Tonight Malta has made history as the first European country to ban gay conversion therapy.
Bill No. 167 - "Affirmation of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression" The Bill, which was voted unanimously in parliament, will see people who attempt to change, repress or eliminate a person’s sexual orientation receive a fine ranging between €1,000 and €5,000 or a jail term of five months whist professionals face fines between €2,000 and €10,000 or imprisonment of up to a year up to five years in the most serious cases.
The new law will see Malta retain its position as number one in Europe and one of the most progressive places in the world for LGBTIQ rights
Professional bodies welcomed the news, with The Malta Chamber of Psychologists, the Maltese Association of Psychiatry, the Malta Association of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice and the Malta Association for the Counselling Profession all expressing their satisfaction at the bill’s passing. Earlier on the Malta Council of Psychologists described gay conversion as “inhumane”
Besides bill. 167, amendments were made to bill. 170 - the "Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act and other laws".
The new bill and amendments have been put forward following hard work by the LGBTIQ consultative council and the Ministry of Civil Liberties and Consumer Rights.
Meanwhile in the US, Vice President elect Mike Pence tried to row back on his support for the controversial therapy and Hong kong has also been criticised for refusing to condemn the practice, with social workers reporting that kids are given electric shocks to ‘cure’ them of their sexuality.
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