One of the issues that has inflamed many protestors across Brazil was the recent approval by the Brazilian “Human Rights Commission” of a controversial measure that would allow psychologists to treat homosexuality as a disease; the so-called “gay cure”.
It is relevant to look at some recent developments in the United States concerning this “gay cure”. In this context, the actions of the Human Rights Commission may prove to be an international embarrassment for Brazil.
Just last week, June 19, the largest and oldest “conservative Christian” organization dedicated to the “gay cure” in the U.S., Exodus International, closed its operations, based in Orlando, Florida, and the President of the organization, Alan Chambers, issued this apology:
Please know that I am deeply sorry. I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly “on my side” who called you names like sodomite—or worse. I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know. I am sorry that when I celebrated a person coming to Christ and surrendering their sexuality to Him that I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry that I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine.
Last year Mr. Chambers admitted “99.9% of the people he had met who had endured such programs experienced no meaningful transformation in their sexual orientation”.
In 2012, the World Health Organization issued a report calling efforts to “cure” gays a “serious threat to the health and well-being”. Describing “degrading treatments, and physical and sexual harassment [including shocks and isolation] under the guise of such “therapies”… should be denounced and subject to sanctions and penalties under national legislation.”
And from Exodus, Mr. Chambers is not the only one who has recently changed his mind about the “gay cure”. In April the ex-Chairman of the religious organization, John Paulk, issued this statement:
Today, I do not consider myself ‘ex-gay,’ and I no longer support or promote the movement. Please allow me to be clear: I do not believe that reparative therapy changes sexual orientation; in fact, it does great harm to many people.
Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, now 80 years old and suffering from severe Parkinson’s disease, regarded by some as “the father of modern psychiatry”, supported the “gay cure” in the 2000’s, now says: “I owe the gay community an apology”.
And on the legislative front, in an action opposite of what just happened in Brazil, in 2012 the California legislature banned the treatment.
Fortunately it seems like the recent action of the Human Rights Commission in Brazil will not become law. As Brazil makes is trying to move towards first-world health care (which includes mental health), we hope this measure fails.
Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)