Toni Reis, who heads the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Alliance, said the injunction is a step backward. Pictured: A gay pride rally in Sao Paulo
A Brazilian judge has ruled that homosexuality can be treated as a disease and ‘cured’ with conversion therapy, prompting a backlash from activists and pop stars.
Judge Waldemar Claudio de Carvalho’s decision overruled a 1999 resolution from the Federal Council of Psychology which prohibited psychologists from attempting to treat homosexuality.
In response, Ivete Sangalo, one of Brazil’s most popular singers, said on Instagram that believing being gay is a disease is an ‘absurdity’ and accused those who believe in anti-gay therapy of being ‘sick’.
Toni Reis, who heads the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Alliance, said the injunction is a step backward and plans to appeal it at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
The psychology council says it also would appeal the injunction.
David Miranda, an openly gay Rio de Janeiro councillor, said his country is ‘suffering’ from a ‘conservative wave’.
He told The Guardian: ‘This decision is a big regression to the progressive conquests that the LBGT community had in recent decades’.
The appeal which Judge Carvalho – who is based in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia – approved was put forward by Rozangela Justino, an evangelical Christian and psychologist who was banned from pracitising in 2016 after offering conversion treatment.
She said in 2009 that she believed homosexuality to be a ‘disease’ and stressed that she felt ‘directed by god’ to help those affected by it.
Meanwhile Rogerio Giannini, head of the Federal Council of Psychology, said there is ‘no way to cure what is not a disease’, adding: ‘It is not a serious, academic debate, it is a debate connected to religious or conservative positions.’