HINAD press conference in Beirut. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Amid an increasingly tense atmosphere around questions of sexuality in Lebanon, a group of Lebanese health care professionals and LGBTQ rights advocates Thursday launched a campaign against the practice of "conversion therapy". Representatives of LebMASH, a nonprofit focused on wellbeing and sexual health in the LGBTQ population, that launched the campaign, and other Lebanese mental health practitioners said that "conversion therapy" attempts remain common in Lebanon.In 1992, the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.The Lebanese Psychiatric Society and the Lebanese Psychological Association followed suit in 2013, announcing that homosexuality is not a disorder and "conversion therapies" have no scientific basis. A large swath of the Lebanese population remains unconvinced: A 2015 study conducted by the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality, a Lebanon-based group focused on LGBTQ and gender issues, found that 72 percent of those surveyed believed homosexuality to be a mental disorder and 79 percent agreed that homosexual people should be taken in for psychological or hormonal treatment.In one case, a physician a urologist spoke publicly of using electroshock therapy to treat homosexual people.
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