Priests ‘forcing LGBTI people to undergo conversion therapy’, MPs hear

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3/18/22

Priests force children and adults into hormone and other conversion therapy treatments, which remain legal in Cyprus, with the aim of changing their sexual orientation and gender identity, MPs heard on Friday. The house legal affairs committee discussed the need to criminalise conversion therapies against LGBTI people following a bill proposal by Akel MP Giorgos Koukoumas. Members of the committee referred to “appalling allegations” and “shameful acts” which must be investigated and resolved immediately, while all stakeholders stressed the need for the legislation to be passed. The representative of LGBTI people and theologian, Antonis Georgiou, spoke of testimonies by individuals where priests pressured homosexual people to get married and sending them to endocrinologists, pharmacies for Viagra and hormone treatments. The church also performed exorcisms on LGBTI people, he told reporters. He added that some of those people attempted suicide, while he condemned the treatments, and expressed the wish that they would soon be banned.

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