Israel Bans Gay Conversion Therapy

New regulations would see punitive action against medical professionals who try to steer patients toward heterosexuality

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: LGBT, Homosexuality, Conversion Therapy
Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz speaking at a press conference in which he officially banned gay conversion therapy in Israel. 
Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz speaking at a press conference in which he officially banned gay conversion therapy in Israel.  Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90

Israel Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz this month announced a full ban on gay conversion therapy by Israeli medical professionals.

“Treatment is something that is supposed to help, so what is called ‘conversion therapy’ is really not ‘treatment’ but cruel abuse,” said Horowitz, who is openly gay, at a press conference last week.

Horowitz asserted that he is doing this to “save lives” since trying to reorient LBGTQ patients toward heterosexuality effectively “kills the soul.”

Also at the press conference was Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash, who announced that under the new directive “the Health Ministry prohibits all professional bodies from offering or administering such treatment.”

Medical professionals who violate the directive by either providing or recommending conversion therapy will face punitive action, including the possibility of having their license to practice medicine revoked.

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