#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 16°C Friday 20 May 2022
Advertisement

'There is nothing to cure': France bans conversion therapy

New legislation includes criminal penalties for people who are convicted of trying to ‘convert’ LGBTQ people to heterosexuality.

Image: PA

FRANCE HAS A new law that bans conversion therapies and authorises jail time and fines for practitioners who use the scientifically discredited practice to attempt to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ people.

The National Assembly approved the new law unanimously, voting 142 to 0 yesterday evening.

The legislation includes criminal penalties for people who are convicted of trying to “convert” LGBTQ people to heterosexuality or traditional gender expectations.

The law also opens the possibility for campaigners to file civil suits on behalf of victims, an advance hailed in parliament as a breakthrough for people who hesitate or are unable to alert police themselves.

Politician Laurence Vanceunebrock, who helped steer the law’s passage through parliament, said it would target “all those who equated an identity or a sexual orientation with sickness”.

“There is nothing to cure,” she told the National Assembly.

The French government’s equalities and diversity minster, Elisabeth Moreno, described conversion therapies as “barbaric” and told politicians that the suffering they inflicted “very often leaves permanent marks on bodies and minds”.

Under the new law, sustained efforts “that aim to modify or reprimand sexual orientation or gender identity” and which impact the physical or mental health of victims are punishable by up to two years in jail and €30,000 in fines.

The punishment can increase to three years’ imprisonment and fines of €45,000 for attempts involving minors or other particularly vulnerable people.

Therapies to change a person’s sexual orientation are already prohibited in multiple US states and the US Caribbean territory of Puerto Rico.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

The law will take effect in the next 14 days with President Emmanuel Macron’s signoff.

Mr Macron hailed the legislation’s passage, tweeting: “Let’s be proud of it. Because being oneself is not a crime.”

Currently in Ireland,  research into the practice of conversion therapy is being carried out before progressing plans to outlaw the controversial practice.

The delay in banning the practice in the Republic, a commitment contained in the Programme for Government, comes after it was decided that research is needed to determine how prevalent it is, and in what settings it occurs, before legislating to ban it. 

About the author:

Press Association

Read next:

COMMENTS (29)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel