Individual Choice


Senator Ronán Mullen at a pro-life rally outside Leinster House in 2017

“I do not know enough about it [Conversion Therapy] at this stage but if it can be demonstrated that this is harmful to people, there is a very good case to make it unlawful.

If it cannot be shown to be harmful to people, we are back into the realm of individual choice.”

[Senator Mullen] was responding to a contribution from Sinn Féin Senator Fintan Warfield who had spoken about “the cruelty of so-called conversion therapy”.

Allow conversion therapy unless harmful – senator (Kevin Doyle,



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46 thoughts on “Individual Choice

  1. missred

    I knew it’d only be a matter of time before this fella popped up again with another dark cloud to cast over us. He should at least pretend to be briefed with the subject up for discussion in his own workplace.

    1. Tony

      There’s no need for anyone to get upset about Ronan Mullen. He just craves attention like any troll. He poses zero threat to anyone

      ‘Pray away the gay’ indeed.

      Silly old Ronan

        1. Tony

          He’s not a threat. He doesn’t control the Seanad.

          He’s just a silly billy looking for attention

      1. millie st murderlark

        An unfortunate oversight on the part of the voting public so.

        Floggings for all!

      2. pedeyw

        I mean, kind of elected. How many graduates UI grads actually bother to use their votes, though?

  2. eoin

    Maybe hold a Dail debate on protesting outside politicians’ homes. Personally I’m against it, but you know, as long as it’s lawful, maybe it should be a matter of personal choice.

  3. missred

    Actually, if Ronan doesn’t know enough about conversion therapy, he’d be wise to watch the film Bruno. It has an excellent scene where he goes to a man who practises it.

  4. SOQ

    If it’s personal choice then he should have no problem with people who want to change their gender. Or is that different?

  5. Rob_G

    In a way, I kind of agree with him – if we are going to allow homeopathists and crystal therapy people and whatever, it’s difficult to say that a gay conversion ‘therapist’ should be treated any differently.*

    *personally, I think it would be better to prosecute all of the above for practicising medicine without a licence, but given that we don’t, it’s hard to make the case that a gay conversion therapist ‘treating’ and adult should be treated any differently.

    1. sheepeyes

      I’ve never heard of a suicide risk posed by aligning a someone’s chakra using crystals or some such….. conversion therapy on the other hand poses a very real safety risk to a person’s mental health.

      1. Rob_G

        Not suicide, but there have been hundreds and hundreds of deaths from fairly minor cancer cases where the patient opted to forego conventional treatment in favour of homeopathy/some other woo.

        It would certainly improve public health if any every promotion of homeopathy was banned outright, but this has to be balanced against people’s freedoms to practice their beliefs; it’s a tricky one.

  6. John G

    Is it possible to take an exit poll on these NUI elections?
    Are the results published somewhere online?
    By how many votes is he getting in?
    I would have thought there’s a young and fairly progressive opinion base in colleges, and yet he gets in every time. How is that?

    1. Cian

      “young and fairly progressive opinion base in colleges”


      Do you realise that UCD has been there for 165 years? So there are lots of older graduates voting in the Senate elections.

      Secondly, UCD also attracts a load of culchies – most of them are stuck in the early 1900s.

      1. sheepeyes

        Culchie here. Went to UCD for my Masters. Not, you’ll be shocked to know, stuck in the early 1900s.

          1. sheepeyes

            Apathy. Its unfortunate that graduates aren’t engaged or knowledgeable enough about the Senate or its functions.

      1. John G

        Very interesting, thanks for the link! And I guess, yep, there must be a large amount of older and motivated conservative alumni :-/

      2. Rob_G

        Yet another reason, if another was needed, for why we should have abolished the Seanad when we had the chance.

        1. pedeyw

          Or reformed it, including a graduate vote that includes all college graduates, not just NUI, TCD and UCD.

          1. Rob_G

            Elitist claptrap – why should arts graduates have more of say in our democratic institutions than gardeners or plumbers? Everyone pays the same taxes and avails of the same services; the Senate is a useless, costly, undemocratic anachronism, and should be done away with.

  7. Nigel

    Individual choice us one thing – but if anyone’s subjecting kids to this they should be done for abuse.

  8. Boj

    Anyone who thinks that this DOES work should be feared, especially those with any sort of influence. I believe conversion therapy is in the same class of pseudoscience as hypnotherapy & polygrapy but in no way are they even close to being as dangerous. To convince someone to loathe themselves, to find themselves abhorrent and disgusting, to suppress their inner and most honest desires is really sick and twisted.

    This lad needs to be put away…now! His (mammy’s) opinions are from a few generations ago.

  9. Joe cool

    This alone should make him unelectable for the rest of his life. How in gods name can someone like him get elected

  10. Daisy Chainsaw

    Is there any therapy that could convert Mullen into a somewhat decent human being?

    1. Ian-O

      A few doses of gamma hydroxybutyrate and a trip to a rave should shake out the real Ronan. Because lets face it, the senator really doth protest too much, methinks.

  11. Ian-O

    Shades of ‘Dr’ (of Arabic studies I believe, in case anyone thought he was a physician) Ali Selim and his views on FGM from Ronan here.

    From the Irish Times:

    ”He said the latter should be allowed but only in instances where this was recommended and allowed by doctors.”

    Because medical doctors recommend cutting off chunks of a child for no good reason…..somewhere?

    To be fair, he did then go on to say, in regards to physicians who say there is never a reason for it and that ‘circumcision’ and FGM are the same:

    “They are the experts. If they say there is no difference, there is no difference.”

    Which of course smells like something Terry the Crone spun up out of her cauldron of Bullshyt.

    The caveat of “If it cannot be shown to be harmful to people, we are back into the realm of individual choice.” could be applied to the concept of telling a 7 year old they have a magic essence called a soul and if you do not follow quite arbitrary rules that contradict themselves in a book collated and edited over 1000’s of years and used to justify all sorts of barbarity and ignorance, they might find themselves, via this soul, in perpetual suffering and agony.

    Or not and we could just accept that some people choose to be Christians (and that’s perfectly fine to most people) or some people are born gay (and that is also equally acceptable to most people) or in other cases choose to Christian and are born gay as well and take these people, gay, Christian, gay-Christian as we find them and just try to concentrate on getting along?

    Mad, what?

  12. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

    That blonde woman is giving him the look I’d be giving him were I in his presence.

  13. Truth in the News

    Will conversion therapy involve, genetic profiling using DNA and the use of
    stem cells,surely his moral conscience would already be troubled. were the
    disciples of Hitler having a go in the 30’s and 40’s with such practices.

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