Petition Closed

Stop the Hong Kong Government from Promoting Gay Cure Therapy

全球聯署:抗議香港政府以公帑推廣「拗直治療」

(scroll down for English)

早前,香港政府邀請基督教團體「新造的人」主席康貴華,為社會福利署員工提供「輔導同性戀者」培訓。「新造的人」向來提倡所謂「改變性傾向治療」,然而這類「治療」全無科學實證,並且帶來歧視,並有潛在的嚴重副作用,已廣被專業團體批評。香港政府的做法有違專業操守,並強化社會對同志社群的歧視。

我們特此要求香港政府向同志社群及公眾公開道歉為員工提供陪訓,並制定消除歧視的指引,確保服務符合科學精神及專業指引,並尊重同志社群,真正回應社群需要。

(全文見下文)

相關新聞報導:

http://www.libertytimes.com.tw/2011/new/jun/20/today-int8.htm

 

We are shocked and enraged, that the Hong Kong government invited Dr Kong Kwai Wah, the Chairman of New Creation and an advocate of reparative therapy, to train the staff of the Social Welfare Department in dealing with gay clients.

Reparative therapy has been widely rejected by professionals as unethical, discriminative, unscientific and potentially harmful.

The introduction of such “therapy” infringes the professional ethics that objects discrimination.  Furthermore, it might have potential harms to clients,

We urge the Hong Kong government to apologize, and cooperate with the LGBT community and professionals, to provide its staff with diversity training and issue concrete guidelines, to ensure that its service is scientific, professional, ethical and truly responsive to the need of LGBT community.

related media coverage:

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STIStory_680917.html

 (scroll down for full version)

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早前,香港政府邀請基督教團體「新造的人」主席康貴華,為社會福利署員工提供「輔導同性戀者」培訓。數年前,康貴華曾在類似的培訓上,指同志是邪靈附身,並教導同性戀者可以通過祈禱、冷水浴、禁欲等方式,改變其性傾向。

所有主流的醫療及輔導專業團體,均認為不同性傾向皆為正常的現象。若指同性戀為不健全,或有改變之需要,實有違科學精神及專業操守。其實,最少十六個專業團體 (名單詳見附錄) 公開反對所謂「改變性傾向治療」。時至今日,此等所謂「治療」的效用從未有過任何科學實證;相反,學術界廣為人所接受的研究,卻顯示這類所謂「治療」有潛在的嚴重副作用。

美國社會工作者聯會指出:

〔本會〕支持反性傾向歧視、尊重同志社群健康及精神健康、及鼓勵對同志文化認識的政策。重重社會歧視和污名,確是驅使同志尋求治療以改變性傾向的主要原因。

「改變性傾向治療」假設同性戀是一種病態,為當事人之自由選擇。有關治療的效用從未獲任何科學實證,而其實,這些治療可能是有害的。本會認為社工有責任向當事人說明現有有關性傾向的相關知識,並澄清改變性傾向治療並無任何實 證支持。本會反對社工提供治療,或或轉介當事人接受這些治療,藉以試圖改變性傾向。

美國精神醫學會:  

試圖改變或「修正」同性戀傾向之心理治療方式,以發展心理學為其基礎,然而其科學理據有欠堅實。再者,坊間流傳之「治療」報告所指的療效與其禍害相當。過去四十年,「修正治療」向無任何嚴謹之科學研究支持。未有任何實證證明改變性傾向治療的效用之前,本會希望專業人士緊記醫生「不傷害病人」的誓言,拒絕參與改變當事人性傾向。改變性傾向治療有嚴重的潛在副作用,包括抑鬱、焦慮及自毀行為等。治療師如對同志有所偏見,往往會強化受助者對自己為時已久的怨忿。過去不少參與改變性傾向「治療」的受助者,都曾記述期間所接受的誤導,以為同性戀者註定孤單、失落,永遠不能滿足,或為他人所接受。同志得以享受生命,發展健康人際關係之可能性,在「治療」中從不提及,應對社會歧視污名之方式在「治療」中,亦無從得以討論。 

「改變性傾向治療」訓練以偏執之宗教信仰為基礎,有違社工專業守則中保障服務對象免受傷害、消除歧視及尊重多元文化的原則。

我們要求香港政府:

  1. 就此事向同志社群及公眾人士公開道歉
  2. 制定消除歧視指引,確保員工不會提供改變性傾向治療或歧視同性戀者
  3. 與同志社群及專業團體合作,提供訓練,確保服務是符合科學精神及專業指引,真正回應同志社群的需要

