New French law to ban 'gay cures'

MPs working on a bill that would outlaw so-called 'conversion therapies'

30 October 2019

Two French MPs are working on a law to ban so-called “conversion therapies” in which gay people go through “a treatment” to become straight.

The Refuge association, which helps gay people in distress, says it has received 350 calls on the therapies this year. It says there are three types: societal, when society pushes homosexuals to be in the “norm”; medical, when therapists and doctors want to “heal” them; and spiritual, when religious people believe gays are possessed by the devil and try to have them exorcised.

One witness, who asked to be anonymous, said: “My parents booked an exorcist for me. I’ve been going through hell since I came out. They think demons have entered me.”

MPs Bastien Lachaud and Laurence Vanceunebrock-Mialon plan to introduce a law, which will be debated in spring, to sentence anyone offering “conversion therapies” to two years’ imprisonment and a fine of €30,000.

Two associations, Courage and Torrent de Vie, are accused of practising such therapies and should be banned, said the MPs. Courage told Connexion: “We do not practise therapy. We are a Catholic association which helps these people to find their place in the religion. We offer support.”

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