France Passes Law Banning Conversion Therapy for LGBTQ

France on Jan. 25 unanimously passed a law banning conversion therapy, a scientifically discredited practice that seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ people.

The French National Assembly passed the legislation with 142 votes to 0.

Most offenders of the new law will face two years in jail and fines of up to €30,000 ($33,639).

The penalties could increase to three years in jail and additional fines of up to €45,000 ($50,539) in cases targeting a minor or an adult considered to be vulnerable under the act.

The legislation also allows groups to take civil legal action on behalf of survivors.

“This law also criminalizes any publicity, books, articles or anything that would encourage conversion therapies,” Benoit Berthe, a spokesperson for a collective of conversion therapy survivors, said, as quoted by RFI.

The legislation will take effect in the next 14 days once signed by President Emmanuel Macron.

“Let’s be proud. These unworthy practices have no place in the Republic. Because being oneself is not a crime because there is nothing to be cured,” Macron said on Twitter.

Laurence Vanceunebrock, a member of parliament who sponsored the bill through the assembly, said that the law sends “a strong signal formally condemning those who consider a change of sex or identity as a disease.”

Europe Minister Clément Beaune, who is gay, called the passing of the legislation “a great victory for rights and equality.”

However, Berthe said that the penalties were too weak.

“It’s similar to what you get under French law if you deliver a very strong, violent, intentional slap on the face. Conversion therapies destroy human lives and are much stronger than a violent slap,” Berthe said.

The legislation comes as France marks 40 years since it decriminalized homosexuality.


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