German health minister presents law prohibiting conversion therapy

(Add defender comments) 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, for 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, Brazil and Taiwan have banned conversion therapy, according to OutRight Action International, an LGBT + advocacy group. 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 states that the risks of conversion therapy represent people's health, and the right to determine sexual orientation and gender identity 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. The bans contribute greatly to changing the social perceptions that drive the existence of 'conversion therapy,' said Jessica Stern, executive director of Outright Action International. They send a powerful message that LGBTIQ people do not need to change or heal. However, transgender activists said the phrase self-determined gender identity in the bill was new and, therefore, should be defined more narrowly to protect trans people. As long as you cannot find a definition elsewhere, the text of the law is likely to be attacked, Petra Weitzel of DGTI, a trans and intersex defense group, said in an email that participated in a consultation on the bill. Evangelical groups (probably argue) that something like self-determination and gender identity among minors does not exist. There is still no schedule for parliament to consider the proposed law, but the final vote is likely to be 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.)