Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 1-German health minister submits law banning conversion therapy


UPDATE 1-German health minister submits law banning conversion therapy
Image Credit: ANI

Germany's health minister submitted a draft law to ban so-called conversion therapy for minors on Monday, as a global movement to end discredited practices aiming to change a person's gender identity or sexual orientation gathers pace. The bill proposed by Jens Spahn, who is openly gay, would punish those carrying out conversion therapy on under-18s, or coercing, deceiving or threatening anyone older into such treatment, by up to a year in prison.

Advertising or offering conversion therapy would carry a fine of 30,000 euros ($33,489). "Homosexuality is not a disease. Therefore, even the term therapy is misleading," Spahn said in an emailed statement.

"This supposed therapy makes you sick and not healthy. And a ban is also an important social signal to anyone who struggles with their homosexuality: you are okay the way you are." Conversion therapies range from counseling to hypnosis and electric shock therapy and have been widely condemned by medical associations around the world as 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 mulling bans. Eighteen U.S. states outlaw conversion therapy for minors, according to the advocacy group Born Perfect. But in September, New York City began repealing its ban to avert a legal challenge by a conservative Christian group.

The draft German law stated that the risks conversion therapy pose to people's health, and the right to determine one's sexual orientation and gender identity, outweighed 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 suicide risk of participants in so-called conversion therapies increases significantly." A survey by U.S. suicide-prevention group The Trevor Project found 42% of LGBT+ youth who underwent conversion therapy had reported a suicide attempt in the last year.

"Bans go a long way in changing the societal perceptions which drive the existence of 'conversion therapy'," Jessica Stern, the executive director of Outright Action International, said. "They send a powerful message that LGBTIQ people are not in need of change or cure."

However, transgender campaigners said the phrase "self-determined gender identity" in the draft law was new and thus needed to be defined more narrowly to protect trans people. "Whenever you can't find a definition anywhere else the law's text is likely to be attacked," Petra Weitzel of DGTI, a trans and intersex advocacy group, who took part in a consultation on the draft law, said by email.

"Evangelical groups (are likely to argue) that something like self-determination and gender identity among minors doesn't exist." There is no timetable yet for the proposed law to be considered by parliament, but a final vote is likely to be next year, a spokesman for Germany's ministry of health said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

JNU Administration's 100-meter challenge before JNUSU

For the first time in its history, Jawaharlal Nehru University JNU Administration is seeking permanent deployment of local police to keep protesting students at 100 meters away from the Administrative Block. It would be interesting to see h...

Sentiment Analysis of Twitter users during COP25: Governments losing trust on Climate Action

Sentiment analysis of Twitter users during COP25 in Madrid, being held from December 2-13, shows widespread fear on climate change due to global warming but almost no trust on governments in meeting the emission targets. In the analysis the...

These innovators are making humanitarian response more efficient

These alarming trends prompt a call for the world to not only address the ongoing crisis but also to adopt innovative approaches to fulfill the growing humanitarian needs in such emergencies. ...

Hyderabad Encounter: A sentiment analysis of public mood on day of encounter

Sentiment analysis of twitter users revealed that they showered salutes on Hyderabad police for eliminating alleged gang rapists of the veterinary doctor but only a few believe in cops version of successive events leading to encounter....

Videos

Latest News

Thousands return to parliament after crackdown in Beirut

Beirut, Dec 15 AP Thousands of Lebanese protesters defiantly returned Sunday to rally outside parliament in Beirut, hours after security forces chased them out, using tear gas and rubber bullets and injuring dozens. Saturday night into Sund...

Clashes between AMU students, police; university closed till Jan 5

Hundreds of AMU students protesting against the amended Citizenship Act clashed with police on Sunday at a campus gate after which the university adminstration announced closure of the institution till January 5. Aligarh Muslim University R...

Woman kills daughter-in-law, surrenders before police

A 48-year-old woman allegedly killed her daughter-in-law by smashing her head with a flower pot while she was asleep at their residence at Vasai in the district early on Sunday, an official said. The accused, Anandi Mane, a resident of Mani...

US secretly expelled two Chinese diplomats who entered sensitive military base: Report

The United States secretly expelled two Chinese embassy officials earlier this year after they drove onto a sensitive military base in Virginia, New York Times reported on Sunday, citing people with the knowledge of the episode. Six people ...

Give Feedback