American psychologists stand firm against gay ‘conversion therapy’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A gay rights organisation in the United States has praised the American Pyschological Association’s tough stance against the pseudo-science of conversion therapy.

The ‘treatment’ is promoted by Christian organisations as a cure for homosexuality, but the APA have rejected it on the grounds that it has no scientific evidence to support claims made about its effectiveness.

The APA conference in New Orleans has been picketed this week by fundamentalist Christians and others, under the banner of the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.

Truth Wins Out, a LGBT pressure group, today praised the APA for their tough stance in the face of a sophisticated PR assault.

“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,” TWO’s Executive Director Wayne Besen to US Newswire.

TWO released a statement from the APA, which states: “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 APA’s concern about the positions espoused by NARTH and so-called conversation 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 have gone further than rejecting conversion therapy as a treatment, criticising the methods used and saying that it can be destructive and damaging to patients.

Truth Wins Out also drew attention to some of the more ludicrous conversion therapy methods including 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.