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Malta’s Bill that bans gay conversion therapy is in the very final stages

Meka Beresford December 4, 2016
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A Bill which will ban “gay cure” therapy is in the very final stages in Malta, making the country likely to be the first to outlaw the therapy in the EU.

The bill, which imposes fines and jail terms on those practicing gay conversion therapy, is in the very final stages and looks to be passed before the end of the year.

The bill only needs to be approved in the third reading before it is passed into law.

MP’s unanimously supported the bill which criminalises anyone attempting to repress or eliminate a persons sexual orientation.

Fines range from €1,000 up to €10,000 if the person practicing is a “professional,” jail sentences of up to 5 months are also a punishment.

Psychologists in Malta have welcomed a law banning gay conversion therapy, after being at the centre of drafting the new Bill.

A spokesperson for the Malta Chamber of Psychologists (MCP) said: “The MCP are very proud to have played an integral part in the drafting of this bill, which openly disapproves of practices which are harmful to people in our community.

“Not only does it reject a group of individuals on the basis of unfound prejudice and lack of tolerance for diversity, but also because it impinges on the international recognition of LGBTIQ rights; also supported by progressive trends to depathologise such individuals from mental health statistical manual classifications.

“As a body we promote respect and equality for all persons, and are determined to continue working towards ensuring our clients can enjoy as safe a therapeutic experience as they deserve,” the statement added.

It was first put forward by Civil liberties minister Helena Dalli has been tweaked in the process to clarify that the bill would not convict psychiatrists, counsellors and psychologists hauled up to court for psychological treatment that could be legally defined as “conversion therapy”.

More: ban, conversion therapy, Europe, Europe, gay cure therapy, LGBT, Malta, Malta

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