The Jakarta Post
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 'cure' 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 'healing' 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 'get 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)(+)