Hong Kong government hires ‘gay cure expert’

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Hong Kong’s government has hired a ‘reparative therapy’ expert who says gays can be cured.

Psychiatrist Hong Kwai-wah has been taken on as a trainer for the government’s social welfare staff, AFP reports.

Mr Hong is chairman of the New Creation Association, which says the wishes of gay people who want to become straight should be respected.

The group’s website says it aims “to help people struggling with homosexuality and diffuse their inner dilemmas, rewire their mental state as well as propagate the belief that homosexuals can change”.

Treatments reportedly include cold showers, prayer and abstinence. It is not known how much Mr Hong is being paid.

Gay activists held a protest outside the Social Welfare Department today, accusing the government of “criminalising” gay people.

In response, the Social Welfare Department said it had invited gay rights campaigners to speak at past sexual identity seminars and that “knowledge from multiple perspectives [is] essential for social workers … to address specific needs of service users.”

The department added that it would “continue to adopt an open and impartial attitude” in staff training and professional development.