German health minister presents law prohibiting conversion therapy

By Rachel Savage LONDON, November 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The German health minister on Monday introduced a bill to ban the so-called conversion therapy for minors, as a global movement to end the discredited practices that aim to change the gender identity or sexual orientation of a person. The bill proposed by Jens Spahn, which is openly homosexual, would punish those who carry out conversion therapy in children under 18, or coerce, deceive or threaten any older person in such treatment, punishable by up to one year of prison. The advertising or offer of conversion therapy would entail a fine of 30,000 euros ($ 33,489). Homosexuality is not a disease. Therefore, even the term therapy is misleading, Spahn said in a statement sent via email. This supposed therapy makes you sick and does not make you healthy. And a ban is also an important social signal for anyone struggling with their homosexuality: you are fine as you are. Conversion therapies range from counseling to hypnosis and electric shock therapy and have been widely condemned by medical associations around the world for being ineffective and detrimental to mental health. Worldwide, Malta, Ecuador and Brazil have banned conversion therapy, according to ILGA, a network of LGBT + rights groups. Britain, parts of Canada and Australia are also considering bans. Eighteen US states UU. They prohibit conversion therapy for minors, according to the Born Perfect defense group. But in September, New York City began repealing its ban to avoid a legal challenge by a conservative Christian group. The German bill stated that the risks of conversion therapy represent the health of people, and the right to determine one's sexual orientation overcomes concerns about religious freedom. It is clear that such measures are associated with significant risks of depression, anxiety or loss of sexual feelings, the draft said. The risk of suicide of the participants in the so-called conversion therapies increases significantly. A survey by the US suicide prevention group The Trevor Project found that 42% of LGBT + youth who underwent conversion therapy had reported a suicide attempt in the past year. There is still no schedule for parliament to consider the proposed law, but a final vote is likely to be held next year, said a spokesman for the German Ministry of Health. ($ 1 = 0.8958 euros) (Report by Rachel Savage @rachelmsavage; Claire Cozens Edition. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers humanitarian news, women's rights and LGBT + , deals with people, property rights and climate change, visit This story has not been edited by The Times of India and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed to which we subscribe. (This story has not been edited by and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed to which we subscribe.)