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Taiwan Publishes Plan to Ban Conversion Therapy

Taiwan conversion therapy
Chiang Ying-ying/AP

The plan follows a renewed effort to pass marriage equality during the next legislative session.

Taiwan has begun the new year putting the island's support for the LGBT community into action.

On Monday, the Ministry of Health and Welfare announced draft legislation that would list conversion therapy--the largely debunked practice of changing someone's sexual orientation--as a prohibited treatment. If a doctor were to perform conversion therapy, he or she could face fines and suspension for up to a year.

"Sexual orientation is not an illness," said Shih Chung-liang, head of the ministry's department of medical affairs, in a statement.

Recently, Taiwan has become a much stronger vanguard for LGBT rights in Asia. In early December, 250,000 Taiwanese people marched in Taipei in support of marriage equality on Human Rights Day. Many in the government expect marriage-equality legislation to be put for a vote in early 2017.

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