she has confirmed it will not be launched until December 2021, only months before the next scheduled Assembly election.

“It is welcome the Communities Minister’s commitment to stopping so-called gay conversion therapy and her having met with Ministers Robin Swann and Naomi Long to work on the issue,” said Mr Muir.

“I agree with her assertion it is an abhorrent and inhuman practice, widely opposed by human rights experts and health professionals. It is therefore disappointing to hear the proposed timetable for the introduction of legislation banning this form of torture.

“It means it is unlikely we will see it come before the Assembly in this mandate. So-called conversion therapy is repugnant, deeply harmful and must be banned as soon as possible. I would urge the Minister to do all she can to increase the pace of the timeframe given and ensure we can outlaw this malicious practice as soon as we possibly can.”