The APA symposium on homosexuality, therapy and religion has been cancelled

What a difference a day makes.

The American Psychiatric Association program Homosexuality and Therapy: The Religious Dimension has been pulled by chair David Scasta. My understanding is that he was asked (by whom, I am still not clear) to pull the program because of increasing concerns about it. I am still hearing more about the reasons and hope to know something more clearly soon.

Dr. Scasta did tell me that the APA’s position is that the program was not pulled because gay activists were unhappy with it. At this moment, I am skeptical.

More to come…

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  • Kevin

    Warren is continuing to describe this as an “APA symposium”, but the Blade article made it clear that it was not an official APA event, but rather an outside-organized panel timed to line up with the APA conference. Warren provided a link from October 2007 listing the panel on the APA’s program, so the status of this (now-cancelled) panel seems murky.

  • Michael Bussee

    Warren’s comment: “Dr. Scasta did tell me that the APA’s position is that the program was not pulled because gay activists were unhappy with it.”

    Question: How come we never hear of straight activists? How come when a gay person expresses disapproval or takes a stand which is gay supportive that person gets labeled “activist” — and it always seems to have a negative feel to it?

  • Kevin

    At least he’s not calling them “homosexual activists”, like he used to (see, e.g., http://www.americandaily.com/nucleus/plugins/print/print.php?itemid=6722 ).

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Kevin – Do you believe the Blade over the APA program from their website? There is nothing murky about it.

    Michael – I was relaying what David Scasta, a gay man, related to me.

  • Kevin

    Jack Drescher has an excellent letter-to-the-editor here: http://www.gaycitynews.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19652714&BRD=2729&PAG=461&dept_id=569329&rfi=6

    The APA is hosting another symposium on homosexuality and therapy called “Stop It: You’re Making Me Sick Revisited: Landmarks in the Struggle to Normalize Lesbian and Gay Lives”:

    1. How It All Started Franklin Kameny, Ph.D.

    2. From Disorder to Dystonia: DSM-II to DSM-III Richard C. Pillard, M.D.

    3. Strike While the Iron Is Hot! Science and Social Forces and Ego-Dystonic Homosexuality Robert P. Cabaj, M.D.

    4. Sexual Orientation and Psychiatric Diagnosis: Current Issues in DSM-IV and Moving Toward DSM-V Benjamin H. McCommon, M.D.

    5. Eliminating Anti-Gay Diagnoses in WHO’s International Classification of Disorders (ICD) Gene A. Nakajima, M.D.

  • Lee

    All scientific evidence to date [not to mention empricial data] strongly indicates that people with an homosexual sexual orientation have brains that are biologically different from heterosexuals.

    Who takes issues with this? 99% of the time it is people whose religious beliefs conflict with scientific knowlegde.

    This is nothing new folks – has been going on for centuries.

  • David Blakeslee

    :(.

  • Lee

    Good

  • Lee

    It is sad that people who have a religious fundamentalist agenda [whether christian or islamic] are in denial about the biological basis of sexual orientation.

    Approx. 5% of the population are born with an homosexual sexual orientation and ancient religious texts do not change this fact.

  • Mary

    You know what is so sad – is that thirty some years ago we knew far less than we do today about pyschology/psychiatry and science has come very far. New techniques, new medications, new understandings about the origins of behaviors and the brain. And yet, we have gay people vehemently holding on to old ideas – as if nothing has changed – in the fields of mental health – unless of course it is pro gay. Some people will never be satisfied with a homosexual orientation and I’m glad that a few courageous health practitioners still value the individual over the day’s popular beliefs. Yes, there are some misguided people who practice “ministry” to “change” people because of the “immorality” of homosexuality. But there are many legitimate counselors and doctors who also help people resolve the conflict that is suitable for the client and that won’t always jive with the gay community.

    But anyhow – I suppose we will have to listen to those who say there is nothing but gay affirmations for people who want a different life. Too bad – mob rule.

    How does this sound – if you feel gay feelings you must be gay and act on those gay feelings to have a fullfilled life.

    Or maybe this sounds better – if you have gay feelings you must stop having them and never act on those gay feelings to have a fulfilled life.

    Or the third option – what would you like to do about your gay feelings – and then do it.

  • Mary

    Oh yeah – and if you change your mind – that is good too.

  • Lee

    Mary,

    Why are people not able to accept themselves as having been born with an homosexual sexual orientation? Why are they “dissatisfied”

    The Church, classmates, society at large, family, and friends who are ignorant and in denial – stereotype, discrimminate, demonize, etc., etc. gay people.

    Do you suppose that has anything to do with it? Do you think those things also have anything to do with gay youth suicides? Or contributing factors re: drug and alcohol and sex addictions?

    In a just, moral, and intelligent society it would be a non-issue.

    If you consider the quest for truth to be clinging to old beliefs – than yes I am – and I will always seek the truth.

  • Lee

    PS Mary,

    A sexual orientation is not just “feelings”. Minimizing the role sexual orientation plays in a person’s life is another strategy the religious right uses.

    You may consider sexual orientation to be just a “feeling” – but I consider it an important part of EVERY person’s life – it impacts who they love and express that love with, the family they build for themselves and companionship. That is a huge part of life – as big as productive work.

    I have said it before and will continue to: religious fundamentalism – christian or islamic – will destroy our society unless we put a stop to it.

  • Ann

    Mary,

    Do you think anyone is listening and/or understanding? What you are saying makes complete sense but it is being silenced and that is very sad.

  • Eddy

    LOL. And one of the presenter’s at the symposium that will be allowed at this year’s conference is ‘a former gay activist’…again, identified that way by Jack Drescher not Warren.

    Jack made the following statement in response to right-wing accusations that the declassification of homosexuality was a response to political pressure.

    What actually happened is that after an intensive review by experts lasting more than a year, our scientific Nomenclature Committee recommended that APA’s Board of Trustees remove the diagnosis of “homosexuality” from the DSM. After further review and approval by other APA committees and deliberative bodies, in December 1973, the Board voted to remove homosexuality from the DSM. Within two years, other major mental health professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy, endorsed the APA decision.

    Forgive me, but I must read between the lines. There’s ‘an intensive review by experts lasting more than a year’. Really, a whole year? Did these experts suspend their lives, their practice, their other duties so they could all gather together and review intensively?(If they all worked at the same place, there would have been the danger of unnatural bias or influence so I’m assuming they were experts from across the country.) And just what is it that they reviewed? Did they poll the psychiatric community for case studies? Or did they review the popular social commentary of the time? LOL. It sounds impressive til you think it through. What they reviewed will answer whether or not there was political motivation.

