Psychology Today bans ads for treatment of unwanted same-sex attraction
March 6, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Under heavy pressure from homosexual activists, Psychology Today magazine has banned all advertising for practitioners who offer services to help people rid themselves of unwanted same-sex attraction and develop healthy sexual desire for the opposite sex.
The therapy, known as "sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE), has been under fire by gay activists who assert it promotes the “dangerous” idea that sexual preference is a choice, not an inborn trait. So far, three states and the District of Columbia have been persuaded to ban the practice outright for minors, and gay activists are working to convince additional states and the federal government to do the same.
In the meantime, the homosexual advocacy group HRC (Human Rights Campaign) has been pressuring Psychology Today, which lists tens of thousands of therapists in its directory, to bar SOCE practitioners from advertising their services there.
“By offering a venue for these medically-debunked practices, Psychology Today is lending them a veneer of credibility -- propping up a fraudulent industry that takes advantage of vulnerable individuals, including children and families,” wrote HRC spokesman Fred Sainz in a letter to the magazine’s publishers.
Sainz demanded the magazine remove all current ads for SOCE therapists, ban them from advertising in the future, and publish an editorial publicly condemning the practice.
Wrote Sainz: “Psychology Today has the opportunity to take a leadership role in protecting the public from these harmful and illegal practices by taking prompt action to limit this type of advertisement and creating awareness about the danger of conversion therapy.”
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Initially, the publication balked. “We take care not to sit in judgement [sic] of others by allowing or denying individual participation,” Charles Frank, who oversees the advertising directory, told the Huffington Post. “There are many reasons why one group of people take issue with another, especially around the sensitive subject of relationships and therapy," he added. "The Therapy Directory cannot pick winners."
But just four hours after the Huffington Post went public with Frank’s comments on its “Gay Voices” advocacy page, the publication abruptly changed its tune.
“Psychology Today does not endorse or publish ads for reparative therapy in print, online or in professionals' profiles,” Frank announced in an “updated statement” on the magazine’s website. “We have informed all Directory professionals that those whose profiles offer conversion therapy will be delisted.”
By the following afternoon, Psychology Today had removed listings for at least five professionals advertising SOCE services, said Frank, in a follow-up e-mail to the “Gay Voices” page chronicling his progress. “It took me a while to track them all down.”