我們要求香港申訴專員公署及平等機會委員會

  1. 調查有關事件
  2. 並敦促香港政府制定指引保障同志免受歧視

我們要求立法會議員張國柱先生及梁家騮先生

       1.   跟進有關事件;

       2.  並敦促香港政府及業界制定指引用保障同志免受歧視

我們要求香港社會工作者註冊局及香港醫學會:

  1. 提供正確的性傾向資訊,教育公眾,消除歧視
  2. 制定指引,確保專業人員提供給同志的服務是符合科學精神及專業指引,尊重社群。

We are shocked and enraged, that the Hong Kong government invited Dr Kong Kwai Wah, the Chairman of New Creation and an advocate of reparative therapy, to train the staff of the Social Welfare Department in dealing with gay clients.

In the past similar workshops, Dr Kong suggested that gay people are possessed by evil spirits and suggested that homosexuality could be changed through prayers, cold showers and abstinence.

All major medicinal, health and mental health professions have consented that homosexuality, heterosexuality and bisexuality are normal human expressions. The idea that homosexuals are mentally ill, abnormal and need to be “cured” has no scientific or ethical ground.  Such opinion has no support from any mainstream health and mental health professional organizations.

More than 16 major professional organizations (see footnote) have expressed concerns about “therapies” in attempt to modify sexual orientations. To date, no scientifically adequate research has shown the effectiveness and safety of these “therapies” aimed at changing sexual orientations (sometimes called reparative or conversion therapies).  American Psychological Association has warned against the potential serious psychological harm on clients resulted from these “therapies”.

The National Association of Social Workers, in its policy statement on lesbian,

gay, and bisexual issues, states that it

endorses policies in both the public and private sectors that ensure nondiscrimination; that are sensitive to the health and mental health needs of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people; and that promote an understanding of lesbian, gay, and bisexual cultures. Social stigmatization of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people is widespread and is a primary motivating factor in leading some people to seek sexual orientation changes.

Sexual orientation conversion therapies assume that homosexual orientation is both pathological and freely chosen. No data demonstrate that reparative or conversion therapies are effective, and in fact they may be harmful.

NASW believes social workers have the responsibility to clients to explain the prevailing knowledge concerning sexual orientation and the lack of data reporting positive outcomes with reparative therapy. NASW discourages social workers from providing treatments designed to change sexual orientation or from referring practitioners or programs that claim to do so.

The American Psychiatric Association, in its 2000 position statement on “ reparative” therapy, states:

Psychotherapeutic modalities to convert or “repair” homosexuality are based on developmental theories whose scientific validity is questionable. Furthermore, anecdotal reports of “cures” are counterbalanced by anecdotal claims of 6psychological harm. In the last four decades, “reparative” therapists have not produced any rigorous scientific research to substantiate their claims of cure. Until there is such research available, [the American Psychiatric Association] recommends that ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals’ sexual orientation, keeping in mind the medical dictum to first, do no harm.

The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudice against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient. Many patients who have undergone reparative therapy relate that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction. The possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed.

The introduction of the potentially harmful “Reparative Therapy”, which is based on one’s own religious beliefs, violates the Hong Kong Social Worker’s code of practice of protecting clients from harm (42), preventing and eliminating discrimination (51) and respecting diversity (52).

We urge the Hong Kong government:

  1. To apologize to the LGBT community and to the general public for the introduction of Reparative Therapy
  2. To issue concrete guidelines to its staff restricting the practice of reparative therapy and
  3. To cooperate with the LGBT community to provide diversity training for its staff, in order to ensure that services provided are scientific, ethical, and respecting to the LGBT community.

We urge the Ombudsmen and the Equal Opportunity Commission:

  1. to investigate into the issue
  2. to ensure that proper policy is made to ensure that all government are non-discriminating.  

We urge Hon. Cheung Kwok Chi and Hon. Leung Kai Lau, members of the Legislative Council

  1. to follow the issue
  2. to ensure that proper policy is made to ensure that all government are non-discriminating.  

We urge the Hong Kong Social Workers Registration Board and the Hong Kong Medical Council:

  1. To educate the general public in regard of the scientific information about sexuality to eliminate discrimination and promote understanding on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people
  2. To issue guidelines to practitioners to ensure that service are scientific, ethical, and respecting to the LGBT community.

_____________________________________________________________________

footnote

The professional bodies that have issued public statements against Reparative therapy include The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of School Administrators, the American Counseling Association, the American Federation of School Teachers, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the American School Health Association, the Australian Psychological Association, the British Association of Counseling and Psychotherapy, the British Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of Social Workers, the National Education Association, and the School Social Worker Association of America.