    Mary,

    Post ’005′ (with ’007′) was beautifully stated. Thanks!

    David,

    I couldn’t agree more.

  • Evan

    Mary’s message is right to the point.

    Science should support all parties, be they gay, ex-gay or any people who have difficulties in relating to their feelings. I don’t see why science should dictate on what is acceptable for someone to live. It is well outside its jurisdiction. Even if they define ‘gay feelings’ to be normal (that is, not dysfunctional) they should also support people who are troubled by their feelings, simply because no one should be left out. It’s really sad that such representative body in the psychological profession slams the door shut in the face of some of the most vulnerable people. Historically, this general attitude of partisanship and rejection will be recorded as a great error and a shame.

  • Mary

    Ann

    I think that gay activists will do anything to silence this message. They are using an old archaic approach to community and health. They are basically marketing a belief system. Sort of like the old conservative christians of the 80′s and 90′s. I think someday cooler heads and better community involvment will allow reason to prevail. Just from what we have seen with the younger generation – they are just as tired of the old gay and christian evangelical rhetoric as we are. The younger generation is not as easily fooled by what others say because it is said by someone who is “cool”. They demand more documentation and more conversation about topics than the old – “Oh – you’re like me so you’re on my side” program without thinking.

    I was in the freedom fight as a lesbian and still in it as a christian and ex gay (for lack of a better word) . I did not switch or change allegiance – the message is still the same. Individuals have the right to health care of their choosing, housing, jobs, love of thier choice – and the right of marriage, etc…

    Eddy,

    Thanks. I was getting snarky and am frustrated with the bishop’s misinformed thinking and judgment. He is basically saying to all of his laity that their sexual morality is immoral if it does not agree with his. How’s that for a chruch leader?

  • Mary

    One more comment about the bishop. I was disappointed in his recent actions because they smack of the same bigotry and discrimination of the christian evenagelical some decades ago. How can a so called man of God be so manipulated and puppeted by the string of remarks made by others?

    He knew of the symposium months and months ago. He backed out at the last minute because of media flurries – and no other reason. It would have been better for him to attend and then make a comment. It would certainly have given more credibility to his judgment and words. As it seems, the bishop got bullied and backed down.

  • Ann

    It’s really sad that such representative body in the psychological profession slams the door shut in the face of some of the most vulnerable people. Historically, this general attitude of partisanship and rejection will be recorded as a great error and a shame.

    Evan,

    This has always been my concern. It is so critical that the APA recognize and support those individuals who are not happy and content with their orientation and recognize that they are completely different from those that are content. It is such an individual thing and yet, it is being dismissed as if it was frivolous. I do not support or endorse quack therapy or organizations that promote quick fixes and promises, etc., however, most individual therapy is not like that and yet it is clumped in with it. It is really so cruel – I don’t know how they can live with themselves.

  • Ann

    Individuals have the right to health care of their choosing, housing, jobs, love of thier choice – and the right of marriage, etc…

    Mary,

    Yes and this is not a moral issue – it is an equal rights issue and should be treated as such by law.

  • Ann

    There is a movie out now called Expelled and it describes the pernicious effect of what happens to a society when discussion of is shut down or silenced. It illustrates the extent some individuals/groups will go to stop any exchange of ideas, particularly when their belief system is being challenged.

  • jayhuck

    Eddy,

    We’ve been over this before. The removal of homosexuality from the DSM did not happen overnight due to pressure from gay activists as many anti-gay activists like to try and claim – even Warren himself has said as much.

    Evan,

    Science should support all parties, be they gay, ex-gay or any people who have difficulties in relating to their feelings.

    That is not true. Science should NOT support all parties – science has never supported all parties. Should science both support Evolution and Creationism, even though the evidence for Evolution is overwhelming? Science should be true to itself and its methods – nothing more. Science cannot deal with issues that are primarily religious in nature – which the Ex-Gay issue is

    We need to be careful when religion starts meddling in science to further its own ends. Science has no responsibility to support others religious motivations.

    That said though, I think there should be counseling made available to those who want it. I also think the APA will have to address this issue at some point – what has happened today is only a temporary setback for a discussion that has been a long time coming.

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    First, I don’t appreciate the attitude of “We’ve been over this before.” If you and I have been over this before, then feel free to jump past my comments. Otherwise, it sounds like you’re saying that you’re done with this topic and everyone else needs to get up to your speed.

    Second, even if we have, my comments make it obvious what my objections still are to your take on things. If I’m not persuaded, then there are likely to be others and we won’t be dismissed by “we’ve been over this before.”

    Third, you brought up Warren’s opinions on the matter as if his opinion alone is supposed to change mine. I’ve never lived by pack mentality and don’t plan to start now.

    Fourth, you managed to overlook the only thing I really asked for: What is it that the experts reviewed for that year? What was the scope of their review that led to such a dramatic shift? I’ve been asking for years; I really do want to know.

  • Kevin

    Is this the normal level of discussion on this blog? Broad generalizations (“I think that gay activists will do anything to silence this message”), complete conjectures presented as statements of fact (e.g., “He backed out at the last minute because of media flurries – and no other reason”), and bizarre rhetorical questions (e.g., “There’s ‘an intensive review by experts lasting more than a year’. Really, a whole year? Did these experts suspend their lives, their practice, their other duties so they could all gather together and review intensively?”).Not one of you (Ann, Eddy, Mary) has taken seriously the criticism levied by Robinson and Drescher against the panel (including Warren, who dismissed it saying “activists can make anything out of anything”) — instead, you’ve resorted to statements about the impartiality of science that miss the point.

  • Ann

    Not one of you (Ann, Eddy, Mary) has taken seriously the criticism levied by Robinson and Drescher against the panel (including Warren)

    Kevin,

    Do you really mean to direct this kind of comment after the posts I have written regarding this subject?

  • Eddy

    Kevin–

    1) I’ve been following this story since it first developed. Why would I take Robinson’s report (which isn’t published here) and Drescher’s (which I read) over Warren and David’s? Remember Kevin, they are responding to something that hadn’t yet happened and presume to know the motivations. I’d give Robinson’s words the same weight as Warren’s but I’d want to ask a few questions too.

    2) My question was meant to be a bit ‘out there’ but it was by no means rhetorical. A year is a very short amount of time for an issue so large to not only be examined but then decided with no option for appeal. And I wanted people to see the spin value of phrases like ‘extensive review by experts’. You almost get a picture of a group huddled in a library poring over manuscripts for hours on end–but it wasn’t that. I think it’s an extremely fair question to ask how extensive this review was and what was reviewed.

