Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Putin Orders Creation of Special Institute to Study LGBT Behavior, an Action that Points to Spread of Forced Conversion Therapy

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 15 – On orders from Vladimir Putin, the Russian health ministry will create a psychiatric institute to study the behavior of LGBT people, Minister Mikhail Murashko says. Many commentators say this is a step toward the spread of forced conversion therapy, a kind of action that the UN and rights activists say is a form of inhuman torture.

            Murashko made that announcement in the course of questioning by Duma deputies and said the new institute would expand the kind of research his ministry is already conducting (holod.media/2023/06/15/minzdrav-sozdast-psihiatricheskij-institut-po-issledovaniyu-povedeniya-lgbt-person-eto-mozhet-byt-shagom-k-vvedeniyu-nasilstvennoj-konversionnoj-terapii/).

            According to Parni+, an LGBT support portal, Murashko’s words show Moscow is “preparing to introduce forced conversion therapy” to “cure” non-heterosexuals of their sexual orientation (t.me/parniplus/10274), a practice that international specialists have denounced as torture (ohchr.org/ru/stories/2020/07/conversion-therapy-can-amount-torture-and-should-be-banned-says-un-expert).

            In fact, such actions have been carried out at various centers for at least the last year. What the actions and statements of Putin and Murashko do is create a situation in which those who want to engage in such “cures” will have government sanction, something that will likely mean that more LGBT people in Russia will be forced into such facilities.


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