Conversion therapy has been banned in several countries around the world, including Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, Spain, Germany, France, Malta and New Zealand, according to data aggregated by the Global Equality Caucus and The International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).
Conversion therapy is the process of trying to stop someone from being gay or trying to stop someone who wants to change their gender identity.
Methods include spoken therapy and prayer, or even more extreme tactics such as exorcism, physical violence, or food deprivation, as reported by the BBC. The British Psychological Society and Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK declared that all kinds of conversion therapy are “unethical and potentially harmful”.
As Statista's Anna Fleck shows in the chart below, in much of the world the practice of conversion therapy is still legal.
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In multiple other countries though, although no explicit legislative ban exists, limited bans or bans through indirect prohibition have been introduced.
For example, several countries have introduced a ban on health practitioners to carry out conversion therapy. These include Albania, Switzerland and Taiwan (the latter banning health care professionals from carrying out conversion therapies on minors). In India, Tamil Nadu became the first Indian state to ban conversion therapy after a court order issued by a justice of the Madras High Court in 2021.
Meanwhile, several countries, such as Australia, Mexico and the United States, have seen gains with implementing bans on a regional or more basis.
The trend to enforce legislation banning conversion is slowly picking up pace, with national governments and parliaments in Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Cyprus, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal all in various states of pending legislation. At the same time, according to the Global Equality Caucus, Austria, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom have all expressed an intention to legislate bans.