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"Conversion therapies" banned in Germany

After more than 110,000 people asked for an end to so-called “conversion therapies” in Germany, the German Parliament finally took action in 2020.

In 2018, a group of fundamentalist Christians in Germany, the Association for Life Orientation (LEO), was offering seminars and therapies claiming they could "fix" lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. This caused a public outcry and raised awareness of the traumatizing “conversion therapies” in the country.

All Out, along with German LGBT+ rights groups Aktionsbündnis gegen Homophobie e.V., and ENOUGH is ENOUGH! OPEN YOUR MOUTH!, jumped into action, launching a petition calling for a ban of these dangerous practices.

In 2019, the coalition #HomoBrauchtKeineHeilung was formed to join forces with activist Lucas Hawrylak, Change.org, and Travestie für Deutschland. Together, we delivered more than 110,000 signatures to the German Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, on April 10, 2019.

Picture: (Change.org)

One day later, the minister announced he would launch a commission to work on a ban.

On November 4, 2019, he presented a bill that would prohibit the so-called "conversion therapies." However, the draft was criticized for excluding people 16 to 18 years old from the ban, if practitioners could demonstrate that the patients fully understood the treatment.

All Out continued to work together with the coalition during the voting process to get the draft changed. The dangerous exemption for young people between the ages of 16 and 18 was ultimately dropped.

One year after the delivery of the petition, the law was finally approved. On May 7, 2020, the German Parliament agreed to a partial ban of "conversion therapies."

The law banned both the practice of so-called “conversion therapy” and public advertising for it," with penalties of up to EUR 30,000 and one-year in prison for carrying out such "treatments" on minors.

In addition, a multilingual consultation service will be set up for people who have been subjected to "conversion therapies" and for people who work with LGBT+ populations.

Unfortunately, not all recommendations from experts and from civil society were included in the final text. The bill still didn’t call for penalties for parents who put their LGBT+ children in "treatment." According to the legislator, they are not necessarily in breach of their duty of care.

Thanks to everyone who supported our campaign!