A German lawmaker has introduced a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy for minors in his country.
Reuters on Monday reported
the measure that German Health Minister Jens Spahn, who is openly gay,
introduced would punish anyone who carry “out conversion therapy on
under-18s, or coercing, deceiving or threatening anyone older into such
treatment” with up to a year in prison. Anyone who advertises or offers
the widely discredited practice would be fined 30,000 euros ($33,383.70) if the
bill were to become law.
“Homosexuality is not a disease,” Spahn told Reuters
in a statement. “Therefore, even the term therapy is misleading.”
“This supposed therapy makes you sick and not healthy,”
added Spahn. “And a ban is also an important social signal to anyone who
struggles with their homosexuality: you are okay the way you are.”
The World Psychiatric Association is among the organizations
that have publicly condemned conversion therapy.
D.C. is among the U.S. jurisdictions that have banned conversion
therapy for minors. A federal judge in September dismissed a lawsuit that
challenges Maryland’s law that prohibits the widely discredited practice.