APA Cancels Landmark Panel to Discuss Homosexual Therapy and Religion
By Michael Baggot
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 6, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The American Psychological Association (APA) cancelled a highly-anticipated panel on homosexual therapy and religion on Friday after receiving pressure to do so from pro-homosexual activists.
The "Homosexuality and Therapy: The Religious Dimension" symposium, organized by former Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists president Dr. David Scasta, was scheduled to occur yesterday at the Washington Convention Center, and was slated to discuss the insights religion can offer to the therapy of individuals with homosexual tendencies.
Practicing homosexual Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, who was scheduled to debate the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Albert Mohler, dropped out of the panel saying that he feared the panel would lend credibility to the notion that individuals can overcome their homosexual inclinations.
"Conservatives, particularly Focus on the Family, were going to use this event to draw credibility to the so-called reparative therapy movement. It became clear to me in the last couple of weeks that just my showing up and letting this event happen…lends credibility to that so-called therapy," Robinson told the pro-homosexual news organization the Washington Blade.
Robinson was not the only pro-homosexual activist fearful of the symposium’s impact.
"This was a platform for conservatives to get the APA to reconsider its position on homosexuality. Scasta was being used by the religious right to offer them credibility," author Wayne Besen told the Washington Blade.
The symposium panel was to feature two evangelical Christians who affirm that homosexuality is not an irreversible condition.
Rev. Albert Mohler was scheduled to specially address the possibility of changing sexual orientation and expressed disappointment that the panel could not wrestle with important questions regarding how best to treat patients.
"It is clear which side of the argument was unwilling to show up for this conversation. It is a tragedy the APA cannot hold a conversation on a matter of this importance without facing such internal political pressure that it becomes impossible for this symposium to be held," Mohler told The Times
The other evangelical panelist, Grove City College psychology professor Warren Throckmorton, attributed the cancellation to pressure from pro-homosexual activists.
"The APA program committee approved this six months ago. But when gay activists learned about it, they felt my views on homosexuality are conservative and they didn’t agree with them. So they threatened to protest."
While Throckmorton insists that he does not consider homosexuality to be a disorder, he was criticized in a April 24 GayCityNews.com article for his work helping patients live their lives "heterosexually" with "only very few weak instances of homosexual attraction."
The APA removed homosexuality from its list of disorders in 1973, largely thanks to the work of sexologist Alfred Kinsey. In 2000, the APA officially rejected reparative therapy.
Learn more about reparative therapy: