Gay Conversion Therapy
A federal judge in Brazil issued a ruling last week, approving gay "conversion therapy” which has caused national and worldwide outrage among the LGBTQ community. In this photo, two women are seen during the Gay Pride parade in Belgrade, Serbia, Sept. 17, 2017. Getty Images/ ANDREJ ISAKOVIC

A federal judge in Brazil issued a ruling last week, approving "gay conversion therapy" which has caused national and worldwide outrage among the LGBTQ community.

The controversial ruling was made by Waldemar de Carvalho, a federal judge in the capital, Brasília, which effectively overturned a 1999 decision by the Federal Council of Psychology forbidding therapists from offering discredited procedures that claim to “cure” gay people of their homosexuality.

The decision was prompted in response to an appeal by psychologist Rozangela Justino, an evangelical Christian whose license was revoked last year after she offered “conversion therapy” to homosexual people, the Guardian reported.

According to the National Center for Lesbian Rights, there are many practices devoid of scientific validity used in "conversion therapy," including Reparative Therapy, Ex-Gay Therapy, Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) and psychological abuse. These practices also "pose serious dangers to patients — especially to minors, who are often forced to undergo them by their parents or legal guardians, and who are at especially high risk of being harmed."

Some of the adverse techniques used may include inducing nausea, vomiting, or paralysis in patients by showing them homoerotic images, verbally shaming them for being attracted to same-sex individuals, administrating electric shocks and having them snap elastic bands on their wrist when they think that they experience same-sex attractions, according to a 2009 report by the American Psychological Association.

Some have gone as far as using hypnosis on homosexuals as a way to condition them to date heterosexuals by attempting to redirect their desires and arousal.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry along with a number of other medical organizations have made it amply clear that there has been absolutely no evidence that proves "conversion therapy" works.

“Clinicians should be aware that there is no evidence that sexual orientation can be altered through therapy, and that attempts to do so may be harmful,” states the guidelines by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “There is no empirical evidence adult homosexuality can be prevented if gender nonconforming children are influenced to be more gender conforming. Indeed, there is no medically valid basis for attempting to prevent homosexuality, which is not an illness.”

“On the contrary, such efforts may encourage family rejection and undermine self-esteem, connectedness and caring, which are important protective factors against suicidal ideation and attempts,” it further added. “Given that there is no evidence that efforts to alter sexual orientation are effective, beneficial or necessary, and the possibility that they carry the risk of significant harm, such interventions are contraindicated.”

The decision has sparked national outrage among people in Brazil as well as the rest of the world. A petition whose title translates to “Homosexuality is not disease! Repudiation of the decision of the Federal Court of the Federal District” has been filed with Peticao Publica which seeks to make the Federal Court of the Judiciary Section of the Federal District revoke its decision of legalizing "conversion therapy," has already received over 200,000 signatures.

“This decision is a big regression to the progressive conquests that the LBGT community had in recent decades,” David Miranda, a gay, leftist councilor in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, told the Guardian. “Like various countries in the world, Brazil is suffering a conservative wave.”

Many took to Twitter to oppose the absurdity of the decision, calling it nothing short of “child abuse.”