[Photo by: Peter Hershey/Unsplash]
A Brazilian judge has approved “sexual orientation conversion therapy,” following a federal judicial decision that ruled psychologists "could consider homosexuality a disease that could be treated," reports NBC.
As The Guardian explains, the ruling is in response to revoking Christian psychologist Rozangela Justino’s license in 2016 after she offered "conversion therapy" in her attempt to "convert" people to heterosexuality.
This ruling overturns a 1999 resolution that prohibited psychologists from treating homosexuality as a disease and offering treatments that claimed to "cure gay people."
The Guardian reports that The Federal Council of Psychology in Brazil said that the decision “opens the dangerous possibility of the use of sexual reversion therapies,” promising to contest the national decision.
“This decision is a big regression to the progressive conquests that the LBGT community had in recent decades,” David Miranda, one of the country’s few openly gay politicians, told The Guardian. “Like various countries in the world, Brazil is suffering a conservative wave.”
Brazilian gay-rights activists have spoken out, protesting the decision on social media using the hashtag #curagay:
É Brasilzão, a gente tentando ser forte, ser otimista, com inúmeras pendências que caberiam a uma administração decente resolver, e aí me resolvem dizer que homosexualidade é doença. Doentes são aqueles que acreditam nesse grande absurdo. Pessoas, pensem sobre o que é esse equívoco , absorvam a coragem e a luta dos homossexuais e apliquem às suas mofadas e inertes vidas. Tentem que vcs talvez possam ser felizes tb #respeito
English: It's Brazil, we try to be strong, to be optimistic, with countless issues that would fit a decent administration to solve, and then they decide to say that homosexuality is disease. Sick people are those who believe in this great absurdity. People, think about what this misconception is, absorb the courage and struggle of homosexuals and apply to their moldy and lifeless lives. Try that you can maybe be happy too.
English: Do not judge someone by sexuality when you do not want to be judged by character
English: The only thing that deserves healing here is your prejudice.
Not only is the ruling a step backwards for LGBTQ+ communities around the world, but the fact that these "conversion methods" are even being considered is problematic enough. It's 2017—there's no reason we should still be having this type of discussion.
"Conversion therapy is well known to be harmful, and we’re still having a discussion as to whether people should be able to prescribe it,” Dr. Daniel Linhares, assistant professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, told NBC. “The discussion should have ended decades ago."
It’s clearly a step back for both Brazil and the world, and we will keep you updated as the protests unfold.