Many Spaniards are reported to be “outraged” and complaining of “Spanish Inquisition” that books on how to stop children being gay and how to cure homosexuality are on sale in Spain’s El Corte Inglés, the biggest department store group in Europe and the fourth worldwide, according to the Local.
Three books by Joseph Nicolosi, an American psychologist who says his therapies can overcome an individual’s unwanted homosexual attractions and replace them with heterosexual ones, have led to one Spanish lobbyist for gay issues to demand the books to be banned: “There has to be a limit; if your freedom of speech is not letting me be who I am and inciting others to hate me then you’ve crossed the line.”
However, Nicolosi, whose work has gained notoriety among liberal groups in the US, does not appear to work towards forcing any homosexual to become straight. Rather, he says on the Psychology Today website: “If you share my belief that humanity was designed for opposite-sex coupling and gender complementarity, then I can help you live out your deeply held convictions.”
The three controversial books by Nicolosi on sale in Spain are “I want to stop being gay,” “How to prevent homosexuality” and “Gender confusion in childhood.” Nicolosi calls his method “reparative therapy.”
State legislators in California and New Jersey have banned “ex-gay” or “reparative” therapy for use on children, and their laws now say minors may only have “gay affirming” therapy.
However, the New Jersey ban is being challenged in court. According to the Washington Times, while at least eight states have introduced legislation to ban the practice, in at least one state it has been killed in committee: “Leaders of organisations that address ‘sexual brokenness’ say sexual-orientation change efforts are essential to helping those who want to escape unwanted same-sex attractions and experiences.”
However, in Spain Uge Sangil, an official with a lesbian and gay pressure group, told the Local: “You can’t cure homosexuality, the World Health Organization has said so more than once. Spain has come a long way in terms of legal rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals, but on a social scale there’s still plenty to do.”
“It’s not just the parents and the children who have to learn about sexual diversity and tolerance, the country’s education system and the people behind it need to promote these values.”