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Albania prohibits gay ‘conversion’ therapy for minors

Albania's Order of Psychologists has prohibited the abusive practice.

By Will Stroude

Albania has banned gay ‘cure’ therapy for minors.

The abusive practise – whereby LGBTQ people undergo therapy and couselling designed to ‘change’ their sexuality – has been officially prohibited by Albania’s Order of Psychologists, ABC News reports. 

The move is “significantly important for LGBTI adolescents, whose parents often force them to undergo conversion therapy, in the hope of changing their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Albanian LGBTQ organisation Pink Embassy in a statement.

Pride taking place in the Albanian capital of Tirana

Albania’s ban comes less than two weeks after a similar ban was enacted in Germany, and makes it just the third European country to prohibit the practice, along with Malta.

Nationwide bans have also been introduced in Ecuador, Brazil and Taiwan, while gay ‘cure’ therapy is outlawed for in certain parts of Australia, Canada and the US.

While the UK bans NHS practioners from referring patients to services offering gay ‘conversion’ therapy, the practice itself remains legal.

Earlier this year, Equalities Minister Baroness Williams said the UK government was focused on “ending” gay ‘conversion’ therapy rather than simply banning it.

Speaking to the Government Equalities Office LGBT Leadership Summit in February, Baroness Williams said: “It’s far more complex than we first thought. It comes from different sources. It can be cultural, it can be faith-based, it can be health-based.

“Banning it means it still exists, ending it means it does not exist any more.”