A new law in France bans “conversion therapy,” a practice that attempts to change a LGBTQ person’s sexual orientation or gender identity and has been scientifically discredited, according to The Associated Press.
Attempting to “convert” a person to heterosexuality or traditional gender identity will result in up to two years in jail and a fine of $34,000.
If the therapy is attempted on a young person or someone who is deemed vulnerable, the punishment can increase to up to three years in jail and a fine of $50,000.
Under the new law, people may also file a civil lawsuit on behalf of another person, something that has been applauded by lawmakers as a tool that can be used to benefit those who feel under duress over reporting the situation themselves, the AP notes.
The measure was reportedly approved by France’s National Assembly in an overwhelming 142-0 vote late Thursday.
France’s equalities and diversity minster, Elisabeth Moreno, described the practice of conversion therapy as “barbaric” and told lawmakers that it “very often leaves permanent marks on bodies and minds” of those who are impacted, according to the AP.
French President Emmanuel Macron praised the legislation, the AP reports, and will sign it in two weeks.
“Let’s be proud of it,” he has said. “Because being oneself is not a crime.”
Similar laws exist in many states in the United States, notes the AP.