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Triumph for victims as France criminalises 'barbaric' gay conversion therapies

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www.rfi.fr

Soyons-en fiers, ces pratiques indignes n'ont pas leur place en République. Parce qu’être soi n’est pas un crime, parce qu’il n’y a rien à guérir."It's the first time in French history that an LGBTQI+ right to protect has been voted unanimously in all chambers," says Benoit Berthe who co-founded an NGO that helped bring the bill before parliament."Usually the political parties are very divided, so it was extremely beautiful and symbolically strong to see them united to defend the right to be who you are ...

no matter what your sexual orientation, gender identity."Advocates of the law say it will now be easier to spread public awareness of the harm and illegality of conversion therapies, while also providing a solid legal basis for prosecution.

Most offenders will face two years in jail and a 30,000 euro fine, with penalties rising for cases involving particularly aggravating circumstances.Gay conversion therapies can include physical aggression, exorcism, hormone therapy, electric shocks, hypnosis, forced marriage, spiritual retreats and even “corrective” rape – often carried out in concealed locations.The United Nations has compared them to torture, while some victims – unable to overcome their trauma – have turned to suicide.In 2018, the EU asked member states to ban the therapies.

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