The pastor and former secretary Ezequiel Cortaz Teixeira was sentenced by the Court of Justice of Rio de Janeiro to pay R$ 100 thousand in benefit of Rio de Janeiro’s LGBTQIA+ community due to homophobic statements The information is from Rio de Janeiro’s newspaper O Dia.
“I don’t only believe in the gay cure.” – he said, in an interview to the newspaper O Globo, in 2016.“I believe in the cure for cancer, in the cure for AIDS… you know why? Because I am the result of a miracle from God”, he said.
Due to the statement, the pastor was dismissed from his position at the State Secretary for Social Assistance and Human Rights by the governor Luiz Fernando Pezão, and was sued by the program Rio Sem Homofobia (Rio Without Homophobia) as well. The judge in charge of the lawsuit, Sandro Lucio Barbosa Pitassi, says that the pastor’s behavior is harmful.
“The concept of human rights, as we know, pervades the fundamental and universal guarantee that aims to protect all individuals and social classes, without discrimination, in the face of actions or missions that do not even tend to abolish rights or that might taint the dignity, the honor and the image of individuals”, said the judge in charge of the lawsuit, Sandro Lucio Barbosa Pitassi.
Pitassi also says that “the violation and the greater damage when it comes to the LGBTI+ population’s image are notorious”, especially because, in this occasion, he held a political position that was relevant to society.
The pastor is also the founder of the church Projeto Vida Nova (“Project New Life”), and became known for being Rio de Janeiro’s State Deputy and for proposing the bill 4931/2016, that aims to abolish the punishment for mental health professionals who treat patients with “sexual orientation disorder”, which became knows as the Gay Cure.
At the time, he said that the treatment aimed to “assist the change of sexual orientation, so the patient would stop being homosexual and turn heterosexual, as long as it was what the patient wished for”. Thus, he would bring legal security to the “treatments”.
WHY IS THE GAY CURE PROPOSED BY THE PASTOR PROHIBITED?
According to the video “Is the Gay Cure a Thing? from the YouTube channel Nerdologia, there are many features of our own that we want to change and they are not necessarily diseases, exemplifying that a forehead wrinkle will hardly be considered a disease by society, but the person might look for a plastic surgeon to inject botox in it and get rid of it. Based on this premise, a person can know that homosexuality isn’t a disease and still, due to beliefs and moral values, want to stop being that way, since it is a source of suffering. That is, the person feels sexually attracted to people of the same sex, but wishes to feel attracted to people of the opposite sex.
Ignoring the fact of those who renounce their sexual desire in order to live a heteronormative lifestyle using the religious argument that “that is what is right”, a scientific study published in 2008 by the Ohio State University in partnership with the University of Minnessota, evaluated all attempts of therapy published in the last fifty years, including individual or collective psychotherapy; electroconvulsive treatment; induction of nausea or vomiting; hypnosis and orgasm reorientation. All attempts failed to reorient the patients’ sexual desire, causing an increase in the number of profound depressions, social dysfunctions, suicidal thoughts and other psychological damages.
The study also concluded that these attempts had no theoretical foundation, had serious methodological flaws and violated ethical principles and human rights. Another study published on Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 33, did an interview with more than 200 patients that have gone through the sexual reorientation therapy. Out of those, only 46 stated that the therapy helped and only 9 said that they have come to want the opposite sex.
As for the rest, the psychological damages were the same as previously mentioned. The hypothesis tests indicate that, just like heterosexuals don’t change their sexual orientation due to the presence of gay people (that is, there is nothing that makes someone want a person of the same sex), the homosexuals also don’t turn straight.
The conclusion is that there are no methods to reorient a person’s sexual desire, since homosexuality is another one of the variations in nature. Besides that, gay people who look for help for suffering with their condition stop suffering when they accept their homosexuality and are no longer persecuted by those around them. What ends suffering is acceptance, not reorientation.