Anger in Brazil as judge approves ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’

BRSILIA – A Brazilian federal court judge has overturned an almost 20-year-old ban on “gay conversion therapy,” now allowing homosexuality to be treated as a “disease.”

Waldemar de Carvalho’s decision reverses a 1999 Federal Council of Psychology, CFP, ruling that banned licensed psychologists from attempting to “convert” people who identify as LGBTI.

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Evangelical Christian and psychologist Rozangela Justino brought the case to court in 2016, after her medical license was revoked under the 1999 decision. She was accused of practicing conversion therapy because she was “directed by God to help people who are homosexual,” Paper magazine reported.

Rozangela Justino has called homosexuality “a disease”.

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Critics have called the ruling regressive and medically unsound.

Brazil’s Federal Council of Psychology banned psychologists from offering treatments that claim to change people’s sexuality in 1999.

“This decision opens the dangerous possibility to the use of sexual reversion therapies,” the CFP President Rogerio Giannini said in a statement.

“There is no way to cure what is not a disease.”

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Echoing the CFP’s position, Rio de Janeiro Councilor David Miranda described the decision as a setback.

“This decision is a big regression to the progressive conquests that the LBGTI community had in recent decades,” said Miranda.

“Brazil is suffering a conservative wave,” he added, referring to last year’s takeover of the Brazilian presidency by right-wing leader Michel Temer, who ousted former progressive President Dilma Rousseff.

Brazilian popstar Larissa Machado also denounced the ruling, criticizing officials for “wasting their time to announce that homosexuality is a sickness” while “people are dying.”

“Who is the real sick person here?” she asked.

Prominent pop star Anitta shared her disgust in an online video, which has been watched by over a million people.

That's what happens in my country. People dying, hungry, the government killing the country with corruption, no education, no hospitals, no opportunities… and the authorities are wasting their time to announce that homosexuality is a sickness. Homosexuals and bisexuals now have a treatment for this "sickness" here. So I ask… who is the real sick person here? I'm praying God that these real sick people find the cure of these crazy minds and start to look at the real important things here. / O Brasil se devastando e as autoridades preocupadas com quem queremos nos relacionar. Isso precisa acabar. Deus, cure a doença da cabeça do ser humano que não enxerga os verdadeiros problemas de uma nação. Pais, não obriguem seus filhos a procurarem cura pra uma doença que não existe, baseados neste fato político. Essa busca interminável sim pode deixa-los realmente doentes.

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“That’s what happens in my country. People dying, hungry, the government killing the country with corruption, no education, no hospitals, no opportunities… and the authorities are wasting their time to announce that homosexuality is a sickness,” she said.

Brazilians immediately began a #curagay (cure homosexuality) hashtag ridiculing the court’s ruling.