Campaigners to protest ‘ex-gay’ therapy group

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Gay rights group Truth Wins Out will join a coalition of spiritual and civil rights groups in Orlando to protest the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality’s (NARTH) annual conference this month.

The theme of the demonstration and on-site press conference will be “Countering the Quacks” and will feature large inflatable ducks, duck whistles and a Donald Duck character.

NARTH supports so-called conversion therapy and lobbies the American Psychiatric Association to re-label gay people mentally ill.

NARTH is also embroiled in two major controversies. In the first, a NARTH doctor wrote an essay supporting gender variant children being “ridiculed” in school so they would conform. In the second, another NARTH doctor wrote an article justifying slavery. As a result of the slavery remarks, two NARTH presenters refused to speak at this conference.

The protest and press conference will take place at the Renaissance Orlando Airport Hotel on Saturday, November 11 at noon.

NARTH’s leader, Dr Joseph Nicolosi, has said there “are no gay people, just heterosexuals with a homosexual problem.”

He says factors in the causation of homosexuality include “fear of tall bridges” a “phobia of the phone” and once claimed that gay men are more likely to be “pee shy.”

He has encouraged his clients to become more masculine by drinking Gatorade and calling friends “dude.” Dr Nicolosi also claims, according to Truth Wins Out, that “non-homosexual men who experience defeat and failure may also experience homosexual fantasies or dreams.”

The American Psychological Association specifically condemned NARTH by name at the APA’s annual convention in August.

At the convention, the APA stated: “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 position’s espoused by the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality 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.”

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