FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 21, 2012
Contact: Wayne Besen, Executive Director
PAHO’s Declaration that Conversion Therapy Violates Human Rights is Significant Milestone, Says TWO
BURLINGTON, Vt – Truth Wins Out applauded the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) today for issuing a strong position statement against so-called “ex-gay” therapy. In its statement, issued last week in conjunction with the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, the organization said that sexual orientation change efforts “constitute a violation of the ethical principles of health care and violate human rights that are protected by international and regional agreements.”
“We commend the Pan American Health Organization for forcefully condemning ‘pray away the gay’ therapy, which is rejected by every single mainstream organization of medical and mental health professionals as ineffective and dangerous,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. “PAHO’s statement further undermines the false claims made by the fraudulent ‘ex-gay’ industry and will hasten its long-overdue demise.”
In addition to blasting “ex-gay” therapy as “[lacking] medical justification and [representing] a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people,” PAHO made specific recommendations to governments, academic institutions, professional associations, the media, and non-governmental organizations on how to blunt its impact. The recommendations include officially denouncing conversion therapy, sanctioning clinics and individuals who provide it, and enabling members of the public to report “reparative therapists” to the authorities for human rights violations.
“PAHO’s unequivocal declaration that ‘ex-gay’ therapy violates the human rights of its victims is a significant milestone in the effort to halt the spread of this destructive, unethical, scientifically unsound practice,” said John Becker, TWO’s Director of Communications. “It is time to end this scourge once and for all – we must officially ban ‘reparative therapy.’”
Last week’s statement carries further significance because PAHO is the oldest public health organization in the world and the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization, an agency of the United Nations. It works throughout the Western Hemisphere to improve health and living standards for the people of North, Central, and South America.
Truth Wins Out is a nonprofit organization that fights anti-LGBT extremism. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.
– 30 –