Sunday, June 19, 2011

Update On Hong Kong "Gay Cure" Controversy

        Since this blog reported on the Government of Hong Kong's move to hire "gay conversion" expert Hong Kwai-wah of the New Creation Association, the Goverment has since defended their action to the international press and human rights activists in the city. As Inquirer News reported, the government says,
"It had invited scholars and gay rights activists to speak previously and social workers need “knowledge from multiple perspectives” to make assessment."
         Does the Government of Hong Kong not realize that almost every major medical association around the world has decried such "therapy" as both harmful and ineffective in changing ones sexual orientation. The Human Rights Campaign has compiled a list of these organizations and statements that they have made on so called "reparative therapy". For the Government of Hong Kong to assert that social workers need "knowledge from multiple perspectives" about changing sexual orientation is like saying that the Government would need to invite a scientist who believes that the sun revolves around the earth to speak to State astronomers, because they need to hear "multiple perspectives" on a scientific fact. There is no more scientific "debate" on the validity of "reparative therapy" - as much as the Religious Right wants to think their is. Thus, there does not need to be any "multiple perspective" given.

      Hong Kwai-wah also defends his therapy by stating that,
“I did mention about the possibility to change which is an option. We need to respect the client’s choice, whether they want to remain status quo or they want to live a heterosexual life...We should not ban people from therapy if they want to change. We should respect their right."
       Yes, Hong Kwai-wah is right on this point...to an extent. As harmful as such therapy is...if individuals want to go through it, more power too them, no one is wanting to deny them such a personal choice.  But he overlooks two very important caveats that exist in this situtation. First, as he is quoted in the article, the main point of his therapy is,
"...how to pay attention and give guidance to same-sex attracted youths and their parents, to understand their struggle and their needs"
      Did you see that...are these adults that are being "treated" for their gayness? No, these are children and teenagers who are being treated. Are these children going into this "therapy" willingly? Some maybe...but I would venture a guess that most are not. The personal choice to go into such therapy is only valid when you make that decision yourself, not with the pressure and urging of your parents. It may seem "willing", but whenever you have someone in authority basically twisting your arm to "voluntarily" place yourself into a program, it is not truly voluntary. Any move by parents to force their children into this type of "therapy", which has proven detrimental psychological and physical effects on an individual, should necessarily be considered child abuse.

       Secondly, this therapy is being given a platform by the Government of Hong Kong. There is a fundamental difference in allowing an individual to make the choice to enter himself into such a program; but when you give state sanction to such scientific nonsense, it can only be deemed an affront to all gays and lesbians in the city and a devaluing of their place within their society.

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