March 8th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) The Spanish doctor, Jokin de Irala, known for his theory that homosexuality is a curable disease, was forced to cancel a talk on the subject yesterday at the 5th Central American Congress of Bioethics being held in Costa Rica, due to the controversy surrounding the doctor and his views.
De Irala is one of the main speakers of the Central American Congress on Bioethics, where he planned to give four lectures, including one on the subject of homosexuality, which decided to cancel according to organizers.
The recent controversy increased after Costa Rica’s Health Ministry declared the congress of “public interest,” an action strongly criticized by human rights advocates, gay activists and even by the Ombudsman.
The issue escalated to the Constitutional Court, which after an appeal decided to annul the decree of public interest.
The Court said that the doctor’s freedom of expression should be ensured, by said that the Executive Branch should not support a private activity that may represent discrimination against part of society.
The judges reasoned that Irala’s talk “reverts to a stigmatization of a sector of the population and potential harm to their health, in addition to the fact that its scientific basis is highly questionable.”
According to one of the organizers of the event, Alexandra Loria, the decision to cancel the talk was made by the doctor himself, who said there were “no guarantees of respect for freedom of thought” or his opinion.
The doctor will make his other three lectures, including one on the impact of contraceptive methods on public health.
Members of the gay community rallied in Parque Merced in San Jose yesterday, demanding a public apology from the government for supporting the activity.
The conference ends today.