On 15 December 2015 the Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties (MSDC) presented a Bill in Parliament, entitled ‘Affirmation of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression ACt, 2015’. Following the Bill’s presentation, MSDC launched a public consultation on the Bill.
The Bill and public consultation are part of a broader process in which aditus foundation has been participating as member of the LGBTIQ Consultative Council within MSDC. In this process, we have submitted several technical comments on the Bill’s earlier versions and also published (July 2015) a ‘Policy Paper I: Prohibition of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity/Expression Conversion Therapy’.
The submissions we presented today to MSDC are based on this Policy Paper, with the addition of specific comments on the Bill as publicly presented in December 2015.
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“Our comments and position are based on a more subtle approach towards conversion therapy, in an attempt to reconcile the various fundamental human rights at play in such contexts, namely: religious freedom, freedom of expression, freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment, right to privacy and family life (in no particular order).
We are keen to reiterate that banning conversion therapy should not be seen as an end in itself, as this could be described as blind and invasive.
The idea of banning conversion therapy should however be entrenched in the State’s interest to (1) prevent practices that claim to be based on medical evidence, when they are not and (2) to protect vulnerable members of society from harmful practices.” [/su_box]