    3) In your criticisms of the terrible blogging habits of Mary, Ann and myself, you forgot Michael checking in to challenge Warren for using the term ‘gay activist’ and how it sounds so negative when he says it…only to discover that it was David’s term…a gay man and former activist. (I don’t know if that knowledge makes the negative vibe disappear–or maybe it’s the way Warren typed it–probably transferred some inborn anti-gay negativity through his fingertips.)

  • Kevin

    Eddy: (1) Robinson and Drescher levied the criticism that the panel would be used as fodder in the PR campaigns of Focus on the Family, etc., in an attempt to claim mainstream support for their views about “overcoming” homosexuality. That is the reason Robinson gave for backing out. And, in fact, Focus on the Family has already done so (see link I provided earlier). No one on this board has attempted to respond to that criticism in any substantive way.

    (2) Extended research reviews happen all the time. If you want the details of what materials they looked at, you’re perfectly free to contact people in the know directly via email. I suspect if you poke around on Google Scholar you’ll find some journal articles discussing it in detail. Demanding details from commenters on a blog won’t get you many answers.

    (3) Warren has a long history of using the phrases “gay activists” and “homosexual activists.” Michael’s question was a legitimate one.

  • jayhuck

    A year is a very short amount of time for an issue so large to not only be examined but then decided with no option for appeal.

    A year is a short time according to who? How long should they have met to discuss this issue Eddy?

    If you are really interested to know exactly what went on at that meeting then why don’t you do some research?

  • Eddy

    Kevin–

    My only responses to hearsay are either to ignore it or start asking questions. The spin that Focus on the Family put on the symposium was most unfortunate. I compared it to the spin that Wayne Besen put on it back when he first learned of the symposium. Both statements are weighted more by individual agendas than they are by the actual facts. Since your reports of Robinson’s reactions indicate that he’s responding to what he’s been told the symposium was really all about…it’s hearsay.

    BTW: I love the homework assignment you gave me. I’ll take it as proof that you accepted the ‘extensive review’ without question and don’t really know how valid the review was. And, I’ll decline the assignment. I was an adult already when the review and declassification happened and I asked the questions then too. It seems those answers aren’t as forthcoming as you suggest.

    I don’t get your issue with his use of the phrases ‘gay activists’ and ‘homosexual activists’…they seem a whole lot more specific than the term ‘conservative Christian’. It would seem that Warren’s areas of professional interest and the discussion on this blog would warrant a word that expressed the direction of a person’s activism…and, in my mind, the ‘activists’ are those who are ‘active’…those who are rallying, blogging, organizing, whatever….as opposed to those gays who are quietly leading their lives. So, yeah, it seems natural that those phrases would pop up a bit.

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    Yours came in while I was answering Kevin.

    Five at the least–especially when you factor in the ‘no appeal’. And I see you don’t know the answer either. Funny, ‘we’ve been over this’. It would seem that the declassification is almost foundational to your point of view and yet you haven’t got a clue as to the process that went on.

    LOL! I should have gone singing. Night all.

  • Ann

    Good night Eddy – thank you for the responses – very well said :-)

  • Mary

    Jayhuck,

    We’ve been over this before – people are human beings of a variety of perspectives. Your’s is not the only one and that you have consistently for several months over several different topics injected your perspective as being the only one that is right for ALL people (that psychologists should not try to help a person change or resolve their conflicts) is just damn tiring.

    You have no right to determine for me what is right! Science has helped me tremendously to understand myself. How DARE you say otherwise – that science has no place in this human’s realm. (That is what you say to people like myself when you say that science has no place in sexuality)

    And for the record – you cannot compare evolution vs creation with an as yet open science that is yet filled with discovery – that being sexual behavior.

    We get it. You – YOU – not me – not others – BELIEVE – believe is the operative word that YOU were born gay and gay you will stay gay for ever and ever. WE GET IT!! But damnit that does not mean it is the same for me and that I do not have a right to pursue counseling for help. Everytime you start down that road of saying that science has no place, no right, no purpose in such a place – you are dead wrong. Evidently – it has helped a lot of people – otherwise counselors would be out of business.

    And you can replace homosexual feelings with just about any feeling (or in your case ) inborn trait that you want.

    Because guess what – it is an inborn trait to respond to negative situations in certain ways and alot of us go to counselors to change. Replace inborn trait with – defensiveness, fear, humor, overcompensation etc…. And some of us believe (BELIEVE) that sexual feelings can change, too. Please – remember that you are not totally right nor totally wrong but you are wrong to say that science has no place in my bedroom. You are dead wrong to continue to make those broad statments.

  • Mary

    Kevin,

    I read gay blogs as a general practice to maintain a current perspective. You may read them, too and will discover that my statments were not broad generalizations. And only after activists and other media commentaries in gay rags ie: Wahington Blade, etc… had posted on the bishops actions did we next hear from the bishop who then declined to the symposium. So – I made some conclusions.

    And the criticism is clear – the bishop was manipulated. On his own he decided to attend the symposium. And then all of a sudden and within about a week – he pulled out.

    You are free to read the online gay blogs and papers as you wish.

    It reminds me of when I was gay. Back in the day, christians were afraid to meet with us gays because others mught think it gave us gays credibility. Now – that role has been reversed and the gay bishop is doing exactly what happened to his community decades ago. I find that shameful it the most deliberate way.

    Those who have forgotten history??? Or perhaps don’t know it or didn’t live it.

  • jayhuck

    Your’s is not the only one and that you have consistently for several months over several different topics injected your perspective as being the only one that is right for ALL people (that psychologists should not try to help a person change or resolve their conflicts) is just damn tiring.

    What is damn tiring Mary is your constant haranguing of my posts. If you read my posts carefully you would know that I don’t believe mine is the only perspective that is right. You constantly accuse me of things I haven’t done or ignore the times when I’ve made it abundantly clear I am only stating my opinion. Please read more carefully in the future Mary and maybe we can all avoid this episodes.

    From your most recent rant it is clear you don’t understand my position at all

  • jayhuck

    Eddy,

    I read about the DSM issue years ago. I’ve done my research. I’ll say it again – if you really cared to know the information you’d stop leveling accusations at people and go do some research. I’m starting to get the idea that real information isn’t what you are after here.

  • jayhuck

    LOL – 5 years – where did that arbitrary number come from?

  • jayhuck

    Mary,

    You are free to do whatever you want. You are obviously getting the counseling you feel you need so I don’t understand the anger you are leveling at me. Nothing about the status quo has prevented you from seeing a counselor that meets your needs. All I’m saying is just don’t expect mainstream science to give you its blessing.

