Two more countries have banned the widely discredited practice known as conversion therapy.
In Israel, the health ministry issued a circular Feb. 14 banning medical professionals from practicing it, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The circular stresses the risks to mental health posed by conversion therapy and prohibits all professionals from the offering, publicizing, or providing such "therapies." Licensed professionals who do so will face sanctions, including severe disciplinary proceedings and the revocation of their licenses.
While the health ministry has advised against conversion therapy for years, no formal prohibition had been issued against the practice until now.
Also, a bill banning conversion therapy passed New Zealand's Parliament, the New Zealand Herald reported.
The bill passed with 112 MPs in favor of it, including all those from Labour, Act, the Green Party and Te Pati Maori; eight National MPs opposed the measure. It was an emotional third reading and debate, with many of Parliament's LGBTQ+ MPs (including Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson) sharing their own stories.
Israel and New Zealand join such countries as France and Canada in prohibiting conversion therapy. In the United States, almost two dozen states either have banned the practice or have executive orders prohibiting the use of state or federal funds for conversion therapy on minors.