Public consultation launched for draft law criminalising harmful conversion therapies

Affirmation of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression Bill tabled for its first reading in Parliament with the aim of prohibiting ‘conversion therapy’ as a deceptive and harmful act.

‘Conversion therapy’ seeks to change and to repress a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression.
‘Conversion therapy’ seeks to change and to repress a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression.

Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties Helena Dalli will present the Affirmation of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression Bill for its first reading in Parliament with the aim of prohibiting ‘conversion therapy’ as a deceptive and harmful act.

This Bill is also being launched for public consultation for a period of one month.

‘Conversion therapy’ seeks to change and to repress a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. Furthermore, the international community of professionals in education, social work, health and mental health and counselling, has determined that there is no evidence towards the validity or effectiveness of the so called conversion therapy.

"On the contrary, it is dangerous to the individual’s mental and physical health, in some cases leading to suicide. Through this Bill, government is seeking to protect these individuals from harmful practices irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression," the ministry said.

The consultation document can be accessed through www.socialdialogue.gov.mt/SOGIGE or through www.konsultazzjoni.gov.mt.

The public consultation closes on 15th January 2016.

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