Malta becomes first European country to ban ‘gay cure’ therapy

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Malta became the first country in Europe to prohibit homosexual conversion after the Valletta Parliament unanimously approved a bill prohibiting attempts to “cure” homosexuals of their sexuality.

Under the new assertion of sexual orientation, gender identity and sexual expression, each person convicted of trying to “change, suppress or eliminate sexual orientation, gender identity and / Or the sexual expression of a person “shall be fined or imprisoned. The Mediterranean island nation has launched a number of progressive social reforms since its Labor government was elected in 2013 and has been named twice as the European country that best respects the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex people By the ILGA-Europe defense group.

The new Act also provides that “no sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression constitutes a disorder, disease or defect of any kind” and reduces to 16 years the age at which people may apply for a Change of sex without the approval of their parents. Advocates of homosexual conversion therapy claim that he uses psychological or counseling techniques to help people voluntarily change their sexual orientation, but the practice is widely condemned.

In the United States, where the practice is prohibited to minors in several states, the American Psychiatric Association has stated that it opposes any treatment “based on the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or … that a patient must change his homosexual orientation “. The professional bodies representing psychologists, psychiatrists, family therapists and psychiatric advisors in Malta welcomed this bill, with the exception of what they call an “inhuman” practice, stating that they Were “very proud of having played an integral role” in its drafting. “A homosexual conversion therapy not only rejects a group of individuals on the basis of unfounded prejudice and lack of tolerance for diversity, but also the international recognition of LGBTIQ rights,” the associations added. “As a body, we promote respect and equality for all people and are committed to continuing to work so that our clients can enjoy a therapeutic experience as safe as they deserve.”

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