Northern Ireland Finance Department funds conversion therapy activists

2, September 2022

The Northern Ireland Department of Finance continues to fund Ban Conversion Therapy backer Stonewall, the Belfast News Letter has revealed.

The controversial group has received £2,500 from the Department of Finance to be part of its ‘Stonewall Champions’ employers scheme.

Other contentious funding decisions in NI require cross-party support, but the Finance Minister Conor Murphy MLA (Sinn Fein) approved the grants on the basis of the department’s obligations to promote equality of opportunity.

The LGBT lobby group has come under fire in recent years for pushing a radical trans agenda within the public bodies and private companies which fund it. Employers often pay Stonewall to participate in its ‘Stonewall Champions’ scheme, and pay even more to receive advice or training to enhance their score on its ‘Equality Index’ ranking.

But the group’s radical schemes have seen public advice and professional medical guidance exclude words such as ‘mother’ in favour of ridiculous gender-neutral terms like ‘person who has given birth’.

Its backing of a broad conversion therapy ban has seen it as the most well-known backer of the Ban Conversion Therapy campaign, which has called for “private prayer” and “casual conversation” to be outlawed in new legislation. The group demands that any prayer or pastoral care that does not affirm someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity should be criminalised. The Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA (Sinn Fein) has said she will bring forward a ban on ‘conversion therapy’. The NI wing of the Ban Conversion Therapy campaign say they are “working closely” with the Minister. So one part of the Executive is potentially funding an organisation which lobbies the Minister of another Department on extremely controversial issues. That would be worrying whoever the group was, let alone one which campaigns for such a religiously repressive law.

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