In opposing the passage of the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values bill into law, a group of 18 lawyers and academics have debunked claims that homosexuality is a mental disorder.
According to the proponents of the Anti-LGBT bill, homosexuality and other forms of gender identities that depart from the binary i.e. Male and female, are manifestations of a mental disorder that can be corrected through ‘special’ therapy and counseling.
However, reacting to such claims, the opponents of the bill stated that the use of conversion therapy to ‘convert’ gay men and women to heterosexual people, is considered dangerous to the wellbeing of those who suffer it.
“’Conversion therapy’ is, in reality, a dangerous pseudo-scientific treatment which has been described as ‘a form of torture’ and medically not proven to be effective.
“Indeed, the UN Independent Expert on Protection against Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity has called for the worldwide banning of ‘conversion therapy’,” the Group pointed out.
“We accordingly urge the Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to seek expert professional opinion, including that of the Ghana Psychology Council, established under The Health Profession Regulatory Bodies Act, 2013, (Act 857) whose object is to ‘secure in the public interest the highest standards in the training and practice of psychology’,” the Group added.
Meanwhile, the Group has further debunked the claim that sexual orientation and identity are strictly binary.
“For example, there are intersex people who do not fit the binary categories of male and female, and who are born with physical characteristics viewed as both male and female. It is therefore simply not true that every person is born either male or female,” they said.