Sexual Orientation Conversion Therapy (SOCT) attempts to change the sexual orientation of a person from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual. It is a very controversial practice in many countries as it reproduces prejudices against sexual minorities; mainstream medical and scientific organizations consider it potentially harmful.
Nevertheless, in June 2011, the Hong Kong Government Social Welfare Department took the initiative to invite the Chairman of Christian SOCT organisation New Creation, Dr Kong Kwai Wah, to train the department’s social workers in ”converting” their young clients’ sexual orientation.
The move has outraged the LGBT communities in Hong Kong. A coalition, Tongzhi Community Joint Meeting, was formed to launch a global petition campaign against the Hong Kong government:
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 staffs 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.
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