Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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France Outlaws Discredited Practice of LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy

Pride march in France with a sign against conversion therapy

France’s parliament has voted to ban so-called conversion therapy on Tuesday. It joins a growing number of countries that have taken steps to outlaw the harmful practice of attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The vote comes only about a week after Canada approved a ban on it.

Conversion therapy is a harmful and discredited practice attempting to change a person’s sexuality or gender identity. The practice has been condemned by the American Medical Association and other leading medical and mental health groups around the world.

The country’s ban prohibits “practices, behaviors, and repeated statements with the intent of modifying or repressing a person’s real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, and having the effect of a material alteration to their mental or physical health,” according to French news site The Connexion.

France’s legislation would jail anyone for up to two years for offering LGBTQ+ conversion therapy. They’d also face a $33,810 fine, according to The Thomson Reuters Foundation. The outlet reports that sentences would be tougher if minors or vulnerable adults were found to have been involved.

Parliament’s lower house, the National Assembly, voted unanimously for the bill in October, and its upper house, the Senate, voted 305 to 28 for the bill on December 7. The houses agreed to the wording of the legislation on Tuesday.

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to sign the law. It should be introduced by February, reports The Connexion.

“Very happy with this agreement,” French Equalities Minister Elisabeth Moreno wrote on Twitter. “No, being yourself is not a crime.”

European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune, who is gay, tweeted his thanks to members of parliament who voted for the bill. He added that he was “proud of this agreement.”

The country joins a growing list of nations that have banned conversion therapy, including Brazil, Ecuador, Germany, and Malta.

Twenty states in the U.S. have banned the practice for minors. Five states have partial bans on it, while three states are prevented from enforcing a ban due to a federal injunction.

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