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Polish bishops want to force queer people into conversion therapy camps to ‘regain their natural sexual orientation’

Lily Wakefield September 1, 2020
Poland bishops conversion therapy

Following the three-day Polish Episcopal Conference (KEP), bishops in Poland produced a 27-page document calling for the opening of conversion therapy clinics. (EpiskopatNews/ Twitter)

Bishops in Poland are calling for the opening of conversion therapy “clinics” to make LGBT+ people “regain their natural sexual orientation”.

Following the three-day Polish Episcopal Conference (KEP), bishops in Poland produced a 27-page document outlining their stance on LGBT+ issues.

Despite condemning violence against the LGBT+ community, the bishops promoted the idea of conversion therapy camps for the queer community in Poland.

The document states: “In view of the challenges created by gender ideology and LGBT+ movements, and especially bearing in mind the difficulties, suffering and spiritual wounds experienced by these people, it is necessary to create clinics (with the help of the church or within its structures) to help people regain their sexual health and natural sexual orientation.

“These clinics also make sense when complete sexual transformation is too difficult, as they can still help psychosexuals to deal with significant challenges.”

The Polish bishops admitted that the idea of conversion therapy “counselling centres” was “clearly in contradiction” to scientific evidence, but still added that “testimonies” proved that “different sexuality wasn’t some kind irrevocable judgment or irretrievable coding, but a symptom of wounds on various levels of their personality”.

The document from the bishops is the latest in a long list of attacks against Poland’s LGBT+ community by its government and Catholic church.

More than a third of Poland has now become an “LGBT-free zone”, pledging to refrain from acts that encourage tolerance and avoiding providing financial assistance to NGOs working to promote equal rights.

The hate increasingly directed at Poland’s LGBT+ community is driven largely by the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), which has frequently targeted LGBT+ rights as an invasive foreign influence or “plague” that threatens the country’s national identity.

The country’s president Andrzej Duda went on to capitalise on rising homophobic sentiment during his re-election campaign, hitting out at “LGBT+ ideology” and promising to ban same-sex couples from adopting children.

Last week, a Polish gay couple, Jakub and David, travelled all the way to the Vatican to unfurl a huge Pride flag emblazoned with the word “help” in front of Pope Francis.

Interviewed by Polish media, they said: “Polish bishops called us paedophiles, they say that we are a disease and even COVID-19 is a punishment for the world for LGBT+ sins… We believe that these actions don’t go along with Pope Francis’s teaching and we did it to encourage him to take action.”

More: conversion therapy, LGBT-free zones, Poland, Polish Episcopal Conference

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