  • Mary

    I do expect science to give me it’s blessing. I do expect you are looking for the nod that it is okay to have a gay relationship. thus your constant refusal to accept science in total and your pick and choose mentality.

  • Mary

    And BTW, it’s not just about me – what about others. However – I can only speak for myself when I read your closed ended posts.

  • jayhuck

    And science may well give you, and others, its blessing at some point down the road.

    Mary – I’m sure there are some people who see my posts as you do, but I know for a fact that there are those who don’t. All I’m asking if that you don’t pre-judge a post simply because you see it is from me, and give me just a little benefit of the doubt.

  • Mary

    No Jayhuck. I am tired of your consistent blending of your opinion with “true” science.

    I am certain, that science will show us that homosexuality, like any other trait, is a product of nature and nurture (and I even agree with Michael – part spirituality). Just because some people cannot change (and I am not demeaning those who have tried and not had any change – it is not anyone’s fault) or that there are residual feelings (that do not pervade a person’s thoughts or life) does not mean that homosexuality is inherent. It means that we do not understand everyone and how the portions of each contribution work or how to unwind it (should a person decide to).

    I am tired of your oversimplifications and non-comprehensible comparisons ie: evolution vs creation theories as evidence that science knows as much about human behavior, the mind and it’s interaction with the body, our environments etc…the two studies just aren’t alike in anyway.

    You have convinced yourself that you are gay and unchangeable. Sounds like you want someone to tell you to act on your feelings??? I’m not sure. Please find peace with yourself.

  • Eddy

    Actually, Jayhuck, I feel that providing real information isn’t your goal here. You are the one who came on strong suggesting that the whole declassification issue was old news (“we’ve been here before”)…you make a loud point, an insistent point, but for some reason you feel that, in this instance, you don’t need to back up your claims. You’ve always seemed more than willing to educate us with your scientific knowledge. It’s very telling when, on such a major point, your only advice is “look it up”.

    Since you’re usually quick with a rebuttal of some form, the fact that you can’t shed a bit of light on how that review process happened despite my annoying harangues…that reveals a lot. And I’m glad for the opportunity to expose where the answers are missing or have been glossed over.

    Re the 5 years. You asked how long I thought would be appropriate. I think 5 years is much more complete than 1 year and not as grueling as 10. It’s an opinion…it’s my thought…that’s what you asked for. You obviously disagree…that’s your privilege. But to call my figure ‘arbitrary’ while holding fast to your own ‘arbitrary’ one year…it simply doesn’t advance the discussion.

  • Evan

    Jayhuck,

    Science should NOT support all parties – science has never supported all parties. Should science both support Evolution and Creationism, even though the evidence for Evolution is overwhelming? Science should be true to itself and its methods – nothing more. Science cannot deal with issues that are primarily religious in nature – which the Ex-Gay issue is

    I don’t think you got my point. Science is not some pontifical practice working in a celestial realm of ideas. Nor should be one that only works for politically promoted categories of people. I was talking about individual people, concrete individuals who have an array of problems, without identifying them under an ideological banner. If they are unhappy with their unwanted feelings, science should work towards helping them, not telling them they either accept what they cannot live or hit the road. I mean, is this the kind of understanding that people should get from the science that claims to take care of people’s emotional problems? If that is the trend coming into force, I see a sort of sexuality Nazism developing in the gay camp using all sorts of means to impose on how other people should live their lives. I said it before: it is not about science adjudicating who is right or wrong, it is about science reaching out to all people, supporting them in the way they want to live their life in integrity. If integrity is measured in gut feelings, so much for what science can do for society…

  • Ann

    Jayhuck,

    Until there is true and genuine concern and recognition for the individual or individuals who have unwanted same gender attractions and their place in being treated equally within the scientific and theraputic arenas, as well as being accepted within the community, there will always be contention. The human spirit cannot be limited or stifled. They can not live within the walls that others arrogantly construct for them. They want to live by their own values and want and need support for that. Can you tell me what the resistance is to this?

  • NickC

    I used to read this site regularly and comment at times. When I revisit now, I find it completely become dominated by three or four individuals shouting the same thing over and over. I see that a thread has 43 comments and think, “Oh, this one must be a lively discussion.” Then I find that once again it’s just Mary, Ann and Eddy arguing against Jayhuck.

    Keep it up guys. You’ve chased everyone else away.

  • Michael Bussee

    Bottom line. No reputable scientific organization will ever endorse “change”, “ex-gay”, “reparative therapy” — or whatever title you choose to apply to efforts to re-direct or suppress homosexual attractions. Never.

    And that’s not because those nasty “gay activists” are trying to promote theiir terrorist agenda or exert mob rule. It’s because it’s not an illness. Gays are not “broken” or “disordered” — no matter how much somoe folks may have been brainwashed to think so.

    NARTH and other groups and individuals — motivated more by religion and personal prejudice than by science — will continue to whine about it. But it won’t do any good. Reason will prevail.

  • Ann

    Michael,

    What then to we say to the individual who cannot live in harmony with their same gender attractions? What rights and considerations do they have in this world? Can they be dismissed as though they do not matter? The tide is turning in a very positive way for the individuals who can and want to live in harmony with their orientation and I am grateful for this. What about the other individuals though – where do they fit in and how can we extend ourselves to them in the same way?

  • Michael Bussee

    Ann asked: “What then to we say to the individual who cannot live in harmony with their same gender attractions? What rights and considerations do they have in this world?”

    Nobody is talking about depriving people of their rights — I wish people would quit framing it this way. They have every right to live in accordance with their beliefs and values — no one is suggesting otherwise.

    If you are asking what I, as a therapist, have to say to such a person, I start by exploring their personal history, beliefs and values to try to understand why they are having so much trouble.

    Are they depressed? Treat the depression. Are they addicted to a series of meanlngless sexual encounters? Dependent on drugs or alcohol to numb their inner confluct? Treat the addiction. Do they want to “change” because they feel society or family expects them to do so — and will reject them if they do not? I would work on assertion and self-esteem issues — and helping the person to build a more satisfying support system.

    I do not try to make them accept being gay. I try to understand why they don’t want to be. If they, for religious or personal reasons, decide that they want to remain celibate, I would certainly respect their choice — although I have to admit I don’t have any training on helping people to suppress their natural sexual orientation to live a sexless life. I don’t know how to do that — and it would be unethical for me to try.

  • Lee

    Mary,

    Mainstream science will never give you its support b/c you are dealing with a scientific issue [sexual orientation] and treating it as a religious one.

    People have used the bible for centuries to deny Truth and science – in fact – the bible was used to ban interracial marriage, support segregation, burn “Witches” in Salem, Kill people during the Spanish Inquistion….the list goes on.

