19 Jun 2013

Brazil congressional panel approves controversial bill that would allow 'gay cure' treatments

A Brazilian congressional human rights committee on Thursday approved legislation that would allow psychologists to treat homosexuality as a disorder or pathology. The commission is led by evangelical pastor Marco Feliciano of the Social Christian Party, who has been accused of homophobia and enraged activists by calling AIDS a "gay cancer" in a tweet. His appointment as head the Commission for Human Rights and Minorities in the lower house of Brazil's Congress was fiercely opposed by gay and human rights groups. The measure approved Tuesday seeks to lift a prohibition on psychologists treating homosexuality that was established by the Federal Psychology Council. The ban has been in effect since 1999.

gay brazil

"In practice, (the initiative's) result would be that a person over 18 years of age, responsible for his actions, who is homosexual and wants to reorient his sexuality, can be attended by a psychologist," said lawmaker Joao Campos, a member of the evangelical bloc of Brazil's lower house. Feliciano had tried for weeks to put the "gay cure" initiative before the commission but had failed as opponents maneuvered to block a vote. The initiative was passed Tuesday amid a low turnout by commission members.