By AFP with Euronews
‘Being yourself is not a crime’ said French Minister for Gender Equality Elisabeth Moreno.
Ludovic Marin / POOL via AP, File
France’s Senate has overwhelmingly voted in favour of a ban on so-called LGBT conversion therapy.
The bill was approved at its first reading on Tuesday, with 305 voting in favour and 28 against.
Under the new law, citizens can be punished with prison sentences and fines for attempting to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT+ people.
Last month, France’s parliament had approved the law proposed by members of President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche! party.
“Being yourself is not a crime,” said France’s equality minister Elisabeth Moreno, adding that so-called conversion therapy was “unbearable attacks on human integrity”.
“Homosexuality and trans-identity are not diseases that can be cured,” said Moreno. “There is nothing to cure.”
The practice of trying to “convert” LGBT+ people to heterosexuality or traditional gender expectations is scientifically discredited.
The proposed legislation in France would introduce criminal penalties of up to two years in jail and €30,000 in fines.
Sentences could be increased to three years imprisonment and fines of €45,000 for attempts involving children or other particularly vulnerable people.
Additions and edits to the law will now be discussed in a joint committee before it can be passed into effect in France.
Several other European countries, including Germany and Malta, have already banned so-called gay conversion therapy.