Norwegian parliament set to ban conversion therapy

Norway’s MPs will on Wednesday decide whether to ban the practice of conversion therapy.

Norwegian parliament set to ban conversion therapy
The parliament building in Oslo. Photo: dreamnordno/Depositphotos

The country has for some time considered outlawing the ‘therapy’, a pseudoscientific practice which seeks to change the sexual orientation of an LGBTQ+ person through psychological or spiritual intervention. In extreme cases, methods such as electroconvulsive therapy have been used.

No reliable evidence exists that sexual orientation can be changed and medical bodies have warned that conversion therapy practices are potentially harmful.

READ ALSO: Norway considers enforcing ban on conversion therapy

The therapy has been criticized in Norway for impeding the right of LGBTQ people to be themselves, Norwegian news agency NTB writes.

Parliament is expected to vote through the ban against the treatment, with three governing right-wing parties – the Conservative, Liberal and Progress parties – all set to vote in favour along with the opposition.

That leaves the Christian Democratic Party alone in voting against the proposal.

Conversion therapy is already prohibited in the United Kingdom, and Germany also has plans to put a ban in place.

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WATCH: Viral Norwegian Christmas ad where Santa has a boyfriend

A Christmas advert by Posten, the Norwegian postal service, which depicts Santa in a same-sex relationship, has been branded "fantastic" and "perfect" after going viral. 

Pictured is a screenshot from Posten's Christmas advert.
The advert where Santa Claus falls in love with Harry, both pictured above, has caused a stir on social media. Picture from screenshot Youtube/ Posten.

Posten’s Christmas advert titled “When Harry met Santa” — a nod to the 1989 rom-com “When Harry met Sally…” — has caused a splash since it premiered on social media before airing on Norwegian screens this week. 

The new ad follows up on last year’s offering where Santa was angry at the postal service for taking away his “business”. 

The nearly four-minute film sees Santa and Harry build up a bond over several years. However, the pair are restricted to fleeting encounters due to Santa’s packed schedule- until he enlists Posten to ease his workload so the two can spend more time together before sharing a kiss in the final scene. 

The advert was made to mark next year’s 50th anniversary of same-sex relationships being decriminalised in the Scandinavian country.

“This year, it’s all about love – highlighting the fact that 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Norway,” Posten said in a statement to newswire Reuters.

“In addition to showing the flexibility of our services, we want to put it in a socially relevant setting,” it said.

Mats Strandberg, who is married to Johan Ehn, the actor who plays Harry, tweeted, “That’s my husband kissing Santa!”. 

Below you can watch the ad with English subtitles.