Greece forbade conversion therapy for kids on Wednesday, a treatment that aims to repress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity and has been criticized as damaging by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans community around the world, as well as health experts.
Psychologists and other health professionals will need a person’s explicit agreement to administer such treatment under the measure, which was approved by Greece’s parliament. Violators will face penalties and a prison sentence.
In Greece, a generally conservative country, the government has created a national policy on measures encouraging gender equality that will run until 2025. Conversion therapy was made illegal in Canada, New Zealand, and France earlier this year.
“Some erroneous therapies suggested that when a juvenile chooses a new sexual orientation, his parents might presumably proceed with ‘treatments’ for this child to’return to normality,” Health Minister Thanos Plevris told parliament this week.
“Clearly, these treatments are not only not therapies, but they are also not scientifically supported,” the minister stated.
The bill also prohibits the promotion of such behaviors.
Plevris also stated that Greece intends to prohibit procedures on intersex newborns and babies born with abnormal chromosomes that impair their reproductive architecture in a way that differs from the traditional definition of male and female.