French parliament begins work on bill to ban ‘gay conversion’ therapy

French parliament begins work on bill to ban 'gay conversion' therapy
The move has been largely welcomed by LGBT groups. Photo: AFP
The French parliament has begun working on a law that would ban gay 'conversion therapy'.

The French parliament is this week holding hearings on a draft law that it hopes will be submitted by early 2020.

The bill aims to outlaw the highly controversial practices that aim to 'cure' homosexuality.

The bill would outlaw any practice that alters the physical or mental health of a person, punishable with up to two years in prison and a €30,000 fine, according to France Inter.

The highly questionable therapies are widespread in the USA but are reportedly also on the rise in France, and activist groups have repeatedly sounded the alarm about harm being done to vulnerable young people by practitioners who claim they can 'reorientate' a person's sexuality.

In France these are primarily offered by either religious groups or doctors who offer anti anxiety therapies or medication as a 'cure'.

The bill is being jointly proposed by two French MPs – Laurence Vanceunebrock-Mialon of Emmanuel Macron's La Republique en Marche party and Bastien Lachaud from the far-left France Insoumise party.

The EU last year published a text calling on all its member states to ban the practice, which has been widely discredited by the medical establishment.

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