National Center for Lesbian Rights

Press

Contact:
Christopher Vasquez, NCLR Communications Director
cvasquez@nclrights.org / (415) 365-1337

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2020

Born Perfect Congratulates German Parliament for Passing Law to End Harmful Practice of Conversion Therapy

New legislation is just second of its kind in the European Union and makes Germany the most prominent nation in the world to address this issue

BERLIN, GERMANY — Today, the German Bundestag passed legislation that would ban conversion therapy nationwide in the European nation. The new law bans the harmful practice – which aims to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ youth – for minors and creates significant new protections for adults. The legislation makes Germany, which is the world’s fourth-largest economy, the most prominent nation to end the dangerous practice that has shown to be directly correlated to higher rates of LGBTQ youth depression and suicide.

“Germany is the first major European country to protect LGBTQ people from this insidious practice, which is one of the primary drivers of suicide and depression among LGBTQ youth,” said Mathew Shurka, a conversion therapy survivor and Co-Founder of Born Perfect. “Especially during this time, when many LGBTQ people are feeling more isolated and alone than ever, Germany’s leadership is a powerful example of how governments can stand up for LGBTQ youth.”

Globally, three countries – Brazil, Ecuador, and Malta – have already enacted nationwide bans. In March, Canada introduced legislation that would also soon end conversion therapy nationwide in the North American country. In the United States, twenty states and more than 70 localities have passed laws protecting minors from conversion therapy, including most recently in the states of Utah, Virginia, and the Florida Capitol city of Tallahassee. In addition, survivors of conversion therapy have successfully sued their former therapists under state laws that prohibit consumer fraud.

“Germany is setting a new international standard for protecting LGBTQ youth and for recognizing conversion therapy for what it is—a public health crisis that is devastating the lives of LGBTQ young people,” said Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “Germany’s leadership on this issue is groundbreaking and will set an example for other countries to follow.”

Last year, Outright International released a groundbreaking report showing that conversion therapy occurs across the world and documenting the severe trauma that it causes.

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Born Perfect is a survivor-led campaign created by NCLR in 2014 to end conversion therapy by passing laws across the country to protect LGBT children and young people, fighting in courtrooms to ensure their safety, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by these dangerous practices. http://bornperfect.org/

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