Sunday, May 29, 2011 , by Dr Patrick Attard, Naxxar
I find Mark-Anthony Falzon's column very interesting, but I strongly disagree with his May 15 contribution 'Thou shalt arise and be gay'.
He mentions Pastor Gordon John Manché and gay conversion therapies and claims that gay rights groups should not hinder his right to express himself freely.
Gay conversion or reparative therapies cause significant harm to the person's well-being and have been linked to a higher number of suicides and psychological problems in 'converted' people.
This wouldn't be significant unless we note that last year, more than a quarter of all the suicide victims in Malta were gay people.
It is frightening that a gay youth is five times more likely to commit suicide in Malta. Not to mention the number of people who do not reach that point but have significant emotional problems. I appeal to all parents whose teenager tells them s/he is gay not to take them to such conversion therapy gatherings, which, albeit well-intentioned, may cause irreparable harm.
Behind every suicide there is a wrecked family suffering in silence.
For more information on gay suicides in Malta and abroad, visit: http://patrickattard.blogspot.com/search/label/Suicide.
[Click on the hyperlink above to view the comments on the Times' website.]