France's Senate votes in favour of LGBTQ+ 'conversion therapy' ban

France becomes the latest country to introduce a ban on the dangerous practice.

French flag against blue sky, and Men in Suits Holding a Gay Pride Flag. France introduces a conversion therapy ban.
Image: Pexels via Atypeek Dgn, Pexels via Anna Shvets

In a historic moment for celebration, France’s MPs voted December 14 on a ‘conversion therapy’ ban. The bill was approved with 305 voting in favour and 28 against.

According to France’s ban, a person could be jailed for up to two years and fined €30,000 if they are found to be practising conversion therapy, and perpetrators will face tougher sentences if minors or vulnerable adults are involved.

“Being yourself is not a crime,” said France’s Equality Minister Elisabeth Moreno, adding that ‘conversion therapies’ were “unbearable attacks on human integrity”.

“Homosexuality and Trans-identity are not diseases that can be cured,” said Moreno. “There is nothing to cure.”

The heavily discredited practise seeks to alter a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Determined as harmful and ineffective by The American Medical Association,’ conversion therapy’ can include talk therapy, hypnosis, electrical shocks, and fasting.

The American Psychiatric Association states that the advancement of ‘conversion therapy’ may cause social harm by disseminating unscientific views about sexual orientation.

In lieu of the monumental news, LGBTQ+ activists and human rights groups celebrated over social media.

Additions and edits to the law will now be discussed in a joint committee before it can be passed into effect in France.

The decision comes days after Canada passed a similar ban. This leaves many LGBTQ+ communities in other parts of the world heavily criticising their own governments for not having such bare-minimum legislation in place.

With the current legislative momentum to better protect LGBTQ+ rights, we hope to see more countries promptly follow suit.

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