Germany’s cabinet on Wednesday backed a law that would punish bogus practitioners with up to a year in prison for performing ‘gay-conversion-therapies’.
Activists hailed the move, saying Germany would become the first major European power to outlaw attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation with techniques including hypnotism and electro-shock treatment.
“Homosexuality is not an illness. So the term therapy in itself is misleading,” Health Minister Jens Spahn, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats said in a statement.
The treatments sometimes carried out by relatives or religious counselors caused severe mental and physical harm, this alleged therapy makes you sick and not healthy” Spahn added.The legislation, which parliament is expected to pass by the summer, will punish violations with imprisonment of up to one year or a fine of up to 30,000 euros ($33,100).