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Dickson to Support Motion to Ban Conversion Therapy

On the 20th April, the Assembly will vote on a motion to ban conversion therapy.

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, and his Alliance Assembly colleagues, strongly support a full and meaningful ban to the cruel and harmful practice of conversion therapy, not limited to sexual orientation, but also gender identity and expression.

Alliance MLAs have been campaigning on this issue for some time. In November 2020, Paula Bradshaw MLA, John Blair MLA and Andrew Muir MLA, tabled an Assembly Motion calling on the Communities Minister to bring forward an effective ban on the practice, before the end of this Assembly Mandate in 2022. This call was followed by an urgent discussion with the Minister in January of this year.

Whilst the Department has confirmed it will be taking forward the matter as part of the Executive’s Sexual Orientation Strategy, disappointingly, the strategy will not be launched until December 2021.

Mr Dickson, and the Alliance Party more generally, feel this is an objectionable delay and have continued to keep the pressure on the Department for Communities to end this traumatic and cruel practice, which masquerades as therapy.

Speaking in advance of the motion, Mr Dickson said: “I am looking forward to supporting this ban on conversion therapy in all its forms. It has been a long time coming and the forward-looking people of Northern Ireland deserve this progressive step. In East Antrim alone, I have received dozens of petitions from constituents supporting an end to this harmful and demeaning sham.”

The Alliance Party met with Ban Conversion Therapy NI this morning, and will be supporting tomorrow’s motion whole heartedly.

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