It’s hardly profound to say that “gay cure” therapy is cruel and should be banned, but it’s still legal to do in many places. But, Malta could become the first country in Europe to ban “gay cure” therapies.
Malta’s government unveiled a new bill yesterday, the Affirmation of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression bill. This would outlaw the so-called “conversion” therapy.
Many experts and people in general agree that attempting to “cure” someone of their sexuality or gender identity is pointless and damaging, but as I mentioned earlier, many countries have yet to outlaw it.
Helena Dalli, Malta’s Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties, presented the bill for it’s first reading yesterday, which the aim of prohibiting LGBT “conversion therapy” as a deceptive and harmful act.
They have also launched a public consultation on the issue, which will remain open for one month.
The website for the consultation reads: “Conversion therapy seeks to change and, or to repress a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and, or gender expression. The international community of professionals in education, social work, health, mental health and counselling has determined that there is no evidence towards the validity or effectiveness of so called conversion therapy.
“On the contrary, it is dangerous to the individual’s mental and physical health, in some cases leading to suicide. Therefore Government is seeking to protect these individuals from harmful practices by enacting a Bill which will criminalize conversion therapy. To date, four US states have banned conversion therapy. Should this Bill become law, Malta will be the first European country to criminalise such practice.”
This would be a great first step for Europe, and could possibly even prod other countries such as the UK to put forward similar bills. At the time of writing, UK parliament is considering a private members bill, but they have yet to have any plans to legislate.
Here’s hoping Malta scores a victory for LGBT people, and further solidify itself as the best country for LGBTQ+ rights.