Germany legalized same-sex marriage in 2017.
On Thursday, the German parliament approved a ban on sexual orientation conversion therapy. The therapy, which claims to change a person’s sexual orientation, applies to minors or adults who are threatened or coerced into participating in treatment.
The treatment is based on the assumption that sexual orientation can be corrected or changed, but this idea has been overturned by medical associations in the United Kingdom, the United States and other countries.
It is also illegal to advertise or interfere with the sexual orientation of minors, according to the ban. Offenders can face fines or up to a year in jail.
Jens Spahn, the federal health minister, said the ban was “an important signal to all people in society who are uncertain about their sexual orientation”. “Homosexuality is not a disease,” Spahn said in a statement. So the name alone is misleading.”
He added: “this so-called treatment can lead to mental illness. The ban is also an important message to anyone who is unsure of their sexual orientation: you can be who you are.”
Studies have shown that forcibly changing a young person’s sexual orientation can lead to depression and even suicide. Although condemned by the medical establishment and rejected by medical experts around the world, the practice is legal in most parts of Europe. There are a number of protests and demonstrations going on in some countries against the treatment.
It is good news for gay people that more and more laws and regulations are regulating and protecting their rights and mental health.