German health minister Jens Spahn has drafted legislation that would ban so-called “gay conversion” therapy for all under 18 youths Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) reports.
Spahn is openly gay and is explicit about the desired political message which is “You’re OK just as you are.” There are an estimated 1,000 cases of gay conversion therapy a year in Germany. It entails suppressing sexuality via the use of electroshock, aversive conditioning and other mentally abusive methods.
The bill also includes heavy penalties for parents, guardians, and physicians who violate the law. However, consenting adults will be allowed to chose the so-called “treatment” under restricted circumstances. The scope for consent will be qualified as legal liability will persist if the person choosing the treatment is deceived, coerced or threatened.
The therapy can lead to depression, anxiety disorders and a higher risk of suicide. About 700,000 people in the US have undergone such treatment, according to estimates by the Williams Institute think tank at UCLA School of Law. About 50% of the individuals submitted to the treatment are underaged. The phenomenon has been addressed by the “Born Perfect” campaign in the US.