November 4, 2019 at 7:23 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
German lawmaker introduces bill to ban conversion therapy for minors
Reichstag, Berlin, Germany, gay news, Washington Blade
German Health Minister Jens Spahn has introduced a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy for minors in his country. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

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.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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