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Meet The First European Country To Ban Gay Conversion Therapy

Malta's government unanimously passed a bill criminalizing the practice.
Meet The First European Country To Ban Gay Conversion Therapy

Malta is the first European country to ban "gay conversion therapy."

That's what programs designed to change a person's sexual orientation are called. It's a  widely condemned practice that can include electroshock therapy and verbal abuse. 

The government of the island nation unanimously passed a bill criminalizing it. Now, anyone found trying to change or suppress a person's sexual orientation or gender identity will face fines or jail time. 

SEE MORE: Why An LGBTQ Network Didn't Celebrate National Coming Out Day

Medical professionals found prescribing these so-called treatments will face even harsher fines or prison sentences. 

An LGBT advocacy group that ranks European countries based on their LGBT and human rights policies put Malta at No. 1 on its list.

Conversion therapy is legal in most of the U.S. There are laws banning the practice for minors in Oregon, California, Illinois, Vermont, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.