Polish Catholic Bishops Call for Conversion Therapy Clinics

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday September 1, 2020

Catholic bishops in Poland are calling for conversion therapy in the form of "clinics to help people who want to regain their natural sexual orientation," Têtu reports.

While condemning acts of verbal and physical violence toward LGBTQ people, the episcopate issued a 27-page document that rejects LGBTQ "behaviors" that, up until recent times, were "morally reprehensible," contending that LGBTQ identity and desires are "a symptom of injuries at several levels of their personality." Furthermore, they admit the document is at odds with both politically correct and scientific positions on LGBTQ people. Finally, and that they espouse "respect" for LGBTQ people, anyone who does not adhere to strictly heteronormative ways of living should not enjoy rights that are "clearly contrary to human nature and the common good (such as same-sex relationships or the adoption of children by such couples)."

In July, United Nations Independent Expert on the protection against violence and discrimination based on LGBTQ identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, called for a global ban on the practice of conversion therapy. Cautioning that it would take time and effort on the part of the state to dismantle anti-LGBTQ biases, Madrigal-Borloz said:

"These interventions exclusively target LGBT persons with the specific aim of interfering in their personal integrity and autonomy because their sexual orientation or gender identity do not fall under what is perceived by certain persons as a desirable norm... They are inherently degrading and discriminatory and rooted in the belief that LGBT persons are somehow inferior, and that they must at any cost modify their orientation or identity to remedy that supposed inferiority.

Such practices constitute an egregious violation of rights to bodily autonomy, health, and free expression of one's sexual orientation and gender identity. Ultimately, when conducted forcibly, they also represent a breach to the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment."

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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