|International Medical Association Condemns Gay Cures|
by Redaktie in Health & Body , 22 December 2013
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The World Medical Association (WMA) issued a statement in which it condemns reparative therapies, or conversions. In this statement, the international umbrella organisation calls for sanctions against so-called gay healers, and also condemns discrimination of homosexuals, while pointing out its negative health effects on sexual minorities.
Over one hundred medical associations are a member of the WMA, including the The Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG). During the 64th General Meeting of the WMA in Fortaleza, Brazil, a statement was issued in which ‘gay cures’ with reparative or conversion therapy are strictly rejected, and warns against the effects of stigmatisation of sexual minorities.
The statement said that ‘homosexuality does not represent a disease, but rather a natural variation within the range of human sexuality, without any direct harmful effects’. For lesbian women and homosexual men, however, ‘direct and indirect discrimination, stigmatisation, peer rejection, and bullying continue to have a serious impact upon the psychological and physical health’. According to the WMA, the negative consequences of this ‘lead to depression, substance misuse, and suicidal ideations and attempts, especially among adolescents and young adults’. Physicians should focus on trying to resolve the problems of sexual minorities, and not on sexual orientation as such.
De WMA argues for sanctions against ‘gay healers,’ as they ‘violate human rights, and because their practices are unjustifiable’. Physicians that offer reparative or conversion therapy should be ‘condemned and be subject to sanctions and penalties,’ as these therapies are medically unethical, according to the WMA.
The statement was prepared by the German medical association Bundesärztekammer and the German association of psychologists and psychotherapists DGPPN, and submitted in cooperation with the French medical association CNOM and the British Medical Association.
Offering gay cure therapies to minors is already illegal in Argentine and Brazil, and the US states California and New Jersey. In the United Kingdom, physicians and psychotherapists offering ‘gay cures’ run the risk of having their license revoked by their medical association. Therapist Lesley Pilkington has already lost her license, and legal proceedings are started against Mike Davidson, foreman of Core Issues – one of the sister organisation of Different.
The British MP Geraint Davies (Labour) has submitted a bill to completely ban offering ‘gay cure’ therapies. A similar bill submitted by the German Green Party was rejected by the CDU-CSU/FDP coalition in the Lower House of the German parliament.
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