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Lebanon: Being gay is not a disease and needs no treatment

First Arab country to declassify being gay as a ‘disease’
Friday, July 12, 2013

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Homosexuality is not a mental disorder and does not need to be treated, the Lebanese Psychiatric Society (LPS) said Thursday in a statement published by the Ministry of Information.

“Homosexuality in itself does not cause any defect in judgment, stability, reliability or social and professional abilities,” LPS said, in response to recent arrests and mistreatment of LGBT people in Lebanon.

“The assumption that homosexuality is a result of disturbances in the family dynamic or unbalanced psychological development is based on wrong information.,” the organization said.

LPS added that “conversion therapy” also known as reparative, or “ex-gay” therapy, which seeks to “convert” homosexuals into heterosexuals, has no scientific backing and asked health care professionals to “rely only on science” when offering opinion or treatment.

The LPS cited the 1973 decision by the American Psychiatric Association that ceased to classify homosexuality as a mental disorder, and the 1998 decision which opposed any form of psychiatric treatment known as reparative or conversion therapy based on the assumptions that homosexuality is a mental disorder and that patients should change their sexual orientation.

Prominent Lebanese psychiatrist, Dr. Nabil Khoury, and some of his fellow practitioners have publicly stated that “being gay is a disease which needs to be treated.”

Georges Azzi, executive director for the Beirut-based Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality told LGBTQ Nation, “Some of the Lebanese media has been reporting recently that gays have been ‘cured’ with prayer and therapies, so LPS’s statement in this context is very important and welcomed.”

“The damage caused by such conversion therapies to its recipients is very severe, so I hope Lebanese psychologists and psychiatrists will adhere to these instructions and desist from administering such harmful and unscientific practices,” said Azzi.

Bertho Makso, a prominent equality rights advocate called LPS’ statement “a momentous occasion.”

“While the World Health Organization (WHO) and many countries in the West declassified being gay as a ‘disease’, Lebanon is the first Arab country to do so,” Masko told LGBTQ Nation. “This is an important breakthrough to build on and demand anti-LGBT legislation and practices to desist, both locally and throughout the Arab world and North Africa.”

“This achievement should leveraged as an example for change throughout the Arab world, where LGBT people are still classified and treated with harmful ‘conversion therapies’, including psychological and hormonal treatment,” he said.

Last month Human Rights Watch released a 66-page-report documenting claims of abuse, torture and ill treatment of Lebanon’s LGBTQ community.

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46 more reader comments:

  1. YES

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:18pm
  2. Baby steps I suppose :)

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:18pm
  3. If being gay was a disease, I think everyone should be infected. There needs to be more fabulous-ness running through people´s veins.

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:20pm
  4. It´s a start!

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:20pm
  5. THE FIRST STEP……………….THE OTHERS MUST FOLLOW!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:21pm
  6. A move in the right direction, i guess.

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:22pm
  7. In a way this isn´t all that surprising. From the cultures I´ve seen in other nations in that region there is no problem with homoerotic acts in public.

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:22pm
  8. There is hope for that part of the world.

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:24pm
  9. bigotry is a disease TREAT THAT :)

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:24pm
  10. Change does happen, one step at a time, I am thankful to see this. I am proud that part of my family comes from Lebanon!

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:27pm
  11. Awesome!!! Lebanon Rocks!!! So much progress between the US and now Lebanon recently!!

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:31pm
  12. FINALLY…ABOUT TIME!

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:43pm
  13. PROGRESS!

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:44pm
  14. Yay! Hisham K. thought of you!

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:45pm
  15. THIS is such a wonderful news!

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:48pm
  16. One step for Lebanon. Giant leap for Arab-kind

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:50pm
  17. Wow. Yeah.

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:52pm
  18. Welcome to the 20th century Lebanon

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 3:57pm
  19. One small step that will hopefully lead to bigger steps.

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 4:00pm
  20. Yay :-)

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 4:03pm
  21. It´s good to be a Lebanese American!!!

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 4:10pm
  22. The generosity is overwhelming…

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 4:23pm
  23. Awesome!!

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 5:03pm
  24. Lorenzo, hey, it´s more than we get from the Christian Right in America.

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 5:05pm
  25. Awesome ;)

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 5:06pm
  26. It´s getting there.

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 5:08pm
  27. About time

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 5:17pm
  28. well Duh!!

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 5:43pm
  29. yay!

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 6:18pm
  30. =D =D

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 7:17pm
  31. nice job lebanon

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 7:33pm
  32. YEAH!!!!!!

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 7:45pm
  33. Lebanon has always been very cultured and progressive!

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 8:13pm
  34. bravo spread the news to all muslim contries.

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 8:15pm
  35. Alhamdulilah

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 8:51pm
  36. Now im half proud to be Lebanese

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 9:17pm
  37. Is the ministry still alive, vital, and running. See in some months, fanatics will bomb it. Muslims in general hate gays. I am a gay Muslim and I know my fucked up Muslim community. The years pass by, the world will change…but my brainwashed and hypocrite Muslim community.

    Posted on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 10:00pm
  38. WooooooHoooooooo :D !!!

    Posted on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 12:47am
  39. Excellent!

    Posted on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 12:48am
  40. Way to go Lebanon!

    Posted on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 1:00am
  41. Awesome, Lebanon (Y)

    Posted on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 1:08am
  42. Enlightened and Accepting! Winning Combination!!

    Posted on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 1:39am
  43. See, Those Lesbians know what´s going on !

    Posted on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 4:10am
  44. Michael it´s Lebanese. OCD

    Posted on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 4:55am
  45. Exactly…

    Posted on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 9:08am
  46. duh

    Posted on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 2:38pm