Friday July 9, 2010

BMA: Therapy to Treat Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction Should be Banned

By James Tillman

BRIGHTON, United Kingdom, July 9, 2010 ( – The British Medical Association (BMA) has passed a motion asserting that therapy meant to treat unwanted same-sex attraction is harmful, calling on the Royal College of Psychiatrists and other professional bodies to repudiate such treatments and forbid them in their codes of practice.

More than two-thirds of the doctors who voted supported the motion. They also said that alleged cases of conversion therapy funded by Britain’s National Health Service should be investigated

Junior doctor Tom Dolphin, who proposed the motion, said, “This isn’t about therapy designed to help reconcile people to their sexuality, which is laudable and appropriate. I’m talking about therapy aimed at changing that sexual orientation.

“Conversion therapy does not work, and can be actively harmful,” he argued. “Sexual orientation is such a fundamental part of who someone is that to attempt to change it will just result in significant conflict and depression, and even sometimes suicide.”

Not all doctors were convinced by such arguments, however.

Dr. Gareth Payne from Cardiff said that there was no definitive evidence that such treatments were harmful. He called for more research on how to help support people struggling with their sexuality.

“It seems that the British Medical Associaton is practicing junk science,” Mrs. Regina Griggs, of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), told “All mainstream medical health organizations, science organization, have found one thing: they’ve never found a gay gene, they have not found homosexuality or sexual orientation to be innate.

“Therefore, change is possible.”

Addressing the BMA’s refusal to consider the desires of those who wish to change their orientation, Mrs. Griggs asked rhetorically: “What gives any association the right to practice mind control?”

Organizations like the BMA, she said, are saying that “because I didn’t change, chose not to change, you have no right to self determination. It’s my way, or no way.”

“That seems politically correct, not scientifically correct,” she said. Furthermore, she continued, it hurts the very people that “gay rights” activists claim to be helping.

“It’s endangering people who are unhappy, and have made a decision about their own life,” she said. Medical organizations should not block the aims of those seeking to eliminate their same sex attraction (SSA), she said, but respect their own choices.

“Otherwise,” she continued, “it’s just a politically correct bunch of garbage.”

The case echoes a similar suppression of therapies meant to help treat SSA in Spain. The Catalan government said in June that it would fine the clinic Policlinica Tibidabo if it was confirmed that it was carrying out such treatments.