Ministry of Health Director General Nachman Ash has sent out a memorandum to staff prohibiting all projects involving LBGTQ conversion therapy or any “treatment” related to sexual orientation or identity. While every Israeli LGBTQ organization has campaigned strenuously for the prohibition of conversion therapy, it was specifically a group of religious (Orthodox) LGBTQ organizations (Havruta – Religious Gay Community, Bat-Kol Organization for Orthodox Lesbians, and Shoval Support and Education for Tolerance) that spearheaded this issue.
LGBTQ organizations argued that prohibiting conversion therapy programs is a matter of life and death, not left versus right or liberal ideology versus conservative.
Hila Peer, chairwoman of Aguda — The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, said, “Leading professional authorities in Israel and worldwide have warned for a long time about the dangers and abuse that are not only ineffective, but also have destructive consequences. Long term consequences can include self-hatred, anxiety, depression, and loss of life. People in our community who have gone through this trauma carry with them the cruel scars of such ‘treatment,’ — and the state is responsible. This must be stopped. Israel must stop inflicting these scars in the future.”