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Meet The First European Country To Ban Gay Conversion Therapy

Malta's government unanimously passed a bill criminalizing the practice.

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.

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