Valais will carry out an in-depth study on conversion therapies

Valais chooses the middle way when it comes to conversion therapy. Unlike the cantons of Vaud, Geneva or Bern, it does not, for the time being, want to ban these therapies on its soil, but it does not sit idly by either. This Tuesday morning, the Valais deputies accepted, by 95 votes against 30 and one abstention, a postulate asking the cantonal government to carry out an in-depth study on the subject.

Before the plenum, Mathias Reynard, the State Councilor in charge of Health and Social Affairs, indicated that the first brief study, carried out with many LGBTQI + associations in order to know the reality on the ground, demonstrated that the latter do not had received no testimony concerning potential conversion therapies in Valais. “That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist,” said Olivier Ostrini, one of the co-authors of the postulate.

Read also: The canton of Vaud wants to ban “conversion therapy”

The socialist substitute deputy insisted on the need to carry out an in-depth study: “It is certain that these therapies exist and we cannot tolerate that they can have free rein in our canton. You have to expose the facts. How many people are affected? In what context? Is it in the medical, religious, or other field? These questions deserve answers and an appropriate reaction afterwards.”

A non-exhaustive study, according to the UDC

In the camp of opponents to the text, the Christian Democrats of Haut-Valais saw in this postulate a waste of time and money for the department of Minister Reynard, the first observations being clear. For the SVP, the requested study is not exhaustive. MP Eric Jacquod believes that she should also be interested in people who have decided to change sex to find out if, a few years after the operation, they regret their choice or not. “We focus on a problem that is not apparent and we refuse to take an interest in clear issues, which are the subject of lawsuits in certain countries. Sex reassignment is conversion therapy. If, ten years after the operation, the person regrets his choice, he will not be able to go back, unlike the one who will have heard chapter 18 of Genesis [dans le cadre d’une thérapie de conversion, ndlr.]. Are not the ideological bases of certain religions equal to those of certain movements which exist within psychiatry? asks Eric Jacquod.

Also read: Geneva wants to ban “conversion therapy”

Mathias Reynard’s answer is clear: “The government does what parliament asks it to do. This is a study on conversion therapy. We must find the best way to fight against these therapies, which are a real scourge. On the other hand, if the legislator requests a study on the elements you mention, we will do it. Eric Jacquod ensures that he will study this possibility. In the meantime, the in-depth study on conversion therapies will be carried out. And could, depending on its findings, lead to legislative changes in the future.

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