August 9, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A group of therapists dedicated to providing therapy for unwanted same-sex attraction has criticized the American Psychological Association’s (APA) new declaration in favor of same-sex “marriage” as tainted by primarily political motivations.
The declaration, adopted earlier this month by the APA’s policymaking body in a unanimous vote, professes antipathy toward state-level efforts to maintain legal marriage as between a man and a woman, and criticizes such campaigns as sources of stress for homosexual persons.
“Statewide campaigns to deny same-sex couples legal access to civil marriage are a significant source of stress to the lesbian, gay, and bisexual residents of those states,” states the APA, which bills itself as “a strong advocate for full equal rights for LGBT people.”
Dr. Julie Hamilton, President of The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), said the declaration was another instance of the APA inappropriately playing the standard-bearer for a political cause.
“The APA far too often bases their position statements on political ideology rather than scientific findings,” said Hamilton in a statement provided to LifeSiteNews.com.
“Although the APA is regarded as a professional, scientifically based organization, far too often it does not function as such.”
Hamilton noted that Drs. Rogers Wright and Nicholas Cummings, both former top APA officials, have disclosed that “many of the APA’s decisions are influenced by ideology rather than research” in their book, Destructive Trends in Mental Health.
“As a result, the APA cannot be viewed as a reliable source of scientific information, and the stances they take therefore lack any real value,” she said.
Homosexuality was declassified as a mental disorder in 1973 in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the universal standard for classification of mental illness, after years of high-pressure lobbying by gay rights activists.
In a scene not unlike recent demonstrations for same-sex “marriage,” Dr. Melvin Sashbin in 1998 recalled how a gay rights demonstration at the American Psychiatric Association’s 1970 meeting was so disruptive that the Association hired a security consultant to try to ensure more peaceful demonstrations in the future.
“It was guerrilla theater,” said Sashbin, who described “screaming” that eventually quieted into discussion.
Dr. Robert Spitzer, who was in charge of the DSM change, reversed his position on therapy for unwanted same-sex attraction nearly 30 years later to support such therapy based on his own research.
Although expressing wariness of treatment for same-sex attraction, the APA currently states that there is “insufficient evidence” to either approve or discredit such therapy.