- Second Indian prince says ‘conversion therapy’ centers are like ‘gas chambers’ for LGBT+ people.
Gay Indian Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil has called on Indian and the world to ban LGBT+ conversion therapy.
The crown prince went through electroshock treatment to try to ‘cure’ his sexuality. He felt compelled to endure the attempts because his parents threatened to jump into a well if he refused.
Now he has told Forbes he wants to see laws that ban the ‘therapies’. Experts around the world agree that they are futile and dangerous.
Gohil said: ‘I was myself a victim of conversion therapy. From my parents. When I came out, the first thing they tried to do was convert me. They wouldn’t accept me as a gay child.
‘They tried to ask the doctors to operate on me. They took me to religious leaders to ask them to cure me.’
Gohil is the son of the Maharaja of Rajpipla in Gujarat. Since coming out he’s campaigned for LGBT+ rights. He helped ensure India decriminalized homosexuality, campaigned on HIV and even opened an LGBT+ center on palace grounds.
In the interview, he also spoke out against ‘corrective rape’ of lesbians to try to make them straight”
‘Lesbians are treated so badly, I’ve known cases where the family member will rape the child to prove she can have sex with a man. “That proves you are heterosexual.”’
Moreover he said he believes shame stops many Indian parents being open about having LGBT+ children.
‘I have held men young and old in my arms, crying’
Another Indian royal, Amar Singh, has also added his voice to Gohil’s.
He said he had visited ‘conversion therapy’ centers and likened them to the ‘gas chambers’ of the Holocaust:
‘They are fronts for unethical practices. You’re told if you are not cured, and you go back to your father – he will kill you.
‘I have visited dozens [of conversion therapy centres] in India, and spoken to people running them. I have held men young and old in my arms, crying, after they’ve been kicked out of their houses.’
Will the world eventually ban ‘conversion therapy’?
This June the Indian Psychiatric Society reaffirmed its opposition to the ‘therapies’, a position it’s held since at least 2018.
It said: ‘There is no scientific evidence at all that attempts to convert a person’s orientation succeed in any manner.
‘The Indian Psychiatric Society totally disapproves of any such treatments and urges that such therapies must cease forthwith.’
Despite this, India currently doesn’t have a legal ban on ‘conversion therapy’.
Indeed, only Malta, Ecuador, Brazil, Taiwan and Germany already have bans.
There are already bans in 20 US states: New Jersey, California, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado, Utah and Virginia as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico.
Moreover, Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for the presidency, has promised he will ban the ‘therapies’ if he gets to the White House.
Meanwhile international LGBT+ organization ILGA World predicted 2020 could be a breakthrough year on the issue worldwide.