Several states in America have already banned the dangerous practice of conversion therapy and now even Europe is moving to limit the harm the practice can do.
As reported by CNN, conversion therapy for those below the age of 18 has been banned by the country’s parliament. The ban goes even further by also outlawing advertising the practice to minors, with a year-long jail sentence or fines awaiting those who break the law.
Jens Spahn, the country’s health minister, said that the ban should be an “important signal from society for all those who are unsure about their homosexuality.” Spahn emphasized that homosexuality is not a disease and that calling the practice therapy is itself misleading.
Even with the ban in place, some members of the German parliament are actually arguing that the law could go even further.
According to Reuters, members from the Green Party as well as the Left Party have called for the ban to be expanded up to people aged 26 years old. According to the Green Party, young people between the ages of 18 and 26 should also receive the same protection.
Spahn says that the current law would be the one most likely to withstand legal challenges, adding that he wanted to have a ban that would be robust even if brought before the courts.
Aside from Germany, Malta and Switzerland are the only other European countries that have banned conversion therapy, which is a practice condemned by the Australian Psychological Society, the UK Council for Psychotherapy, the American Psychiatric Association, and the World Psychiatric Association.
In the United States, 19 states have already banned conversion therapy for minors. Utah was the latest to do so back in January. The other states are New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Maine. States considering the ban include Virginia, Texas, and Kentucky.