BPS denounces Indonesian classification of LGBT as mental illnesses

The British Psychological Society (BPS) denounces the reported proposal by the Indonesian Psychiatric Association to classify lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender sexual and gender identities (LGBT) as mental illnesses.

Professor Elizabeth Peel Chair of the BPS Psychology of Sexualities Section said: “People of same-sex sexual orientations including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and non-normative gender identities and all other non-heterosexual sexual orientations should be regarded as equal members of society. This includes freedom from harassment or discrimination in any sphere, and a right to protection from therapies that purport to change or ‘convert’ sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“The BPS positon statement published in 2013 clearly opposes any psychological psychotherapeutic or counselling treatment or interventions. Same-sex sexual orientations are not diagnosable illnesses. We would advise those struggling with challenges related to same-sex attraction to talk to an unbiased, qualified therapist who will help them come to terms with their feelings about sexual orientation.”

In 2014 UK psychological professions, including the BPS, and lesbian, gay and bisexual charity Stonewall, published a consensus statement to denounce conversion therapy - sometimes called reparative or gay cure therapy - and any claims that it may be able to change sexual orientation or reduce same-sex attraction.

The information was prepared at the request of the Department of Health by the UK Council for Psychotherapy alongside the British Psychological Society, the British Psychoanalytic Council, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, The National Counselling Society, Pink Therapy and Stonewall.