“Conversion therapies”, “forced treatments” and even “medications” are part of the techniques that are currently used in order to “cure” homosexuality. For the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and experts in the field of the United Nations (UN) these methods violate human rights, which is why they made an “urgent” call for homosexuality to stop being seen as a disease.
The reported disrespect persists despite the fact that in 1973 the American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. The exhortation is made within the framework of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia that is commemorated on May 17.
This call was joined by experts and groups from Costa Rica, including human rights lawyer Larissa Arroyo. “Considering a sexual orientation different from the majority as a disease is an obstacle to overcome negative attitudes and stereotypes about these populations”, said the expert.
In the petition, it is denounced that the classification of homsexuality as a disease has been used to justify other abuses against gay people, such as the criminalization of transsexuals or the official denial of gender identity.
“Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans is part of the great diversity in human nature. We, therefore, express our deep concern about the continued pathologization of trans-children and adults due to medical classifications, both national and international”. Arroyo highlighted that legal and policy reforms are required to repeal discriminatory laws and protect gay people from violence and discrimination.
In Costa Rica, the Ministry of Education includes in various academic subjects at all levels, content related to respect for sexual diversity, although such action aroused the anger and discomfort of conservative groups, including the Catholic and Evangelical Churches.