The German cabinet has approved a bill banning the advertisement and practice of LGBT conversion therapy.
The bill will next be presented to Germany’s lower house, Health Minister Jens Spahn told the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland news group (RND). If the bill passes both houses of parliament, advertising or offering conversion therapy will be banned and infringements will carry fines of up to €30,000 and only adults who freely seek out conversion therapy will be permitted to undergo it.
Practitioners will also receive up to a one-year prison sentence along with the fine. Under the new law, parents or guardians who seek to ‘cure’ their children will also face punishment for violations to their duty of care.
The bill passed by the Cabinet was amended to include banning the practice for 16- to 18-year-olds.
“Previously there were exceptions for adolescents. We got rid of this because it was exactly between these ages that most people undergo this practice,” said the Health Minister Jens Spahn, who is openly gay.
He added it was “much too dangerous for body and soul for that gray area to continue to be permitted.” A previous draft of the bill would have allowed the practice on 16- to 18-year-olds if the practitioner could prove the patient understood its implications and risks.