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Swedish political parties call for ban on conversion therapy

Multiple political parties in Sweden's parliament want to ban so-called conversion therapy, which aims to change young LGBT+ individuals’ sexual orientation.

Swedish political parties call for ban on conversion therapy
Multiple political parties are calling for a ban on conversion therapy. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

The Liberals have campaigned for a ban for some time, and a motion has now been submitted to parliament by the Social Democrats. Now, the Moderates and the Centre Party are joining them in calling for conversion therapy to be made illegal, Sweden’s public broadcaster Radio Ekot reports.

“The entire idea is that homosexuality is an illness which can and should be treated. That is, obviously, completely incorrect and a very out-of-place view in a modern society,” Centre’s spokesperson on legal issues, Johan Hedin, told the radio.

Conversion therapy consists of subjecting LGBT+ individuals to pressure or force to hide their sexuality or gender identity. According to MUCF, the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society, it occurs “to a not insignificant extent” in Sweden.

“We think there should be a ban. Sweden should be a tolerant country, where nonsense like this quite simply shouldn’t be allowed to happen,” Johan Forssell, the Moderate’s legal spokesperson told Radio Ekot.

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POLITICS

Danish far-Right extremist Rasmus Paludan to stand in Swedish election

Rasmus Paludan and his right-wing extremist party Stram Kurs ("Hard Line") will be standing in Sweden's parliamentary election in September this year, Sweden's election authority has confirmed.

Danish far-Right extremist Rasmus Paludan to stand in Swedish election

In 2019, Paludan stood in Danish parliamentary elections, achieving only 1.8 percent of the vote. Under Denmark’s proportional representation system, parties must achieve at least two percent of the vote in order to enter the Danish parliament.

In Sweden, you must be a Swedish citizen in order to be elected to parliament. Paludan’s father is Swedish, and he applied for and was granted Swedish citizenship in 2020.

In order to enter the Swedish parliament, Paludan must win at least for percent of the vote in the upcoming election.

To put that in to perspective, current parliamentary parties the Liberals and the Green Party are currently polling under four percent, and are thereby at risk of losing their representatives in the Swedish Riksdag.

Paludan, who in recent days has been travelling around Sweden burning the Koran, the Muslim holy book, has described these visits as an “election tour”.

Over the Easter weekend, which coincided this year with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, he visited, or planned to visit, Linköping, Norrköping, Örebro, Landskrona, Malmö and the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby to hold “demonstrations”, setting fire to the Koran in order to provoke people living in these areas.

Paludan’s demonstrations resulted in riots involving vandalism and violence aimed primarily at police.

At least 40 people have been arrested or charged, many of whom were minors. In total, 26 police officers have been injured.

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