Germany’s cabinet approve draft bill to ban ‘conversion therapy’ practices

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government cabinet have approved a draft bill to ban “conversion therapy” practices that aim to change or suppress an individual’s sexuality or gender.

The legislation would outlaw advertising or practice of “conversion therapy”, with providers being fined up to €30,000 for infringement.

Prior to approving the bill, the Cabinet expanded its reach to include banning the practice on 16 – 18 year olds as well as younger minors.

The bill will now pass to Parliament for voting. If passed by both houses of parliament, Germany will join Malta, Ecuador, Brazil, and Taiwan to become only the 5th country in the world to ban “conversion therapy”.

“It is incredibly encouraging to see the Cabinet of Germany taking this step towards banning ‘conversion therapy’ practices, sending a powerful message that LGBTIQ people are not in need of change or cure,” Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International said.

“Demand for “conversion therapy” will decrease only if acceptance of LGBTIQ lives grows. As such, legal efforts to tackle “conversion therapy” have to go hand in hand with measures designed to promote understanding and inclusion of LGBTIQ people. Germany is heading in this direction, and I hope to see other countries follow suit!”

Here in Australia, Victoria and the ACT have banned conversion practices in their jurisdictions, while Tasmania’s Law Reform Institute are currently conducting an inquiry into the issue.

LGBTIQ equality advocates have welcomed the progress in Tasmania, with Equality Tasmania spokesperson Rodney Croome saying;

“Attempts to ‘cure’ or ‘heal’ LGBTIQ people are futile and damaging, so we welcome this important first step towards legislation banning the practice.”

“Our hope is that Tasmanians who have recently experienced conversion practices will tell their personal stories of the pain and trauma they have experienced.”

“We are particularly pleased to see the TLRI will look at the ideology behind conversion practices as well as the harm inflicted by the practices themselves.”

OIP Staff

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