France is the latest country to ban conversion therapy after its senate has overwhelmingly voted in favor of the ban on Tuesday, with a 305-28 vote.
This means that France is banning all “practices, behaviours, and repeated statements with the intent of modifying or repressing a person’s real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, and having the effect of a material alteration to their mental or physical health.”
Under the new law, conversion therapy is now punishable by imprisonment of two years and carries a €30,000 (around £25,000) fine to three years and a €45,000 (around £38,000) fine if the victim is a minor and the offender is a parent or grandparent of the victim. It will be introduced by the end of February 2022 once French President Emmanuel Macron signs the bill, the Connexion reports.
Meanwhile, Elisabeth Moreno, France’s equality minister, said in a statement: “Being yourself is not a crime.” She added, “Homosexuality and trans-identity are not diseases that can be cured. There is nothing to cure.”
According to GLAAD, conversion therapy is “any attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”
Conversion therapy has been denounced by many organizations such as the American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights, World Health Organization, and American Medical Association to name a few.
Other countries that ban conversion therapy included Malta, Germany, Albania, Brazil, and Taiwan.
In the United States, on the other hand, around 20 states have already banned conversion therapy for minors. These states are Utah, New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Colorado, The District of Columbia, and Maine.