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Gay ‘cure’ therapist suspended for having gay sex with patients

Nick Duffy March 12, 2018
gay medical student

The anonymous medical student struggles with disclosing her sexuality to patients. (Creative Commons)

A gay ‘cure’ psychiatrist has been indefinitely suspended – for having sex with his patients.

Dr Melvyn Iscove, 72, was registered as a psychiatrist with the  College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, and claimed to be able to ‘cure’ patients of ‘same-sex attraction’.

However, Dr Iscove – who was described as having a “special interest in the treatment of patients with problems related to homosexuality” – was handed a suspension this week for having sex with patients.

The committee alleged that Iscove,  who believes homosexuality is a “sexual disorder”, engaged in “mutual masturbation and oral sex” with two male patients during sessions, and had anal sex with one male patient.

The committee wrote: “Neither complainant described any emotional or romantic aspects of the sexual activity with Dr Iscove, and both said that at some point, they thought that the sexual activity was part of the therapy and an attempt to cure them of homosexuality by engaging in the acts, rather than fantasizing about them.”

Following the guilty hearing, his licence was immediately suspended – pending a penalty hearing that has yet to be scheduled.

The allegations date back to the early 2000s, the Toronto Star reports.

Iscove also faces a disciplinary hearing related to allegations of “improper conduct in a public men’s washroom”.

He strongly denies all wrongdoing.

Performing gay cure therapy on minors is already is illegal in nine US states and counting, as well as Switzerland, Malta, Taiwan, two Canadian provinces, and the Australian state of Victoria.

Further bills are in progress in Washington state and Hawaii.

Experts overwhelmingly agree that attempts to cure sexuality are futile, misguided, and often extremely harmful. Attempts to force teens to repress their sexuality has been linked to depression, self-harm and even suicide.

The European Parliament earlier this month voted to condemn gay ‘cure’ therapy and urged member countries to ban the harmful practice.

The EU body voted by 435 to 109 to adopt text calling on member states to outlaw the discredited practice.

It says: “[The European Parliament] welcomes initiatives prohibiting LGBTI conversion therapies and banning the pathologisation of trans identities and urges all Member States to adopt similar measures that respect and uphold the right to gender identity and gender expression”.

It is the first time the Parliament has made the specific disavowal of conversion therapies.

The vote came on an amendment to the Parliament’s annual report on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU, which was later adopted.

The Intergroup’s Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP noted that only a small number of EU member countries “have explicitly banned LGBTI conversion therapies” to date.

The MEP continued: “The UN Committee Against Torture, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Human Rights Committee have already condemned the practice of conversion therapy in several countries.”

More: cure, Gay, gay cure, gay sex, LGBT, therapist, therapy, US

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