 

 

Letter to
Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Unit (GISOU), Hong Kong Government Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Unit (GISOU), Hong Kong Government
Office of the Hon. Leung Kai Lau Hon. Leung Kai Lau
Department of Social Welfare, Hong Kong SAR Government Patrick Nip
and 6 others
The Medical Council of Hong Kong Prof. Felice LIEH-MAK, CBE JP
Labour and Welfare Bureau, Hong Kong Government Cheung Kin Chung
Equal Opportunities Commission LAM Woon-kwong
Social Workers Registration Board Dr. Hung Suen Lin
Office of The Ombudsman, Hong Kong Ombudsman
Office of the Hon. Cheung Kwok Che Hon. Cheung Kwok Che
We are shocked and enraged, that the Hong Kong government invited Dr Kong Kwai Wah, the Chairman of New Creation and an advocate of reparative therapy, to train the staff of the Social Welfare Department in dealing with gay clients.

In the past similar workshops, Dr Kong suggested that gay people are possessed by evil spirits and suggested that homosexuality could be changed through prayers, cold showers and abstinence.

All major medicinal, health and mental health professions have consented that homosexuality, heterosexuality and bisexuality are normal human expressions. The idea that homosexuals are mentally ill, abnormal and need to be “cured” has no scientific or ethical ground. Such opinion has no support from any mainstream health and mental health professional organizations.

More than 16 major professional organizations (see footnote) have expressed concerns about “therapies” in attempt to modify sexual orientations. To date, no scientifically adequate research has shown the effectiveness and safety of these “therapies” aimed at changing sexual orientations (sometimes called reparative or conversion therapies). American Psychological Association has warned against the potential serious psychological harm on clients resulted from these “therapies”.

The National Association of Social Workers, in its policy statement on lesbian,
gay, and bisexual issues, states that it
endorses policies in both the public and private sectors that ensure nondiscrimination; that are sensitive to the health and mental health needs of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people; and that promote an understanding of lesbian, gay, and bisexual cultures. Social stigmatization of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people is widespread and is a primary motivating factor in leading some people to seek sexual orientation changes.
Sexual orientation conversion therapies assume that homosexual orientation is both pathological and freely chosen. No data demonstrate that reparative or conversion therapies are effective, and in fact they may be harmful.
NASW believes social workers have the responsibility to clients to explain the prevailing knowledge concerning sexual orientation and the lack of data reporting positive outcomes with reparative therapy. NASW discourages social workers from providing treatments designed to change sexual orientation or from referring practitioners or programs that claim to do so.

The American Psychiatric Association, in its 2000 position statement on
“ reparative” therapy, states:

Psychotherapeutic modalities to convert or “repair” homosexuality are based on developmental theories whose scientific validity is questionable. Furthermore, anecdotal reports of “cures” are counterbalanced by anecdotal claims of 6psychological harm. In the last four decades, “reparative” therapists have not produced any rigorous scientific research to substantiate their claims of cure. Until there is such research available, [the American Psychiatric Association] recommends that ethical practitioners refrain from attempts to change individuals’ sexual orientation, keeping in mind the medical dictum to first, do no harm.

The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudice against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient. Many patients who have undergone reparative therapy relate that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction. The possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed.

The introduction of the potentially harmful “Reparative Therapy”, which is based on one’s own religious beliefs, violates the Hong Kong Social Worker’s code of practice of protecting clients from harm (42), preventing and eliminating discrimination (51) and respecting diversity (52).


We urge the Hong Kong government:
1. To apologize to the LGBT community and to the general public for the introduction of Reparative Therapy
2. To issue concrete guidelines to its staff restricting the practice of reparative therapy and
3. To cooperate with the LGBT community to provide diversity training for its staff, in order to ensure that services provided are scientific, ethical, and respecting to the LGBT community.

We urge the Ombudsmen and the Equal Opportunity Commission:
to investigate into the issue
to ensure that proper policy is made to ensure that all government are non-discriminating.

We urge the Hong Kong Social Workers Registration Board and the Hong Kong Medical Council:
To educate the general public in regard of the scientific information about sexuality to eliminate discrimination and promote understanding on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people
To issue guidelines to practitioners to ensure that service are scientific, ethical, and respecting to the LGBT community.

_____________________________________________________________________
footnote
The professional bodies that have issued public statements against Reparative therapy include The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of School Administrators, the American Counseling Association, the American Federation of School Teachers, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the American School Health Association, the Australian Psychological Association, the British Association of Counseling and Psychotherapy, the British Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of Social Workers, the National Education Association, and the School Social Worker Association of America.