The Register said it has received dozens of complaints about the comments and will be probing the case.
Newspaper Público reports the statement was made by Maria José Vilaça, head of the Catholic Psychologists’ Association, in a piece for the magazine Christian Family in which she discussed the topic of gender ideology.
Responding to the question “how should homosexuals be received”, Maria Vilaça, who explained she works with families and parents, stressed that “you don’t have to accept homosexuality to accept a child.”
“I accept my child; I love him possibly even more because I know he lives in a way that I know is not natural and makes him suffer. It is like having a child who is a drug addict; I won’t say it is good.”
Christian Family magazine is published by PAULUS Editora, which belongs to the Brazilian Pia-Society Missionary Institute of São Paulo in Portugal.
Público said it had tried to contact the psychologist on various occasions, as well as the association she spearheads.
In a lengthy statement on her Facebook page, Ms. Vilaça acknowledged “murmurs” on social network sites about the interview, writing: “They say I compared homosexuality with drug addiction. Because of that there are a large number of people excitedly insulting me in the most varied forms.”
She continues, “I will share with you what I have been answering to those who sent me private messages: ‘Did you read the original text? What I said is that when faced with a child who has a behaviour with which the parents do not agree, they should embrace them and love them all the same. Drug addiction is just one example of behaviour that sometimes drives parents to reject their child. It is not a comparison with homosexuality, but about the attitude when faced with it’”.
She went on to stress that the exact question posed by the journalist during the interview was “What would you say to parents with a homosexual child?”
Notwithstanding Maria Vilaça’s clarification, the Portuguese Psychologists’ Register said it believes her comments are “extremely serious” and warrant the opening of an inquiry to establish whether there has been a contradiction of the ethical and deontological precepts that govern the professional class.
The Register further said it had received “dozens of complaints” regarding her comments and stressed that the psychologist was speaking in her professional capacity, but the Register “does not uphold the affirmations that were made.”
It elaborated that “the statements made are not based on any scientific basis and only contradict the defence of human rights, evolution and social balance, and make it difficult for psychologists to affirm themselves within society.”
In its statement, the Register stressed its Code of Ethics for Portuguese Psychologists obliges psychologists, when making public statements, “to observe the principle of rigor and refrain from making false statements or without scientific grounds.”
Therefore, the Register said its Board of Directors will be taking the matter to its Jurisdictional Council, “an independent and impartial body, composed of five elected psychologists and a legal adviser, whose responsibility it is to ensure all members comply with the law, the Statute and Regulations.”