WASHINGTON, D.C., February 26, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – President Barack Obama's administration does not believe homosexuals can change their sexual orientation and holds that reparative therapy is “generally futile and potentially dangerous to an individual's well-being.” Those are the sentiments expressed in the amicus curiae the Justice Department filed with the Supreme Court on Friday, urging justices to strike down a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
According to the Obama administration, “the broad consensus in the scientific community is that, for the vast majority of people (gay and straight alike), sexual orientation is not a voluntary choice.”
The brief also asserts that the medical profession has determined that “efforts to change an individual’s sexual orientation are generally futile and potentially dangerous to an individual’s well-being.”
However, the 2009 American Psychological Association’s Task Force Report that the DOJ lawyers cite seems to indicate that that aspects of sexuality can be changed. It states, “recent research…illustrates that sexual behavior, sexual attraction, and sexual orientation identity are labeled and expressed in many different ways, some of which are fluid.”
While the APA report denigrates reparative therapy, it dismissses most of the studies on the topic. It states that “only a few studies have been conducted in the last 10 years” and that “none of the recent research (1999–2007) meets methodological standards that permit conclusions regarding efficacy or safety.” The APA then cites the alleged dearth of evidence to undermine the efficacy of reparative therapy.
Dr. Joseph Berger, a consultant psychiatrist at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Canada, disagrees with the APA's assessment. He said, “some studies suggest 33 percent to…as high as 79 percent” of people who undergo sexual conversion therapy have been helped.
The Obama administration highlights a statement in the APA reporting claiming that “efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm.”
Dr. Nicholas Cummings, APA president from 1979 to 1980, attributed such views to the homosexual lobby's dominance over the APA. By the mid-1990s “political stances seemed to override any scientific results,” he said. “Cherry-picking results became the mode. The gay rights movement sort of captured the APA.”
Homosexuals have fiercely combatted the idea that sexual orientation is a choice or can be altered in any way. Such a view “undermines the entire alleged civil rights nature of the gay activist movement,” author Michael Brown told LifeSiteNews. “Therefore, therapy for this is considered to be harmful and destructive.”
An Angus-Reid opinion poll earlier this month found that such views are pivotal to the acceptance or rejection of same-sex “marriage.” The firm discovered 76 percent of Americans who believe “people are born with” their sexual orientation support same-sex marriage, while 64 percent of those who believe homosexuality is “a choice” reject marriage redefinition.
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Opposing such therapy has become a homosexual and liberal goal. One state, California, has already enacted a statewide ban on reparative therapy. Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill last year, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals put the law on hold pending an ongoing appeal.
State Senator Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, said candidly during debate, “The attack on parental rights is exactly the whole point of the bill.”
Lawmakers in the state of New Jersey are considering passing a similar ban.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a lawsuit against the New Jersey-based reparative therapy group JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives of Healing) for consumer fraud, on the grounds that the therapy does not cure all patients.
No word on whether the Obama administration will weigh in on either case.
The Obama administration has antagonized the ex-gay community in the past. Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) has asked the administration to remove links from government websites to portals that denigrate or deny the existence of former homosexuals.
The president “is engaging in sexual orientation bias against disfavored groups,” said PFOX director Regina Griggs.