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World Psychiatric Association opposes '€˜reparative therapy'€™ for LGBT people

  • Liza Yosephine

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Thu, March 24, 2016 | 01:55 pm
World Psychiatric Association opposes '€˜reparative therapy'€™ for LGBT people In this Thursday, March 17, 2016 photo, a man walks past an anti-LGBT banner in Jakarta, Indonesia. The banner, erected by an ultra-conservative Islamic group, is the latest manifestation of a virulent campaign of denigration against gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities that has gone main-stream and is testing Indonesia’s image for moderation. Writings on the banner read "Indonesia is on LGBT emergency" and "Gay people are a contagion, save the young generation from LGBT people". (AP/Tatan Syuflana) (AP/Tatan Syuflana)

In this Thursday, March 17, 2016 photo, a man walks past an anti-LGBT banner in Jakarta, Indonesia. The banner, erected by an ultra-conservative Islamic group, is the latest manifestation of a virulent campaign of denigration against gays, lesbians and other sexual minorities that has gone main-stream and is testing Indonesia'€™s image for moderation. Writings on the banner read "Indonesia is on LGBT emergency" and "Gay people are a contagion, save the young generation from LGBT people". (AP/Tatan Syuflana)

The largest global association of psychiatrists has announced its opposition against reparative therapy on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people, saying that sexual orientation is an innate trait and not a disorder

The World Psychiatric Association, an association of national psychiatric societies consisting of 138 member societies across 118 different countries, released a position statement recently denouncing any attempts to turn LGBT people heterosexual.

"There is no sound scientific evidence that innate sexual orientation can be changed. Furthermore, so-called treatments of homosexuality can create a setting in which prejudice and discrimination flourish, and they can be potentially harmful," the statement received by thejakartapost.com on Thursday states.  

The provision of any intervention purporting to "treat" something that is not a disorder is wholly unethical, it further said.

In its statement, the WPA said that the LGBT rights should be recognized as human, civil and political rights.

The association also urged for the creation of anti-bullying and anti-discrimination legislation to protect the rights of LGBT people and promote equality before the law.  

Further, it calls for governments around the world to decriminalize homosexuality and transgenderism.

Although many psychiatric organisations already publicly oppose conversion therapy, several WPA member societies still consider homosexuality a crime, or in some cases, such as Indonesia, condone attempts to '€œcure'€ it.

Referring to the 2014 Mental Health Law, the Indonesian Psychiatric Association (PDSKJI) in February classified homosexuals and bisexuals as '€˜people with psychiatric problems'€™, while transgender people had '€˜mental disorders'€™, and claimed that both could be cured through proper treatment.

PDSKJI member Suzy Yusna Dewi said that the tendencies of LGBT people were triggered by external factors and could be healed through psychiatric treatment.

Prominent Indonesian politician Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said that though LGBT people'€™s rights should be protected, the condition itself was a chromosomal defect that required treatment.

Recently, many local organizations have called for the '€œhealing'€ of LGBT people, including religious groups that have called LGBT behavior a "social disease".  

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the Indonesian Catholics Bishops Conference (KWI), the Council of Buddhist Communities (Walubi) and the Confucian Supreme Council of Indonesia (Matakin) also united to release a statement saying that LGBT could be helped to '€œget back on track to normalcy" if restrictions of the promotion of LGBT activities were applied.

The religious leaders said that such limitations would act as a form of "treatment" to eradicate deviant sexual tendencies. (dan)(+)

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