Pan American Health Organization Denounces So-Called “Conversion” Therapies

Today, May 17, on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, the Pan American Health Organization released a position statement in which it denounced so-called “conversion therapies”—programs that claim to change the sexual orientation of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people—and called for government, media and academia to take appropriate measures to condemn these practices and to educate the public. Reaffirming the medically-supported position that homosexuality is not a disease, the Pan American Health Organization, a regional office of the World Health Organization therefore declared conversion programs to be illegitimate and unethical practices.

Also noteworthy is an op-ed by Pedro Frisneda, the health editor of La Opinión, the nation’s largest Spanish-language daily, in which he emphasized that homophobia has ramifications for society as a whole, and called for all people to take part on International Day Against Homophobia.

Fox News Latino ran a story by Rebekah Sager on actions in Latin America.

Check out this video on actions around the world and a photo essay on how some Iranian activists celebrated the day.