    I recommend that you read “Saving the Bible from Fundamentaliism” written by a Bishop. It is a great book that demonstartes how the bible cannot be read literally b/c many of the things in it have been disproven by science. The bible was never intended to be taken literally but the beautiful metaphors therein have been lost on some people.

    The problem some people have is that you cannot see the portion of the brain that regulates sexual attraction like you can skin color or eye color. That does not make it any less real or anyless biological.

    Sexual orientation is a scientific and biological issue not a religious or political one – that is a mistake that some people make.

    However, with that said – you can do and believe whatever you want – that is your right – but you can’t pass it off as the truth – that is immoral.

  • Lee

    Ann,

    Why do those people have unwanted same sex attractions. That is the issue behind gay political activism.

    People born gay should not have to feel ashamed or rejected or afraid b/c they were born with an homosexual sexual orientation.

    Fortunately our society is changing and young people who aree born gay will not have the same kinds of pressures to not accept themselves and their differences as they mature into adults.

    The most important word in the english language is WHY.

    Ask yourself why one’s biological and god-given sexual orientation is unwanted.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    gang – comments defending the APA for cancelling this program over concerns about reparative therapy are a distraction and off the mark.

    If you oppose this program you do so because you want no high level conversation among mental health professionals about how to work with clients who object to homosexual behavior on religious grounds.

    The SIT framework is honest about the science on cause and change, it respects gay affirming views, respects the client’s valuing process, amd recognizes the role of social pressure. This what I was going to present.

    Those who really think this program would have benefitted reparative therapy should ask why NARTH did not promote this program.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    I think Michael said it better than I could.

  • jayhuck

    Evan,

    Science is not some pontifical practice working in a celestial realm of ideas.

    I never once suggested it was.

    Nor should be one that only works for politically promoted categories of people. I was talking about individual people, concrete individuals who have an array of problems, without identifying them under an ideological banner. If they are unhappy with their unwanted feelings, science should work towards helping them, not telling them they either accept what they cannot live or hit the road.

    I disagree with you. Science should not cater to politics OR religion – science should be true to itself and its methods. Science has no responsibility to offer help if that help involves methods or procedures that may be damaging or that have little or no scientific basis for their use.

    I suggest you read Michael Bussee’s comment 99053

  • jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Once again you’ve proven my point that you would rather argue with me, or accuse me of doing something rather than doing research to obtain your information. There is a great deal of information out there on this subject – I don’t care to go into it again, and I don’t care to take your bait and launch into some extended defense of why I am not going to help you with your research.

    I’ll say it again – if you REALLY CARED about finding out this information, you’d do it – to date you have not.

  • jayhuck

    Sorry Nick – I’m beginning to feel that I’m simply a scapegoat for their respective frustration and anger.

  • Michael Bussee

    Warren: With all due respect, I think the APA keeps backing away from this issue because it has NARTH’s stink on it. It’s not that they don’t want a “high level conversation among mental health professionals.” They just don’t want guilt by association.

    You will have to work long and hard to convince the APA that SIT has nothing to do with NARTH, Focus on the Family, Joann Highley, , Cameron, Berger, Schoenewolf, Cohen, Sally Kern, EXODUS, etc.

    You, and other SIT promoters will have to convince them that you have never been part of these individuals or groups, have never supported their work and that none of the SIT supporters are currently affiliated with these groups or individuals in any way. Can you do that?.

    I suspect that they suspect that you are really trying to get backdoor approval for reparative therapy. You have to start by convincing them that you are not associated with these groups in any way — and that your intiatives are only — and I mean only — “about how to work with clients who object to homosexual behavior on religious grounds“. I don’t think you can do that. The damage has been done.

  • Mary

    Lee,

    No – I am not mixing religion with science. Psychology will always be about what a person thinks and feels and how to address those issues.

  • Mary

    Lee,

    Just in case you have not read all the threads on this blog – I am ex gay and became so before becoming a christian. I became a christian and then started having same sex feelings again (not over another person). I sought help from a licensed, well educated (not in christian only colleges – but ivy league) couselor who is a christian and I have found much understanding that resonates with me (maybe not you or anyone else – since your not in my therapy nor really my concern.) I also support gay rights and have gay friends whom I love dearly. And no I do not preach to them as my understanding of the bible is that God loves everyone and it is a personal relationship between each person and their God.

    Having said that, the brain does change and can change over a lifetime. No one has found exactly wherein lays our motives, our intentions, our memories etc… That is an ongoing discussion. That others seem to separate out unwanted same sex feelings as being excluded from all of that seems – well – arbitrarily decided. Not you nor I can tell anyone where and how sexuality begins in the body and brain. We have clues that point in several directions.

  • jayhuck

    Lee,

    Fortunately our society is changing and young people who aree born gay will not have the same kinds of pressures to not accept themselves and their differences as they mature into adults.

    Thank you for that!

  • Lee

    Mary,

    Sexual orientation IS NOT psychological. It is biological. Your entire premise is wrong.

  • Lee

    Mary,

    It is untrue that the clues point in several different directions.

    All credible scientific studies to date point in one direction – that it is innate – not psychological but biological.

  • Lee

    Mary and Warren,

    You don’t get to have a different set of facts just b/c your religion does not allow you to accept the facts.

  • jayhuck

    Lee,

    I think its pretty well-established at this point that sexual orientation – gay, straight or bisexual – has both biological and environmental components. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a scientist that could link any of our complex traits solely to biology.

    Research does seem to point to a strong biological component, but we still can’t rule out other factors!

  • Mary

    Lee,

    With all due respect – I am not imposing my religion onto you (as you have to me by telling me to read the above mentioned book) I accept that you see only a biological connection. But the science also reads that there is an environmental part of the equation – that goes for straight as well as gays. And just so you – I have no opinion about the morality of being gay for other people. And I support gay rights.

    When I was gay, I used to believe that it was all and only biological. Experience has shown me (not you and I am not talking about anyone else but myself here) that environment has also played a role in my sexual attractions – gay and straight.

    As much as you do not like the fundamentalist christian telling you that your experience is wrong and incorrect – I too don’t like having someone make assumptions about my lifestyle.

    Having said that – in a world of 6 billion people – I’d bet that there are other people who have experienced their sexuality in similar ways as I have and as you have. That makes both of our experiences valid.

    You may feel that your sexuality is only biological. And biology may play a bigger role in your sexuality than in mine. It would be strange to assume that your life is exactly the same as mine – don’t you think?

