Protest staged in opposition to UK government's conversion therapy policy

Demonstrations have taken place in Belfast, London and Dublin. Credit: UTV

A protest has been staged in Belfast in opposition to the UK Government's plans to change its approach to banning so-called conversion therapy.

The ban will include conversion therapy for Gay, Lesbian and Bi-sexual people, but the government says a more sensitive approach is needed when it comes to those who are transgender.

Similar protests have also been staged in London and Dublin.

Last year, the Stormont Assembly passed a motion calling for a ban conversion therapy "in all its forms".

Campaigners say it's important this commitment continues.

"What we now need to see in this new mandate, in this new Assembly is a very clear legislative approach which bans this practice for everybody as soon as possible," said John O'Doherty from the Rainbow project.

  • WATCH: Two activists at the protest speak to UTV:

"I find this whole toxic debate around trans and non binary people so frightening but also so confusing because as a transgender man, I have received nothing but acceptance and love not just from my family and friends, but from the entirety of Belfast", explained Leo Lardie, a trans-activist.

"But not everyone has that luxury and these events are so important to our community because there are so many people who are living life in the closet, who are living life in fear who feel that this city and this world hate them for w ho they are," Leo added.