The family planning association on Tuesday spoke of “dangerous practices” after a bill criminalising conversion therapies for LGBTQI+ people was postponed as far-right party Elam filed an amendment last week to allow such pseudo-treatments to go ahead if an individual agrees to it.

The association said that the issue of consent cannot be an amendment to the specific legislation as it is against scientific data and recommendations given by international and local professional organisations, which have the science and expertise to back them up on the subject.

“We consider that the consent of a person who is in a vulnerable position cannot be sought to be involved in a procedure that is dangerous, and which, in any case, is impossible to provide what it promises,” a statement added.

It also referenced one made on Friday by the psychologists’ association, which offered similar arguments.

Psychologists also opposed the amendment, saying that such discussions are contrary to the scientific evidence available. The psychologists’ association had welcomed the bill criminalising those pseudo conversion therapies on April 22 last year.

The psychologists association also noted that the American Psychological Association has presented scientific data showing that conversion attempts are not effective and there is no scientific evidence to suggest that they have any effect on reducing sexual attraction or gender identity change.

“The personal beliefs, opinions, and perceptions of members of the legislature cannot determine policies involving dangerous practices,” the family planning association said.

According to scientific evidence, it added, these practices are “related to experiences of depression, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts and other negative health indicators affecting children, adolescents and adults”.

The association also said that exempting anyone from the legislation is problematic, after Elam raised the issue of priests who may be involved.

“Our impression was that the bill [to ban conversion therapy] was made with the aim of protecting people who are in a vulnerable situation, thereby declaring the state’s intention to deal with these practices,” it concluded.