The diploma stipulates that “whoever subjects another person to acts aimed at altering or repressing their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, including the performance or promotion of medical-surgical procedures, practices using pharmacological, psychotherapeutic or other psychological resources as well as behavioural, is punished with a prison sentence of up to 3 years or a fine.”

In cases where treatments are developed or “surgical, pharmacological or other interventions that involve irreversible changes to the person’s body and sexual characteristics” are carried out, the penalty is five years in prison.

The simple attempt, describes the new law, “ as punishable”, but the diploma states that “procedures applied in the context of self-determination of gender identity and expression are not punishable, as established in articles 3 and 5 of the Law No. 38/2018, of August 7, and which are carried out in accordance with the lege artis”.

Conviction for these crimes also implies the prohibition of exercising professions or functions that involve regular contact with minors, and also the prohibition of exercising parental responsibilities for a period of up to 20 years.

The sentences are increased if the crimes are carried out by more than one person, if the victim is under 16, under 14 or if they are a particularly vulnerable person, among other situations.

The law also provides for a study of practices aimed at altering, limiting or repressing sexual orientation, gender identity or expression in Portugal, their impacts on the physical and mental health of victims, as well as surveying the number of victims throughout the national territory.

The law that prohibits and criminalises sexual conversion therapies was approved in Parliament on December 21, 2023. The final text brought together bills from the PS, Bloco de Esquerda, Livre and PAN and had the support of the Liberal Initiative and PCP, but it received a vote against from the PSD and Chega, at the time of approval.