February 23, 2016

A Psychologist Publicly Stating She 'Cures' Homosexuality; A Lawyer Who Calls To Burn Gays

On the most recent episode of «Կիսաբաց լուսամուտներ» (kisabac lusamutner / Half Opened Windows), the most popular Armenian talk show, a gay man was brought on the air together with his mother to talk about the discrimination he faces in finding a job, based on his sexual orientation and gender identity / expression. President of PINK Armenia, Nvard Margaryan, and an LGBT-friendly doctor, Vardan Hambardzumyan, were asked to take part in a show as experts. During the show, the guest faced inhumane and unprofessional attitudes from other invited experts (a psychologist, sexologist, lawyer and an artist). During the TV show, sexologist Vrezh Shahramanyan talked about “ego-dystonic homosexuality”—a diagnosis no longer recognized in the DSM— while artist Sargis Mikayelyan made homophobic jokes and statements. Psychologist Mariam Mehrabyan, a co-founder of “Zhest” Personal Development Centre, PhD of Psychological Sciences, Associate Professor, said that she can treat/cure the guest’s homosexuality, and ensured that she’s experienced in it. Lawyer Garik Galikyan, who is a member of the Chamber of Advocates of the Republic of Armenia and founder of Galikyan law office in Yerevan and its branch in the Netherlands, was made anxious by Hambardzumyan’s and Margaryan’s responses to a hypothesis brought by him that conflicted with the statements made by all other experts present. “Whenever I see them [LGBT people], I will smash them, trample them, and yes – they must be burnt…” Galikyan said.

In Armenia, there is no license psychologists are required to obtain in order to practice, and thus no license to be taken away in cases such as this, so PINK has initiated a letter to Ministry of Health to understand the Ministry’s standpoint on this matter. We call on psychological associations from around the world to make statements and voice their concerns on this matter.

New Generation Humanitarian NGO, as well as PINK Armenia, together with Anti-Discrimination Coalition has initiated a complaint against Galikyan to the Ethics Committee of the Chamber of Advocates in Armenia.

We’ll keep our partners updated on the proceedings of the case.

No comments: