Peretz walks back conversion therapy comment, calls practice ‘invalid and wrong’

Education Minister Rafi Peretz, who has been widely panned in recent days after backing the dangerous practice of “conversion therapy” for gays in a Saturday television interview, says in a letter to school principals that he was misunderstood, has “never” recommended the treatment to religious homosexuals who sought his advice, and believes it is “invalid and wrong.”

“During my years as an educator I was approached on several occasions about issues of sexual preference. I always listened carefully to the challenges brought before me and sometimes urged consultations with professionals,” Peretz says in the letter.

“I know conversion therapy is invalid and wrong. This is my unequivocal position. I understand that this is an invasive treatment that is harmful to the human psyche, causes those treated with it more suffering than relief and can even put people’s lives in jeopardy and lead to suicidal tendencies.”

He adds, “I never…suggested conversion therapy, which I oppose utterly.”

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