In a special statement released just over a month ahead of the upcoming IDAHOT whose global focus issue is on Mental Health, The World Psychiatric Association (WPA) opposes the classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder.
The WPA represents over 200,000 psychiatrists in over 118 countries, many of which criminalise homosexuality and, in some cases, condone attempts to “cure” it.
The statement specifies that “Psychiatrists have a social responsibility to advocate for a reduction in social inequalities for all individuals, including inequalities related to gender identity and sexual orientation.” and concludes that “so-called treatments of homosexuality can create a setting in which prejudice and discrimination flourish, and they can be potentially harmful. The provision of any intervention purporting to “treat” something that is not a disorder is wholly unethical.”
The IDAHO Committee applauds this statement and full heartedly supports all its content
Among the action points that the WPA list in the statement, we particularly welcome the expression that “the social stigma and consequent discrimination of people with same-sex sexual orientation and transgender gender identity. It recognises that the difficulties they face are a significant cause of their distress and calls for the provision of adequate mental health support.”
We hope this statement will provide advocates worldwide with an essential resource for their mobilisation around May 17th and beyond