  • Mary

    Lee,

    Also, I think God loves everyone and that each person has their own personal relationship with God. It is not my place to impose my interpretations for myself onto others. And I’m pretty liberal once you get to know me.

  • jayhuck

    Well said Mary :)

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Lee – I have no idea what you talking about.

    If you have something that proves homosexuality is biological and prenatally determined, then produce it.

  • Michael Bussee

    No one knows what causes homosexuality or heterosexuality. No one should assert that they do. It just could be that it isn’t really biological or environmental. Maybe something else “causes” it. The universe is full of possibilities and variations — and neither science nor religion can claim absolute certainty.

  • Michael Bussee

    Warren: Could you explain why we need SIT guidelines in the first place? Why is this issue so important to you? Don’t clients already have the right to follow their own beliefs? Don’t therapists?

    Isn’t this really just a veiled attempt to validate some form of “reparative therapy” — even if it is not called that and even if re-orientation is not the primary goal?

    I have been in this field for over three decades and I am not aware of any laws of rules of my profession that would prevent me from helping a client to live in accordance with his or her faith.

    As far as I know, I couldn’t lose my license if I was supportive of a patient who wanted to remain celibate or chose to identify as ex-gay — for whatever reason. Aren’t current laws and standards of our profession enough?

  • Michael Bussee

    Warren: The Blade article says the panel was to include “Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who was quoted as saying he would support prenatal treatments to convert the expected sexual orientation of unborn children.” If that is true, that is reason enough for any sensible person to back out. Is it true?

  • Nick R

    There is a movie out now called Expelled and it describes the pernicious effect of what happens to a society when discussion of is shut down or silenced. It illustrates the extent some individuals/groups will go to stop any exchange of ideas, particularly when their belief system is being challenged.

    You might want to do some homework Ann. In the 2005 Dover trial Michael Behe, who wrote one of the foundational Intelligent Design texts, admitted that ID is as scientific as astrology, that so-called “irreducibly complex” systems could have evolved over time with no supernatural involvement and that the evidence does support evolution. As such, it is not surprising that when crackpots try to teach it as if it were science that they get reprimanded or have difficulty finding work. You see, when the leading ID people say it isn’t science and that there is no evidence to support it, the rest of the scientific community is under no obligation to treat it as if it is legitimate. Unfortunately, because so many Christians suffer from a persecution complex, when they make “documentaries” about how persecuted they are for their beliefs, people eat it up. However, their unscientific beliefs have no place being treated on par with real science. Reparative therapy, creation science, intelligent design – we are still waiting for the actual evidence for any of these. As it stands at the moment, the evidence is overwhelming against all three.

  • Mary

    Nick,

    Taking ID or creationism and expanding that to sexuality, it’s origins, development, and manipulation is stretching things a bit. Not all christians believe in creationism or ID the way it is defined by most.

    For example, I do believe that God designed the universe (ID) – with rules that are quantifiable. But that belief that God did it – is that – a belief. But irregardless – the rules do apply whether I am an atheist, agnostic, or believer. Now, how I view the purpose of those rules – well that is another story.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    In regards to your question about SIT – maybe it’s like those who are either jungian, freudians, or practice cognitive therapy. Different therapuetic techniques work differently for different clients. And SIT has it’s merits, too. It provides guidance for both client and therapist through a difficult maze. I doubt you have ever practiced such in your career?

  • Mary

    Oh – and Nick just so you know – I don’t believe the earth is only 6 thousand years old. And I’m not sure how to interpret the story of Adam’s creation – or Eve’s.

  • Evan

    Michael Bussee:

    I do not try to make them accept being gay. I try to understand why they don’t want to be. If they, for religious or personal reasons, decide that they want to remain celibate, I would certainly respect their choice — although I have to admit I don’t have any training on helping people to suppress their natural sexual orientation to live a sexless life. I don’t know how to do that — and it would be unethical for me to try.

    I see the following problem with your argument: you reject any attempt at allowing people to get professional support for unwanted same-sex desires because you consider those desires to be natural; at the same time you acknowledge that you don’t know how these feelings are formed. OK, you can theoretically claim that they are both ‘natural’ and unchangeable, but since you don’t really know how sexual orientation comes into being how can you deny some people’s efforts at working around their SSA problems with professional help? It’s not an issue of treating an illness, it’s about helping people who want to have a choice in this matter, that’s all. (Is shyness a disease? What if people want to be able to receive professional help because they want to be more assertive? What about sexual orientation, then, if some people want this type of option, of dealing with their unwanted sexual attractions?)

    Isn’t this where many gay people panic at the thought that giving an option (even if it were an uncertain one only for those willing to take that challenge) to some same-sex attracted people might weaken the gay cause? Is it that some gay people want to block other people’s options for the security of their own cause? Is other people’s well-being so undeserving of attention that it can be easily ignored for the security of the gay cause?

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  • jayhuck

    Evan,

    No one is denying anyone anything. People can already pursue therapy that aligns with their beliefs and values.

    No ones’ blocking anyone from doing anything – I think you missed that crucial piece of Michael’s post :)

  • Lee

    Warren,

    To think that something as fundamental and basic as who you are sexually and romantically attracted to is due partly to environment is ludicrious.

    What type of environment effects one’s sexual orientation? Why are so many boys raised by single mothers heterosexual yet all of my closest friends who are gay were raised by a Mother an Father [who are still married]. I have always had a great relationship with my father and he is an ex-Marine – I am not and never have been romantically or sexually attracted to women. Forunately my father is intelligent and accepts me for who I am – as opposed to a religious nut like Alan Keyes who has rejected his daughter b/c she was born gay. Tragic does not begin to explain the damage done to families and people by the religious right.

    Scientific evidence that it is biologiocal? There is a Mountain of it. And it grows every year. See Wayne Besen’s list of research.

    Warren – you compromise scientific inquiry b/c of your religious beliefs – that is unethical.

    Let me guess – 100 years ago you would be zapping left handed people – claiming that being left handed is against God’s plan?

  • Mary

    Oh my goodness – environment has nothing to do with who we are attracted to??? Really, if I was raised in an all black culture (I’m white) I’d bet I would be primarily attracted to black men even when I left that culture. Or—- I have a tendency to be attracted to people who hold the same values and traditions as I do (I was raised with certain values and traditions) such as being Jewish or Catholic??? The biological argument for attraction seems to break down when we look at it from another angle.

    And the environmental angles you wrote of are not entirely agreed on by everyone nor does anyone (that I can think of) think that sexuality is originated in a vacuum of biological factors (except some extreme gay people). You are picking and choosing from a list that was handed to you (rather than researched out) Hallman has recently published a book on female same sex attraction and her evaluation of the environment is different than the simplistic view you have been fed. BTW, she also agrees that sexuality is both nature and nurture.

