Put an end to conversion therapy. More than 300 clerics from 35 countries called on Dec. 16 to ban such practices that purport to transform a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, often carried out in the name of faith.
Their joint statement is issued by the British Ozanne Foundation, on the occasion of a conference organized in London.

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“Harmful practices”

Among its initial signatories are representatives of Anglicans, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Sikhs in particular, including the former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner and fellow struggle of Nelson Mandela.

We ask that everything possible be done to put an end to practices commonly known as “conversion therapy” which aim to change, remove or erase a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. gender, and we ask that these harmful practices be prohibited“, they write.

Almost all over the world

Conversion therapy, sometimes referred to as restorative therapy, is widely viewed as pseudo-scientific, ineffective, and dangerous by experts.

If the practice has been documented in the United States, where it would have affected hundreds of thousands of people, it does exist “almost everywhere in the world“, according to a report released last year by OutRight Action International, a New York-based LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) advocacy organization.

Banned in only four countries

Religion is the most frequently cited reason“, notes this report, which specifies that in mid-2019, only four countries had banned these therapies: Brazil, Ecuador, Malta and Taiwan.

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However, they are banned at the regional level in some countries and plans exist to penalize them. This is particularly the case in France, where a bill aimed at definitively banning these therapies was tabled last June. It should eventually appear in the bill on religious separatism which was tabled in Parliament on December 9.