France bans LGBT conversion therapy

A woman runs under a giant rainbow flag during the WorldPride 2014 Parade in Toronto, Canada, June 29, 2014. WorldPride is an event that promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT pride) issues on an international level through parades, festivals and other cultural activities. 2014 host Toronto is the first WorldPride celebration ever held in North America, and the 4th such festival in the world. AFP PHOTO / Geoff ROBINS (Photo by GEOFF ROBINS / AFP) (Photo by GEOFF ROBINS/AFP via Getty Images)

This week France joined Germany and Malta, among other European countries in banning LGBT conversion therapy. The so-called therapy is actually classified among the harshest tortures by Psychologist associations and medical experts.

France’s Senate has overwhelmingly voted in favour of banning such practices usually imposed on LGBT teens by families and church officials for religious purposes seeing as a “sin”. The bill was approved at its first reading on Tuesday, with 305 voting in favour and 28 against. The law now states that any citizen attempting to reinforce conversion therapy to an LGBT person, in order to change their sexual orientation or gender identity will be in fact facing prison sentences and fines of up to €30,000. Further sentences could be increased to three years imprisonment and fines of €45,000 for attempts involving children or other particularly vulnerable people.

Reportedly the French Equality Minister,  Elisabeth Moreno, stated that “Being yourself is not a crime,” and that such “therapies” were actually “unbearable attacks on human integrity”.”Homosexuality and trans-identity are not diseases that can be cured,” said Moreno. “There is nothing to cure.”

Canada joins in banning conversion therapy

It seems that little by little governments worldwide are taking seriously into consideration the LGBT community human rights movement. The Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau this Wednesday passed the bill in the house of commons by a vote of 263 to 63. The bill will ban conversion therapy for children, bar people from forcing anyone to go through it, and outlaw the profiting from or advertising of such services. It is now considered a criminal offence and those violating, including religious leaders and medical experts engaging with such practices, will be facing fines and prison sentences. “LGBTQ2” is the acronym used by the Canadian government, with the “2” referring to Two-Spirit, “a culturally-specific identity used by some Indigenous people to indicate a person whose gender identity, spiritual identity and/or sexual orientation comprises both male and female spirits,” according to the government’s glossary of terminology.

In the US more than 20 States have banned conversion therapy however, there is still a long way but the world is more likely to a better start coming 2022.

Eleni Kyriakou

Eleni is a journalist and analyst at Parliament Magazine focusing on European News and current affairs. She worked as Press and Communication Office – Greek Embassy in Lisbon and Quattro Books Publications, Canada. She is Multilingual with a good grip of cultures, eye in detail, communicative, effective. She holds Master in degree from York University.