Arcopoli has brought charges against Elena Lorenzo Rego, a psychotherapist who offers treatment for those wanting to change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual.
“This self-appointed therapist offers to help people who are unhappy being homosexual to change,” explained Yago Blando, from Arcópoli, the LGBT group that has filed the complaint.
“She uses unverifiable testimony from people who have supposedly undergone her treatment, which is fraud,” said the statement, referring to publicity on the therapist’s website.
The website includes testimony from former patients which include a man who said “I went from being an arrogant person struggling to hide my deep insecurities in group situations by being a strong type, asserting my love of sports and war films.”
The man said he had slept with more than 200 men and only now (after treatment) was he “happily married and with a daughter”.
In an interview with Portaluz in 2014, Lorenzo explained that she didn’t carry out the treatment based on any moral or religious standpoint but to help certain people who choose to recover from same-sex attraction (SSA) to be attracted to the opposite sex.
She insisted that homosexuality "wasn't a disease" but that it could be treated.
"When a person discovers that they feel an attraction to people of the same sex, they have three options. The first and most obvious is deciding to "come out".
"The second option is not "coming out" but suffering in silence an attraction that causes an internal struggle and that is rejected from within. And the third is take a step towards change therapy," she explained.
“Everyone is born heterosexual,” she said. “The attraction - SSA - develops later. Heterosexuality is already in each individual, just you have to find it inside. Change therapy is the means to discovering it.”
But the LGBT group Arcópoli, which fights against homophobia in Madrid, filed a complaint to Madrid's regional government over the therapist under new ant-homophobia bylaws introduced by the region earlier this month.
“Therapies that claim to ‘heal homosexuality’ are false and unscientific and only serve to play with the insecurities of people that suffer not because of their homosexuality but because if the homophobia that exists in society,” Arcópoli said.
Creemos que las terapias de curación de la homosexualidad ahondan en el sufrimiento por la homofobia, provocan ansiedad y depresión en LGTBs— Arcopoli (@arcopoli) August 29, 2016