Quebec psychologists could face ethics violation for reparative therapy
MONTREAL, Dec. 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Psychologists in Quebec could face an ethics violation for helping patients who want to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions, the province’s licensing body is warning.
The Order of Psychologists of Quebec ruled that reparative therapy is “unethical” in a new position statement last month – adopted, they say, in response to California’s recent ban on using the therapy with minors. That ban was temporarily blocked recently by a federal judge, who expressed doubts about the ban’s constitutionality.
“Given the state of research on these issues, it would be unethical to offer homosexual persons wishing to engage in psychotherapy, an intervention aimed at changing sexual orientation as a way of treating them,” the OPQ statement reads.
“Proposing an intervention aimed at changing sexual orientation ... could corroborate the false belief that being gay is abnormal,” it adds.
Diane Côté, the OPQ’s communications director, told LifeSiteNews that Quebec has no laws governing reparative therapy, but also indicated that that does not mean psychologists are free to offer it. Under Quebec law, psychologists are governed by her organization’s Code of Ethics.
“Psychologists must abide by the OPQ’s Code of Ethics. If the OPQ received a request for an inquiry into a psychologist’s conduct, the OPQ would investigate on this matter,” Côté explained.
Policies similar to that adopted by the OPQ have already been used to target Christian therapists.
In a high profile case out of Britain, Christian psychotherapist Lesley Pilkington lost her accreditation in September after a sting operation by a homosexual activist purporting to want help in leaving the homosexual lifestyle.
Patrick Strudwick recorded their two sessions and published them in The Independent newspaper, then filed a complaint with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
“We want to root out therapists and psychiatrists who are practising these techniques and ultimately bring an end to them through exposing them, as well as disrupting their meetings,” Strudwick told Pink News.
Côté told LifeSiteNews their statement was adopted Nov. 23rd in response to media inquiries in the wake of California’s ban on reparative therapy for minors, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed this fall. The bill is set to take effect Jan. 1st, but on Dec. 4th a federal judge halted it temporarily for three therapists as they sue to have it overturned.
In recent years, the formerly Catholic province has styled itself as a pioneer in the effort to combat “homophobia”.
In 2009, the provincial government released a plan to normalize homosexuality in Quebec society, noting that it had already been normalized in law.
Homophobia, according to the government’s plan, includes the view that “homosexuality is an illness, morally wrong or a form of deviant behavior,” as well as the belief that “people choose their sexual orientation.”
In 2011, the province instituted an Office for the Fight Against Homophobia under the Ministry of Justice, pledging $7 million to the campaign.
As part of that initiative, in June, the Ministry of Justice launched a “registry of homophobic acts” in partnership with the homosexual activist group Gai Ecoute, urging citizens to send in anonymous complaints. The group was joined by Montreal Police Chief Johanne Paquin at the press conference announcing the registry.