A Catholic psychologist has been slammed for her remarks about how “having gay sons is like having drug addicts” at home.
The controversial statement came when Maria José Vilaça, president of Portugal’s Catholic psychologists association, granted an interview to religious newspaper Família Cristã.
“I accept my son, love him probably even more, because I know he lives in a way that is not natural and that makes him suffer. It’s like a having a son who is a drug addict, I won’t say it is good,” she said.
The Order of Psychologists (OPP) has considered the statement to be “extremely serious” and said it would report it to the order’s jurisdictional council to be investigated.
It added that it has received “tens of complaints” and that the views defended by Vilaça do not represent the OPP’s.
“They do not have any kind of scientific basis and only contradict the defence of human rights and hamper the position of psychologists in society,” the order added.
The OPP’s statement came after Vilaça took to her Facebook page to try and explain what she meant and that her words were taken out of context.
“What I said is that when faced with a child with behaviours that parents do not agree with, they should still welcome and love them,” she said.
“Drug addiction is just an example of a behaviour that sometimes leads parents to reject their children. I didn’t compare it to homosexuality but instead the attitude towards both behaviours,” the psychologist added.
Meantime, Rumos Novos, an association for gay Catholics, has come out in defence of the psychologist though it admits that the choice of words she used was “unfortunate”.
“Though we don’t agree with part of the content and consider that the example she gave was unfortunate, we noted her appeal for gay children to be loved by their parents even if they don’t agree with their sexual orientation,” the association said in a statement.
The association added: “The lesson to be learned is that we should read the full-length article and not just excerpts without context, and not be quick to call people homophobic.”