It’s hoped a final bill could be ready for submission by early 2020.
The National Assembly of France, the country’s lower house, has started discussions about banning gay ‘conversion’ therapy in the country.
The so-called therapy, which has been discredited by the NHS and the World Psychiatric Association, refers to any attempt at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and often involves techniques like electroshock therapy or prayer.
France 24 reports that two MPs, Bastien Lachaud, from the far-left France Unbowed Party and Laurence Vanceunebrock-Mialon from the governing En Marche are those who are submitting the bill.
Their aim for the final bill, which is hoped to be presented in early 2020, is to ban any practice that alters the physical or mental health of someone, and punishes it with a two year prison sentence and a €30,000 fine.
Vanceunebrock-Mialon told Inter France: “To incite young homosexuals, because they are what they are, to chastity or to move towards a change of sexual orientation, what is the point?”
Although some of the more extreme measures like electroshock therapy and hormone injections aren’t used in France, other methods are in use. And with the recent increase in evangelical Christians, the amount of therapies are on the increase.
The bill targets two specific organisations, Courage and Torrents of Life, the latter of which says on its website that “confusion and breaks in our relational and sexual identity can lead us into sin and make us incapable of loving.”
If France is successful in banning the discredited practice, it would join countries like Malta in having banned it. It would also join 18 states in the United States.
Germany is also attempting to have the practice banned. In a press conference, last year the Health Minister, Jens Spahn, pledged to have made the practice illegal in Germany within the year.
“My position is clear: homosexuality is not an illness, which is why it does not need to be treated,” he said. “I would very much like to have a bill this year that could then be presented to parliament.”