Brazil took a step backwards with regards to LGBT rights today, after re-legalising ‘gay cure’ therapy following a judge’s belief that being gay is a disease.
The South American country previously prohibited psychologists from attempting to ‘cure’ gay people in 1999, however 18 years of progression were washed away yesterday after Judge Waldemar Claudio de Carvalho overruled the law.
The change came after Evangelical Christian psychologist Rozangela Justino lost her licence for attempting to ‘cure’ a gay person with therapy, which the judge has since reinstated.
LGBT groups and psychiatry bodies have reacted with dismay at the ruling.
The Federal Council of Psychology president Rogerio Giannini said the Council intend to contest the ruling, saying there is ‘no way to cure what is not a disease’.
‘It is not a serious, academic debate, it is a debate connected to religious or conservative positions,’ he added.
One of the few openly gay politicians in Brazil, David Miranda, said Brazil is suffering a ‘conservative wave’ like many other countries around the world.
More than two-thirds (64.63 per cent) of Brazil’s population are Roman Catholic.
Brazilian TV shows which feature gay characters or LGBT-related story lines often cause controversy in the country and lead to several complaints.
In March the British Government dismissed a petition that would have made gay conversation therapy a criminal offence in the UK.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists have said there is ‘no evidence’ that therapy can stop someone from being gay.