Greece banned gender conversion therapy for minors, the practice of suppressing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity among lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities globally, as health experts have declared it harmful.
The Greek parliament approved the bill containing rules for psychologists or other health practitioners that performing such surgery needs a person’s explicit consent to perform such treatment and face fines and a prison term if they violate the law.
The government has drafted a national strategy that runs until 2025 on reforms promoting gender equality in Greece, a largely conservative country. Canada, New Zealand and France criminalized conversion therapy earlier this year.
“There were some false treatments that stated that when a minor has chosen a different sexual orientation, his parents could supposedly proceed with ‘treatments’ for this child to ‘return to normality”, Health Minister Thanos Plevris told parliament this week.
“Obviously, these treatments not only are not a therapy, but they are not supported scientifically,” the minister said. The bill also bans advertising such practices.
Plevris added that Greece also plans to ban surgeries on intersex infants and babies born with atypical chromosomes that affect their reproductive anatomy in a way that does not fit with the normative definition of male or female.