German Health Minister confirms plans to ban gay ‘cure’ therapy

Jens Spahn says he would consult on the ban with Germany’s Minister of Justice.

Germany’s Health Minister, Jens Spahn has confirmed in an interview with Die Tageszeitung that the country would push ahead with trying to ban the practice.

The German government had said back in 2008 that they were opposed to it, but no legislation has been passed. A Green Party politician had previously proposed a ban, and a fine of 500 Euros back in 2013, but this didn’t come about.

“Homosexuality is not a disease and therefore it is not in need of therapy,” Spahn said. “That’s why I’m in favor of a ban on conversion therapy. I do not believe in these therapies because of my own sexual desire.”

He added: “Now it’s about the practical implementation. I will seek conversation with the competent Minister of Justice Katarina Barley. The law must be clear enough to make an impact.”

Spahn confirmed that they would look at already existing bans on the practice to see what steps to take. “We want to commission a quick study with the Federal Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld,” he said.

The aim is to gather what has happened legally in other countries, for example in Malta, New York and Australia. On this basis, we will then decide what we can implement in Germany. But we still have to convince colleagues from other departments.”

Spahn said that he hoped the study would come about in Summer, and said he wanted to take it “as far as possible.” He added that a ban must be applied to minors under any circumstance.

Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung via Flickr

Many places have already introduced bans on the discredited practice of gay ‘cure’ therapy, including Malta and the Victoria state in Australia.

Similarly, 15 U.S. states have banned gay ‘cure’ therapy. Those states are New Jersey, California, Oregon, IllinoisVermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, NevadaWashingtonHawaiiDelawareMarylandNew Hampshire and New York.

The Trevor Project’s 50 Bills 50 States also reports that 19 other U.S. areas have proposed legislation including Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Texas.

The UK Government has also announced plans to look into stopping the practice as part of their LGBT Action Plan.

According to recent survey results, which were published by the Equalities Office earlier this month, 2% of the LGBTQ community have undergone gay conversion ‘therapy’, while a further 5% have been offered it.

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