Increased support for ban on conversion therapy Sweden

25-04-2022

Northern Europe

Lennart Nijenhuis, CNE.news

Photo Unsplash, Karollyne Hubert

More and more political parties in Sweden favour a ban on conversion therapies. Earlier, a report showed that young people still undergo treatments to change their sexual orientation.

Liberal politicians have been pushing for a ban for a long time, Dagen reports. Currently, the Social Democrats have presented a motion concerning the issue to the Riksdag, the Swedish government. The Moderates and the Centre party support their voice. All three demand the criminalisation of conversion therapies.

The problem with the treatments is that they see homosexuality as a disease that can and should be cured, the spokesman of the Centre Party, Johan Hedin, said to the Swedish broadcast Ekot. Hedin: “That is completely wrong and a very separate view in modern society.” Sweden should be a tolerant country where such nonsense should not happen, the spokesman of the Moderates Party, Johan Forssell, agrees.

Recently, a report from the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society Affairs (MUCF) showed that some young LHBT people still undergo conversion therapies.

The MUCF states that these therapies use “coercion and pressure to change sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.” This definition of the treatments includes “threats and violence” but also “acts that are not illegal, such as rituals and prayer to cure the individual”, Lena Nyberg says. She is the director-general of the agency.

According to the Agency, the government needs to do more to prohibit these therapies so that “all young people can live a life where their rights and identity are fully respected.” The report shows that these treatments still occur to “a not insignificant extent in Sweden”, Nyberg says.

For the research, 882 young LHBT people were questioned. About 5 per cent said that they had been subjected to conversion attempts at any point in their life.

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