Germany's parliament passed a law banning so-called "gay conversion therapy" for young people nationwide, media reports noted.
The legislation is intended to stop groups offering the servicewhich claims to be able to change a person's sexual orientationto those younger than 18. According to BBC.com, those breaking the new law can face up to a year in prison or a 30,000-euro ( $32,535 ) fine. German Health Minister Jens Spahn ( who is gay himself ) said a robust law was needed to protect it from court challenges, adding that most people who attended treatment were young people forced to do so by others.
OutRight Action International Executive Director Jessica Stern said in a statement, "So-called conversion therapy efforts are based on the belief that cis-gender heterosexuality is the norm, and transgender identities and same-sex attraction not only fall outside the norm, but have to be changed, if need be by brutal, inhuman force.
"The German Bundestag took an incredibly important step. ... By banning 'conversion therapy,' it sent a powerful message that LGBTIQ people are not in need of change or cure."