South Africa: Coercive Conversion Therapy Must Be Done Away With


Historically, homosexuality was considered a pathological condition that needed to be 'cured'. While strides have been made to do away with this theory, it is still pervasive.

Every year, many countries celebrate Pride Month and host a myriad of events to mark the day and the month. The intention is noble; we do, after all, want to create societies that embrace many different communities, promote inclusivity, and celebrate diversity.

However, the proof really lies in what happens in practice. Even the most progressive Constitutions like ours can only be useful if corresponding legislation gives effect to them. We may not be able to change beliefs and attitudes, but we can certainly protect those who are marginalised through harmful societal practices.

Daily, we hear of horrific hate crimes happening where the LGBTQIA+ community is targeted. "Corrective rape", mutilation and murder are not rare in South Africa. There are many actors in the activist space doing incredibly important work to raise awareness, promote tolerance and even provide safe spaces for people at risk. Their work must be commended and supported. However, until this work is complemented by those who have been elected to public office, progress will be slow.

Members of Parliament,...

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