Finland set to ban therapies aimed at converting gay and transgender people

In all likelihood, such therapies will be prohibited and the ban would apply to both children and adults. [Shuttertsock/ By DreamerAchieverNoraTarvus]

A citizens’ initiative to ban sexual orientation and gender identification conversion therapy is moving forward to being considered by parliament after it gathered the needed 50,000 signatures within only a month.

In all likelihood, such therapies will be prohibited and the ban would apply to both children and adults. In its programme, the current government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) has committed itself to tighten regulation on alternative therapies.

The EU has also taken a clear stance against such methods. While Malta has banned the treatments already in 2016, moves to criminalise conversion therapies are underway also at least in Germany.

Conversion therapies simply do not work, Teemu Kärnä, chair of the Finnish Psychiatric Association’s ethics committee told the Finnish Broadcasting Company in an interview.

According to him, there is also growing evidence that they cause suffering by inherently suggesting that a person’s sexual orientation is somehow wrong or flawed. Instead, one should support people to accept their gender identities and orientation, he added.

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