On May 8th, CNN reported that Germany has become the most recent country to ban gay conversion therapy for people under the age of 18. This is a fight the USA is winning at a snail's pace, and it's a fight that'll have to be tackled at the federal level rather than the state level.
Conversion therapy claims to change someone's sexual orientation and or gender identity. Charlatan conversion therapists call their vile work reparative treatments, and the rationale for this 'treatment' is predicated on the belief that queer and trans people are 'broken' and 'need fixing.'
This ban will make advertising to young people outlawed, and breaking the law will result in fines or jail time of up to one year.
Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn said in a statement, "homosexuality is not a disease. Therefore the name therapy alone is misleading. This so-called therapy makes people sick and not better. The ban is also an important signal from society to all those who are unsure about their homosexuality: it is okay to be the way you are."
Studies show that gay conversion therapy puts young people at greater risk for mental health issues and suicide. However, despite sound medical consensus that shows the great harm this practice causes, it is legal throughout the majority of Europe.
If you or someone you know are a victim of conversion therapy and need support, please reach out to Born Perfect: Survivor Stories and Survivor Network.