French MPs begin push to criminalise conversion therapy

France is the latest country to see efforts to outlaw conversion therapy

French MPs have proposed a law to outlaw the discredited practice of conversion therapy that would threaten practitioners with up to two years in prison.

Lawmakers in the country have launched preliminary information-gathering efforts ahead of their effort to impose a legal ban on attempts to “cure” homosexuality.

French MPs seek ban on conversion therapy

According to France24, MP Laurence Vanceunebrock-Mialon from President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling La République En Marche party is working with Bastien Lachaud from the left-wing France Unbowed on the plan.

The assembly has launched a review on the issue.

French Members of Parliament leave the National Assembly after a vote. File photo.

French Members of Parliament leave the National Assembly after a vote. File photo. (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty)

Their plan, which will go before the assembly in early 2020, would make conversion therapy punishable by up to two years in prison and a €30,000 fine.

Speaking to France Inter, Vanceunebrock-Mialon said: “To incite young homosexuals, because they are what they are, to chastity or to move towards a change of sexual orientation, what is the point?”

Global crackdown on gay cure therapy

The discredited practice of attempting to cure people’s sexual orientation has been condemned by nearly every mainstream medical body in the world, but continues to be prevalent in some communities.

In 2018 the European Parliament adopted a non-binding text that called on EU members to ban the practice, but so far only Malta and some Spanish regions have done so.

Plans to outlaw gay cure therapy have also been tabled in Germany, while the practice has also been outlawed in 18 US states.

In 2018, the UK government under then-Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to “bring forward proposals to end the practice of conversion therapy in the UK.”

However, no proposals were brought forward.

In July, the Government Equalities Office said: “This is a complex issue, cutting across a number of government departments.

“The Government Equalities Office has commissioned additional research into this issue, building  on the National LGBT Survey, and started engaging with external stakeholders in anticipation of bringing forward a formal consultation.”