It’s horrible to know that 1,000 young people in Germany are forced to undergo “conversion therapy” every year. It’s disgusting to imagine what they have to endure. Nevertheless, things may want to improve because Health Minister Jens Spahn has introduced a bill to ban “conversion therapies” aimed at “changing” the sexual orientation or gender identity of a person.
At present, “anti-gay cures”, as they are also called, are practiced in Germany by religious leaders or psychotherapists. Then those who violate the law could face up to a year in prison or a fine if the bill is approved.
Although the practice will be considered illegal, a consenting adult will be able to undergo “therapy.” If this adult then believes that he or she has been deceived, coerced or threatened, the practitioner may be punished.
What concerns me most about this bill is that 16 to 18-year-olds will be able to undergo “therapy” without the practitioner being concerned as long as he or she proves that the patient understands the implications and risks of treatment. I can imagine parents putting pressure on their child who is then forced to consent to the practice.
So what is the point of the ban if not all minors are protected?
While this bill sends a message, it does not remove all concerns.