French lawmakers have denounced that gay ‘conversion therapy’ is “based on a false conception of homosexuality”.
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Deputies Laurence Vanceunebrock Mialon and Bastien Lachaud presented to the law commission of the National Parliament December 11 the conclusions of an investigation into “practices claiming to modify a person’s sexual orientation”.
Over three months of hearings, the parliamentary inquiry heard from sixty people who denounced “religious” (Evangelical, Catholic and Muslim), “medical” and “societal” therapies designed to ‘cure’ gays of their affective identities.
Those ‘cures’ for homosexuality can range from prayer and penitence to electroshock treatment and even, in some cases, forced marriage.
Denouncing the mental and physical trauma occasioned by gay ‘conversion therapy’, the legislators put forth a series of eleven guidelines to work towards putting an end to the harmful practices – practised, in the main, by ultraconservative religious groups.
The lawmakers’ recommendations could even lead to the illegalisation of identity reorientation treatments in France, a measure that was called for in a 2017 petition.
“A special clause will send a clear signal to the perpetrators”, said legislator Lachaud, commenting on the possible future outlawing of ‘conversion therapy’.
The parliamentary commissioners also called on school authorities to “play [their] full role in combating discrimination from an early age”.
Gay ‘conversion therapy’ “has to stop. It has to stop young people from suffering”, pleaded a young lesbian victim of the treatment who testified before the commission.