Monday, June 17, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Monday, June 17, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

‘Conversion therapy’ could become illegal in Norway

Cultural revolution in the West

Published 25 November 2023
- By Editorial Staff
The Oslo Storting (parliament).

A new bill proposes a total ban on conversion therapy in Norway. With strong support from several political parties, the proposal is expected to receive majority support in a vote in December.

The bill proposes to make it a crime to attempt to change another person’s sexual orientation or gender identity through medical, alternative medical or religious methods. The work on the law is primarily aimed at certain Christian and Muslim communities. The law focuses on conversion therapy for both children and adults and would also include a ban on the marketing of such activities.

The Labor Party (Arbeidarpartiet) introduced the proposal last spring and has reached an agreement with parties such as Venstre (Left party), Høyre (Right party), Senterpartiet (Center party) and the Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti). A broad majority is expected to support the proposal in the December vote.

– The hope is that it will be a ban that reassures people. That they know what is happening to them is wrong – not that there is something wrong with them, Turid Kristensen of the conservative Høyre party told the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet.

Violators of the law could face up to three years in prison, and up to six years in aggravated cases.

Opposition from parents

However, the proposal has met with opposition from parents, religious communities and the media, who argue that it violates freedom of speech and freedom of religion. A leader in the Stavanger Aftenbladet newspaper expressed concern that the law could lead to self-censorship among those who offer counseling in religious contexts.

Parents and, for example, health professionals are also worried about being punished for saying the wrong thing to children. Kathy Lie of the Socialist Left Party insists that there will be a clear line in the new law.

– We have received many inquiries, especially from concerned parents. We have taken note and included comments in the proposal to reassure them that it is a good proposal, says Lie.

The Storting’s Family and Culture Committee is expected to make its recommendation on November 30, after which the bill will be voted on December 7.

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