    So, I’m not sure Lee, where you have learned your information. If it was through the grapevine of others who are paid to be political activists then I would suggest and it is only a suggestion that you do some of your own footwork.

  • Eddy

    My what a busy, busy day.

    I think I’ll go with the last comment by Lee:

    To think that something as fundamental and basic as who you are sexually and romantically attracted to is due partly to environment is ludicrious.

    He followed by asking “What type of environment effects one’s orientation”. In answer, every example is parental. No mention of siblings, relatives, community (including subgroups: grown-ups, kids, sports teams, youth clubs…), school (again, with it’s subgroups), church, the media–all a significant part of the environment of a child. All are teachers along with the physical environment that a child learns from every day.

    To take Evan’s example of shyness a step further: Not everyone is shy for the same reason. Not everyone is the same degree of shy. Some find ways to integrate it and live very fulfilled lives. (My closest brother is such a person. Happily retired. Wife, family, a few grandchildren. –They worked at the same place. My future sis told her friend to tell my bro that if he asked her out, she wouldn’t say no. The rest is history.) Others get glimpses of where their shyness came from and seek to resolve those areas and issues.

    Prior to the time of the reclassification and pretty much since, the potential impact of these areas has not, IMHO, been adequately studied. (Sorry for the abrupt conclusion…karaoke called and needs me to co-host…lol…I’m a star!)

  • jayhuck

    It does take a Village :)

  • Eddy

    You wascally wabbit!

  • Lee

    Mary,

    A black male is still a male. A white female is still a female. Environment does not effect the SEX of the person you are attracted to.

    And what on earth does shyness have to do with sexual orientation?

    The theories presented by the religious right crowd is comical and always goes back to the same old thing – sexual orientation must be a choice b/c the bible says its wrong.

    Sexual orientation is not a religious issue – just like the earth being round as opposed to flat is not a religious issue – it is a scientific one.

    I hope we as a nation save ourselves from religious fundamentalism – christian or islamic.

  • Lee

    Mary,

    The arguments of the religious right ALWAYS break down under the weight of reasoning and intelligence – ALWAYS.

    I have seen seen an instance where it does not. The very basis is faith – the suspension of reason and rationality.

    Religion is what has keep entire societies in the dark ages – it is trully tragic. Just look at what religion has done to the Middle East today. I am very passoniate about this topic – not just because I am an homosexual – but because of what others have suffered over the course of centuries due to religious fundamentalism. It almost makes you lose faith in mankind.

  • Mary

    Lee,

    Suppose you are totally right that sexuality is only biological. What would you tell the person (homosexual) who said – I understand that but I want to mate with the opposite sex anyhow?

    Would you tell them they were wrong for wanting that?? (No religion involved)

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Lee wrote:

    The theories presented by the religious right crowd is comical and always goes back to the same old thing – sexual orientation must be a choice b/c the bible says its wrong

    Is it scientific to over generalize the views of your opponents? You must know this is spin on your part. You offer Wayne’s list as your evidence? Wayne delights in degrading his opponent’s scientific credentials but does not point out that he has none. He has a video of Jack Drescher saying we do not know what causes sexual orientation to take the direction it does. Are you now saying Jack Drescher is ludicrous because he doesn’t say sexual orientation is exclusively biological? To be consistent, you would have to.

    You keep making claims that anyone familiar with the literature on the subject knows is activism and spin. Either provide some primary sources for your claims or stop making them. I am patient with commenters, especially new ones but you are wearing out your welcome fast. You have shown no indication that you are here to discuss or find common ground. So far you have lectured and belittled others. So I say again, provide some primary sources, discuss with respect for opinions you disagree with or stop commenting.

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  • Evan

    Lee:

    And what on earth does shyness have to do with sexual orientation?

    That was an example of a trait that some people might have problems with and seek therapy to learn to overcome it by adaptive behaviours, although shyness is not an illness (neither are low levels of novelty seeking, aggressivenes etc). If so, I argued, why not people be allowed to have this option of dealing with sexual attractions they find to be discordant with their past life history (I know some people who were exclusively attracted to the opposite sex until the end of puberty then they started having same-sex attractions), their values or their actual preference (moral or physical)?

    I can understand the insecurity that some gay people may feel about creating this type of opening for some SSA-ed people, but we need to overcome past politics and take a step in new directions, without losing what was already gained (gay acceptance). No one should be left out in difficulty, that is what I am saying. Do you agree with that?

  • Roberto

    Lee ~ May 1, 2008 at 6:02 pm wrote:

    ^^Why are people not able to accept themselves as having been born with an [sic]homosexual sexual orientation?^^

    Cuz they are not born homosexual. They choose the homosexual, alternative-lifestyle orientation option. God made all of us heterosexual. Some choose to go homosexual, rejecting God’s instructions.

  • Roberto

    Lee wrote, “It almost makes you lose faith in mankind.”

    Which is it? Which is responsible? Religion, or Mankind???

  • Roberto

    Lee wrote, “Sexual orientation is not a religious issue – just like the earth being round as opposed to flat is not a religious issue – it is a scientific one.”

    A round Earth is observable and testable. We can measure it.

    All we have is somebody SAYING they “are” homosexual. We don’t know it.

  • Roberto

    Lee wrote, “Scientific evidence that it is biologiocal? There is a Mountain of it. And it grows every year. See Wayne Besen’s list of research. ”

    HA! That’s a joke.

    Besen is a so-called “homosexual Rights advocate.” Hardly unbiased.

  • Roberto

    Michael Bussee ~ May 2, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    99080

    No one knows what causes homosexuality or heterosexuality.

    =====================================================

    Yes, we do.

    God caused Man to be heterosexual. Choice caused some to go homosexual. It’s THAT simple.

  • Roberto

    Lee ~ May 1, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    99000

    All scientific evidence to date [not to mention empricial data] strongly indicates that people with an homosexual sexual orientation have brains that are biologically different from heterosexuals.

    ==============================

    Not true.

    Recent information shows that the apparent differences can be traced to any number of factors not connected to claims of being” homosexual.

    So, at birth, they STILL cannot tell us who is homosexual and who isn’t.

  • Roberto

    Lee ~ May 1, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    99009

    … religious fundamentalism – christian or islamic – will destroy our society unless we put a stop to it.

    ================================

    “Put a stop to it”??????

    Who’s gonna be the first to step forward and try to do this??

  • Roberto

    Lee ~ May 2, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    99072

    Mary,

    Sexual orientation IS NOT psychological. It is biological. ===========================================

    Then, point to the place where the homogene — the one that you would have to believe causes homosexuality — is.

