A top group of psychologists in Costa Rica have condemned any attempts to “cure” homosexuality through therapy, saying it is unjustifiable, and that the focus should be on removing stigmas around homosexuality, not trying to change it.

Costa Rica’s Psychologists Association released a statement condemning such therapy, saying that there was no medical basis for attempting it.

Psychologists Association spokesperson Marisol Fournier said: “since [being gay] is not a disease, it cannot be cured.”

“We do not focus on whether [gay people] are born [gay] or [become gay], [but instead focus on who they are]. As psychologists, we must ensure conditions for these people to live a life with emotional integrity, and this means recognising them as individuals with their own sexual orientation and fully unmark this idea of homosexuality as a disease,” Fournier said.

The Pan American Health Organization, a subset of the World Health Organisation, released similar guidance last May, which said that the stigma promoted by gay “cure” therapy was the only reason gay people might be tempted by the “unjustifiable practices”, in the first place.

This statement by the organisation in Costa Rica is not the concensus on the issue, however as, back in July the leader of Costa Rica’s Commission on Human Rights described homosexuality as a sin and said sexual orientation could be changed.

When asked if a gay person could become straight, Justo Orozco is reported to have said to La Nacion that he believed so, and he believed homosexuality was a sin.

In the UK in late January, a heated debate on therapy attempting to “cure” people of same-sex attraction took place in a committee room at the Houses of Parliament.