Finland’s parliament is “forced” to consider banning “conversion therapy” after a citizens’ initiative gathered the needed 50,000 signatures within only a month.
The practice of changing people’s SOGIESC has been debunked and is considered harmful by various medical associations, including the Finnish Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Medical Association, Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the American Psychoanalytic Association.
In a 2020 speech to the UN Human Rights Council, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, said that “conversion therapy” inflicts severe pain and suffering on LGBTQIA persons, often resulting in long-lasting psychological and physical damage.
“These interventions exclusively target LGBT persons with the specific aim of interfering in their personal integrity and autonomy because their sexual orientation or gender identity do not fall under what is perceived by certain persons as a desirable norm,” Madrigal-Borloz said at that time. “They are inherently degrading and discriminatory and rooted in the belief that LGBT persons are somehow inferior, and that they must at any cost modify their orientation or identity to remedy that supposed inferiority.”
He added that the practice constitutes “an egregious violation of rights to bodily autonomy, health, and free expression of one’s sexual orientation and gender identity. Ultimately, when conducted forcibly, they also represent a breach to the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment.”
In Finland, in all likelihood, it may eventually be prohibited and the ban would apply to both children and adults, since the current government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin committed to tighten regulation on alternative therapies.
The European Union has also taken a clear stance against such methods.