APA Discredits 'Ex-Gay' Movement

365Gay.com/August 11, 2006

The American Psychological Association on Friday issued a stinging rebuke of the so-called ex-gay movement following a demonstration by members of several organizations that claim homosexuality is a choice that can be cured.

A small group representing the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and Exodus International demonstrated in front of the APA convention in New Orleans Friday.

"While the APA continues to play politics with social issues unrelated to its mission, thousands of current and potential patients are being harmed," said Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, a national 'ex-gay' organization.

"We represent those across the country who struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction, desire the help of skilled professionals and are instead, being discriminated against because their personal beliefs do not align with that of the APA."

In 1974, the American Psychological Association ceased listing homosexuality as a mental disorder.

The protestors demanded that the APA change its current position.

Immediately after the protest the APA issued a statement reaffirming its stand.

"For over three decades the consensus of the mental health community has been that homosexuality is not an illness and therefore not in need of a cure," the statement said.

"The APA's concern about the positions espoused by NARTH and so-called conversion therapy is that they are not supported by the science. There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish."

The APA statement was hailed by a group fighting the 'ex-gay' movement and 'conversion therapy'.

"Truth Wins Out applauds the APA for taking a strong stand against quack science and not buckling to a transparent PR campaign designed to politically pressure the APA into abandoning reputable and respectable research," said TWO's Executive Director Wayne Besen.

"Conversion therapy is a contrived 'cure' that is nothing more than Scripture cloaked as science and religion masquerading as research."

Some of the organizations advocating 'conversion therapy' use methods that include exorcisms, repossessing a client's Calvin Klein underwear because it is deemed "too gay," taking Prozac and drinking Gatorade in an effort to make men more masculine, according to Truth Wins Out.

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