Good news – Germany’s parliament has passed a law banning therapies that purport to ‘cure’ young people of homosexuality.
It’s a nation-wide ban against medical interventions attempting to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The move by the German parliament specifically protects people under the age of 18, and includes both fines and imprisonment as potential penalties. The parents or guardians of the young people involved are also subject to penalties if they have coerced the child to take part.
“They should feel strengthened when the state, when society, when Parliament makes it clear: we do not want that in this country…” said Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn, explaining the importance of this law for young queer people.
This law from the German parliament has been a long time coming. It was proposed by Jens Spahn in mid-2019, and the legislation was drafted in November 2019.
Now that the legislation is in place to protect young people under the age of 18, there are already calls for the protection to also be extended to adults.
It’s believed that about 1,000 people each year in German undergo interventions intending to suppress their sexuality or gender-identity.
Germany is not the first country to ban this type of intervention, but it is still widely practised in many parts of the world.
An LGBTQ Guide to the World
Is it legal to be gay in German?
Yes. The geo-political history of Germany complicates the timeline a bit, but these days Germany is one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world.
Is there anti-discrimination legislation in place in German?
Yes. Throughout Germany, it is illegal to discriminate against someone because of their sexuality or gender-identity.
Is there marriage equality?
Yes. Legal recognition of same-sex couples was possible from 2001, and full marriage equality came into effect in 2017.
What’s it like for LGBTQ people who live there?
Despite the historical persecution of LGBTQ people during the WWII era, Germany today is a pretty good place to be queer.
What’s it like for LGBTQ people who visit?
Germany is a fantastic destination for the queer traveller. Major cities such as Berlin, Cologne, and Munich have vibrant and visible LGBTQ communities. But you’ll be welcome throughout Germany.