Conversion therapy is an act of attempting to change something about someone – generally through aversion therapy. So think electroshock therapy and fear. The general consensus amongst mental health professionals is that conversion therapy, particularly gay conversion therapy is inhumane and does not work.
Unfortunately, things take a while to reach this island. And even though our mental health professionals and associations have explicitly stated that they are against gay conversion therapy – our dear religious institution (ie. Church of Malta/Curia) has stated that it is in FAVOUR of gay conversion therapy, and that the proposed bill which would make it illegal has “serious ethical and legal issues”.
I have many issues with the Church’s position paper, but I’ll stick to my main ones.
1. The Church submitting a policy paper on an issue which is not religious is frankly ridiculous.
2. Comparing paedophiles with homosexuals is ignorant at best. Paedophiles have been found to be interested in children, regardless of their gender. So no, they’re not homosexuals, or heterosexuals for that matter. They are attracted to children for the sake of them being children.
3. The idea that homosexuals are superior to heterosexuals is completely flawed. There are laws stating that you cannot fire someone from their employment because they’re gay for the simple reason that no one in history has ever been fired for being straight. That shows that gay people are not superior to straight people – quite the opposite in fact.
4. The Church states that the law discriminates against straight people because it does not protect them from being pushed into conversion therapy to make them gay. Here I ask ANYONE who was pressured or forced to be gay to please message me with your story. Frankly, at least to my knowledge, no one has ever been kicked out of their home for being straight, or ostracised, or forced into conversion therapy.
This position paper shows the sheer homophobia still present within Malta’s religious institution, where they cannot even be in favour of a bill which would protect innocent people from therapies designed at making them hate themselves.