Malaysian Gay Conversion Therapy Endorsed By Government
The government of Malaysia has sponsored and endorsed a gay conversion therapy program after federal authorities have claimed that sexual orientation can be changed with extensive training. A video was produced by the Islamic Development Department, Malaysia's family, social and community department, explaining how Muslims can change their approach to the LGBT community to avoid hate against a minority.
The three-minute video has been made in the Malay language and suggested that sexuality can be cured. Malaysia is predominantly Islamic and conservative, LGBT rights are largely unrecognized. Under the country's law, homosexuality and gender change surgery are illegal.
The film was shared by social activist Syed Azmi Alhabshi on his Facebook page on Monday. The post has attracted thousands of views and comments. Dr Mohd Izwan Yusof, assistant senior director of Malaysia's Islamic Development Department has confirmed that his group was responsible for the video.
The film compared sexual orientation to horse riding. It claimed that when someone realizes they have different preferences, they need extensive training and guidance to correct it. It urged homosexuals to repent by fulfilling their desires through marriage or to suppress their appetite through fasting.
According to Independent, the video advises Muslims to be patient and help their LGBT friends to change and return to the heterosexual path. Conversion therapy includes psychological treatment and counseling to change a person's sexual orientation.
It also included aversion therapy where someone is shown gay porn then is induced to vomit. Some include administering electric shocks so they associate their homosexual desire with sickness or pain.
The therapy has caused a rage of controversy in the US. The medical and scientific community has regarded the process as potentially harmful pseudoscience. The practice has been banned in several countries around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador, Israel, Lebanon, Malta, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the US according to Pink News.