The Government of Ayuso leaves the therapies to 'cure' homosexuality of the Bishopric of Alcalá unpunished

The Government of Ayuso leaves the therapies to 'cure' homosexuality of the Bishopric of Alcalá unpunished

The Community of Madrid has shelved the investigation that it kept open on the 'conversion therapies' of homosexuality of the Bishopric of Alcalá de Henares (Madrid). Three years after this newspaper made public the existence of these sessions against which several complaints were filed, the Ministry of Family, Youth and Social Policy has ruled out sanctioning the institution led by José Antonio Reig Plá, arguing that the evidence provided may violate "the right to privacy" of the supposed therapist who imparted the treatments.

This is how it appears in the notifications that FACUA and Más Madrid, two of the complainants, they just received. Both writs indicate the decision to close the prior information period and "not initiate any sanctioning procedure" despite the fact that they are a type of therapy prohibited by the Comprehensive Protection Law against LGTBphobia of the community, which describes its promotion as a "very serious" infraction subject to fines of up to 45,000 euros. The regional Executive, then in the hands of Ángel Garrido, investigation began on April 2, 2019, but so far the complainants have known nothing despite multiple requests for information. The notifications are dated this April 18, but in the text the Ministry acknowledges that the agreement was adopted five months ago, on November 5.

The Government of Isabel Díaz Ayuso bases its decision on a report issued by the legal service of the Ministry, which proposes to close the file considering that the evidence collected by this newspaper during the investigation "may affect the right to privacy": "The Peripheral circumstances of the recording imply that the expectations of privacy have been exceeded" of the person who has been recorded, says the report. He refers to the worker from the diocese of Alcalá who gave the sessions, in which he linked homosexuality to "small flaws" and "affective wounds" that had to be "healed" and to a life "of suffering" and "degradation."

The journalist Ángel Villaescusa infiltrated one of these therapies and collected the evidence that showed that his objective is that whoever came would stop being homosexual, but these have been described by the regional legal service as "illicit", given what he has proposed not include them in the procedure. In addition, he assures that they were not "necessary" to satisfy the general interest "applying the constitutional canon of proportionality in contrast to the fundamental rights to privacy and image of the affected person."

A spokesman for the Ministry acknowledges to that, based on Madrid's LGTBI Law, "a therapy of this type is illegal", but argues, along the same lines, that the evidence provided was obtained "without the consent" of the interlocutors. "It was decided not to agree to the initiation as not having obtained, in accordance with the required legality canon, sufficient proof of charge that allows the decay of the right to the presumption of innocence," argued the Deputy Minister of Social Policy, Luis Martínez- Sicluna. This argument is the one that the Ministry, in the hands of Concepción Dancausa, sent to the Ombudsman, which motivated also close the procedure.

The organizations and parties that filed the complaints at the time show their disagreement with the decision, which they describe as "absolutely indecent", in the words of Eduardo Rubiño, a deputy for Más Madrid who had been trying since 2019 without success to find out where the proceedings. "It is an extremely serious case about which there is evidence and victims willing to give a statement. It is unusual that after three years they shelve the investigation," explains Rubiño, who took the case of Iván León to the Madrid Assembly on Monday , a young Catholic who has just published a book in which he recounts the experience who lived in one of these interventions.

The outrage is shared by the consumer organization FACUA, which also filed a complaint in 2019, and which announces that it will appeal the file of the process. Rubén Sánchez, its general secretary, considers it "surreal" and "nonsense" that the Community resorts to the right to privacy "of those who commit irregularities" to close the case and regrets "the tortious use of the right to privacy that it makes to protect the interests of those who are carrying out practices that are absolutely abhorrent".

The argument is also "false" for Rubiño, who denounces that the Ayuso government "has delayed the deadlines and has not communicated the resolution to the complainants in a timely manner", which the General Technical Secretariat agreed to almost half a year ago. The times of the Autonomous Government with the matter of conversion therapies also surprised with the case of the coach who offered them on the Internet. The LGTBI organization Arcopoli denounced her in 2016, but it was not until April 2, 2019, coinciding with the Alcalá scandal, when the community opened the sanctioning process. In July 2021, the court annulled the fine for the unjustified stoppage of the process.

This type of treatment aimed at modifying sexual orientation has been harshly criticized by international psychology organizations. In Spain, the General Council of Psychology has found that these sessions "usually lead to problems of anxiety, depression and suicide" and has described them as "false, miraculous and obviously ineffective solutions". The American Psychological Association (APA) did the same thing in 2009, when it declared it inadmissible for mental health professionals to offer them.

Those held in the Bishopric of Alcalá de Henares, which Iván León attended, were held in an office of the Regina Familiae Family Orientation Center, a service that belongs to the diocese and is within the same religious complex. "The speech was based on the fact that once you enter this dynamic of what they called 'gay life', you start to get into a spiral of all kinds of depravities and they linked it quite regularly with pederasty," the young man recalled in an interview with

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