Germany may pass a ban on conversion therapy — a turning point in a dark history of LGBTQ rights

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tags: Germany, LGBTQ, Conversion Therapy

Germany’s health minister introduced a bill to ban conversion therapy Monday.

Openly gay federal minister Jens Spahn wants to make it illegal to carry out conversion therapy on minors. The ban would also apply to people who are duped or pressured into participating in the controversial practice, according to a review of the document by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Homosexuality is not a disease. Therefore, even the term therapy is misleading,” Spahn told The Washington Post in an emailed statement.

Conversion therapy seeks to change same-sex attractions, gender identity and gender expression, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, which found no evidence that the practice works or has scientific credibility.

“A ban sends out an important signal to society, to all those who struggle with their homosexuality: It’s okay to be the way you are,” Spahn said.

Western society is moving away from conversion therapy, and Germany is simply following suit.

Last year, the majority of the European Parliament’s LGBTI Intergroup condemned all conversion therapy in an amendment that encouraged member states of the European Union to adopt similar bans that would “uphold the right to gender identity and gender expression.”

In January, the informal collective of the European Parliament members condemned conversion therapy practices for the second consecutive time, in an annual report on fundamental rights in the E.U. in 2017. Malin Bjork of Sweden, vice president of the LGBTI Intergroup, said the European Parliament must keep condemning conversion therapy until it no longer exists.


Read entire article at The Washington Post

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