Yacimovich: Remove my name from conference that has panel on gay conversion therapy

"If there is something to cure it is LGBT-phobia, racism and hatred of the other," Labor MK wrote to organizers of 12th Jerusalem Conference.

Shelly Yacimovich  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Shelly Yacimovich
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich demanded that her name be removed as a participant in a Jerusalem conference next month because it will include a panel on "gay conversion therapy."
"Please remove my name immediately from the promotion material for the "12th Jerusalem Conference on Modernity and the State," the former labor leader wrote in a letter to the conference organizers.
"Publishing my name on the conference publication material embarrasses me and it greatly offends my world-view: that all people are equal," Yacimovich wrote.
Yacimovich said that conversion therapy offends her because it presumes that same-sex attraction is a defect or disease. She referred to the therapy as deceptive, practiced by charlatans, that has been shown to cause psychological harm. She also noted that the main psychology professional bodies in Israel have warned against the therapy and that the Ministry of Health has adopted their position.
"It is saddening and worrisome that in 2015 there is a need to explain that there is nothing wrong with same-sex attraction and that LGBT citizens of Israel have equal rights and there is no need to cure them of anything," she wrote.
"If there is something to cure it is LGBT-phobia, racism and hatred of the other," she added. 
Besides the panel entitled: "Is conversion therapy an appropriate solution for homosexuals," the conference, which is set for next month, will deal with topics such as the 2005 disengagement from Gaza, and the primary-process for selecting lists of candidates for the Knesset.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud), are slated to take part in the conference.