Time to 'shine a light' and ban conversion therapies - experts

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Treatments that claim to “cure” gay people are making headlines, with a new movie winning praise, another yanked off the screen and a tiff at the Winter Olympics reigniting calls for banning so-called conversion therapy.

Despite global gains in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, many gay people are still forced to undergo archaic and invasive therapy based on the idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder or medical condition.

Such treatment - often in religious settings - can involve psychoanalysis, injections and electric shocks.

While the practice has been widely discredited, only Brazil, Ecuador and Malta have nationwide bans, says the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

In other nations, the practice is prohibited by medical associations. It remains legal in most of the United States, but several states, cities and counties have ruled it illegal.

Campaigners said public awareness is rising following an award-winning movie unveiled at the Sundance Film Festival and the recent cancellation by a London cinema of a screening of a conversion film after protest from the LGBT community. Read more via Thomson Reuters Foundation