New French Law Bans LGBT “Conversion Therapy”

On January 25, the French National Assembly officially passed a new law that bans conversion therapy. The law was passed with an overwhelming 142 votes to 0.

France’s lower house voted 115-0 on October 5, 2021. It then passed the Senate with 305 in favor (28 against) on December 7, 2021. The bill then went to a joint committee for examination.

Aside from banning conversion therapy, the new law also imposes criminal penalties on practitioners. These penalties include serving a jail sentence and fines up to €45,000 ($34,000). The law also has provisions that will allow civil and advocacy groups to take legal actions on behalf of the victim.

MP Laurence Vanceunebrock-Mialon, from Macron’s En Marche, facilitated the bill’s passing through the parliament. According to Vanceunebrock, the law sends out a strong signal because the law condemns those “who consider a change of sex or identity as an illness.” Almost all MP resonated Vanceunebrock-Mialon’s sentiments when she said, “there is nothing to cure.”

Elisabeth Moreno, Frances’s equalities and diversity minister, called conversion therapies barbaric. “Very often leaves permanent marks on bodies and minds,” Moreno told the lawmakers.

Practicing conversion therapy is already illegal in multiple states in the U.S., including Puerto Rico. Similar laws have been passed in countries such as Canada, Germany, Brazil, Ecuador, Malta, and Albania.

The new law is expected to take effect 14 days after President Emmanuel Macron signs the bill. The headstrong French president expressed his support over Twitter and said, “let’s be proud of it.” “Because being oneself is not a crime,” Macron added.

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