Vera Bergkamp, the former president of the Dutch LGBTQ rights organization, COC Netherland, who became a member of the Democrats 66 (D66) elected in the House of Representatives in 2012, introduced a motion to ban “conversion therapies” in the country.
“I fight for people to be able to be themselves visibly. This barbaric therapy is at odds with that,” Bergkamp said.
A similar motion had already been introduced in 2019, but had not received the support of the country’s main political parties, including Christian parties CDA, CU, and SGP, the Party for Freedom (PVV), and Forum for Democracy (FvD), and was therefore not passed.
The new attempt appears to be on the right track, having just got the support of the deputies of D66, GroenLinks, the Labour Party (PvdA), and the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).
The motion must now be turned into a bill by the cabinet before the vote.
The only downside here is that the Netherlands is preparing to elect a new government and this could affect the bill.
Nevertheless, Vera Bergkamp is quite confident. She hopes the bill will be written and introduced to legislators before the election. Then the new government will only have to vote on it.
At present, there are reportedly about 15 associations or practitioners officially providing “conversion therapies” in the country, but Bergkamp pointed out that there may be more that are not known to exist.