ERG calls for end to conversion therapy in Gib
‘Let’s be quite clear: this is not a crusade against the religions, who have, in the past, nonetheless, acted oftentimes as the only available points of referral. They did what they could under the circumstances and with the level of knowledge available at that time. And without a doubt, the denominations often acted motivated by caring. Unfortunately, the approach too often did not produce the positive results required. And it is precisely this reality that has spurred both the Johnson government and others in other jurisdictions, following due investigation and research, to prohibit conversion therapy practices in favour of professionalised and qualified person-centred resources free of ideological focus.
‘What is the scale of the problem in Gibraltar?’ ERG continues. ‘In reality, Gibraltar is a tiny jurisdiction. And the fact is that, since ERG’s pioneering work over two decades ago, wide legal advances have been achieved which, in parallel, has led to new Gibraltarian generations of citizens who, today, are free of the burden of shame, guilt and oppression which weighed so heavily on the mental health of this sector of the community.
‘But so long as any level of homophobia exists (and it unfortunately does) we will never be rid of the negative effects that some people will still suffer due to their circumstances. And, however few may be affected, harm is harm and cannot be allowed to exist as an option at any level or degree. Therefore, any legal loopholes or omissions that may exist in Gibraltar law allowing unqualified, untrained individuals to provide services which do not guarantee safe and neutral services or consultation on sexual orientation questions voluntarily requested by individuals must be properly sanctioned legally.
‘To this end, I have today written to the Chief Minister urging him and his Government to take the necessary steps to prohibit conversion therapy in Gibraltar under the criminal law and dealing with the issue of transgender identity in relation to it, which UK legislation does not presently intend to deal with but which, as on other related issues, Gibraltar need not be limited by,’ the communique closed.