    If it is hormonal, give us the name of the hormone that causes it.

    Give us the scientific, unbiased, uncorrupted evidence.

  • Michael Bussee

    Evan asked:me: “Since you don’t really know how sexual orientation comes into being how can you deny some people’s efforts at working around their SSA problems with professional help?”

    Evan, both you and Mary seem to keep beating this same drum. I have never said that people should be denied anything. On the contraty, I have said repeatedly that people have every right to live in accordance with their beliefs.

  • Roberto

    Lee ~ May 2, 2008 at 10:57 am

    99054

    People have used the bible for centuries to deny Truth and science – in fact – the bible was used to ban interracial marriage, support segregation, burn “Witches” in Salem, Kill people during the Spanish Inquistion….the list goes on.

    ===============================================

    Blame the people, not the Bible.

  • Roberto

    Lee ~ May 2, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    99073

    All credible scientific studies to date point in one direction – that it is innate – not psychological but biological.

    =========================================

    Not true.

    All the “studies” so far are corrupted by agenda, and nobody has found any sign of what it is that YOU say is innate that YOU say “makes” one homosexual.

  • Roberto

    Michael Bussee ~ May 2, 2008 at 10:37 am

    99053

    Nobody is talking about depriving people of their rights — I wish people would quit framing it this way. They have every right to live in accordance with their beliefs and values — no one is suggesting otherwise.

    =====================================================

    All men, heterosexual and homosexual, may marry heterosexual, or homosexual women. That is equal protection.

    All women, heterosexual and homosexual, may marry heterosexual, or homosexual men. That is equal protection.

    No man, neither heterosexual, nor homosexual, may marry another of his own sex. That is equal protection.

    No woman, neither heterosexual, nor homosexual, may marry another of her own sex. That is equal protection.

    Nobody is getting more than the other. That means there is no discrimination.

  • Roberto

    Mary ~ May 2, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    99077

    …God loves everyone and that each person has their own personal relationship with God.

    =========================================

    God is the same for everybody. He cares whether we do what He tells us to guide us through this wilderness. He won’t let one off the hook while holding another to His Standard.

    His love, however, won’t preclude His justice toward the disobedient.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary asked: “I doubt you have ever practiced such in your career?” No. I have never practiced the SIT guidelines. I really don’t understand the need for them. I feel comfortable with the legal and ethical guidelines that already exist for my profession — and I trust my own ability to treat all my patients with dignity and compassion, respecting their right to choose their own path.

  • Roberto

    I read that God created Man — Adam — and told him how to be heterosexual.

    I’m still looking for God’s instruction to Adam on how to be homosexual. We’re told that it’s soooo important, and, yet, there’s no mention. Heh.

    You’d think that, they way those who claim to be homosexual are talking, such instruction would be as important as God’s instructions to Adam. But no.

    Also, I’m trying to find a sign of the starter homosexual, the homosexual Adam, the Genesis homosexual, the homosexual genesis.

    I can’t find any of this.

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    With one big exception:

    If they, for religious or personal reasons, decide that they want to remain celibate, I would certainly respect their choice — although I have to admit I don’t have any training on helping people to suppress their natural sexual orientation to live a sexless life. I don’t know how to do that — and it would be unethical for me to try.

    I drew these conclusions from this statement that you posted earlier in this thread.

    1) A goal of heterosexuality is not an option.

    2) I respect a person’s right to choose celibacy but I don’t think it’s healthy (‘supress their natural sexual orientation’)

    3) It would be unethical for me to therapeutically support gays who choose celibacy.

    4) I don’t think the psychological community at large needs a program that tries to address those needs. (SIT Guidelines)

    So, if Mary or I became your patients you’d ‘respect our right to choose our own path’ but you’d no longer treat us. That’s been our point all along. If your viewpoint is pretty much a global viewpoint in the psychological community, then we’d get a boatload of professional ‘respect’ but no one would consent to treat us. Those therapists who would treat us would be branded as ‘quacks’. You, yourself, don’t even see the need for therapists who would step in and offer us that support.

    I honestly don’t see the respect in that.

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy: Let me respond to each of the assumptions you make about what I believe:

    (1) A goal of heterosexuality is not an option. — I agree. I don’t see this (a true change in sexual orientation from gay to straight) as a viable option because I don’t see any real evidence that it is possible. It would be like trying to help a client who didn’t want to feel hunger any more. Even you, Eddy, have admitted that this was never the intent or goal of ex-gay therapy. Some may be able to make some sort of hetersexual adaptation and keep a marriage together, but I don’t know how to help them change their basic sexual orientation — and neither does anyone else.

    (2) I respect a person’s right to choose celibacy but I don’t think it’s healthy (to supress their natural sexual orientation’) Not exactly. Celibacy may just be the best choice for some people. It’s just that I don’t know how to do that. I know the limits of my skill and knowledge. If a client wanted advice on how never to act on their homosexual orientation, and supress it for a lifetime, I would not be the right person to tell them how.

    (3) It would be unethical for me to therapeutically support gays who choose celibacy. NOPE. Never said that and don’t believe that. I myself have chosen to remain celibate at various times in my life. I just don’t know how to counsel a person to manage that for a life time. The ETHICAL thing to do would in that situation would be to refer the patient to some other clinician who might know how. Do you know of any?

    4) I don’t think the psychological community at large needs a program that tries to address those needs. (SIT Guidelines). You are right here. I think the ethical guidelines are already in place — if someone asks for something that you either do not know how to do or prefer not to do, you refer. There is absolutely nothing unethical about that. In fact, that’s the right thing to do. If a therapist wants to learn how to do ex-gay, change or reparative therapy as a speciality, I suppose they can go to NARTH — heaven forbid.

    5) So, if Mary or I became your patients you’d ‘respect our right to choose our own path’ but you’d no longer treat us. I would treat you for as long as you found our sessions helpful. But, honestly Eddy, would you really want me to? Do you think all therapists should adopt an ex-gay approach? You seem to be suggesting that a truly ethical therpist should try to do whatever the client requests.

    Come on. Would you treat someone who wanted advice on how to abandon their faith or adopt Satan worship as a lifestyle? I highly doubt it. That’s not the way I was trained. You work within the limits of your own training, expertise and values. I don’t try to do something I don’t believe in, that I believe may be harmfull to a patient — or that I do not know how to do. That would be unethical.

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy: Let me give you a real case example (some details changed for confidentiality). I had a client who came to a local AIDS services center who was HIV postive, addicted to drugs, very depressed and wanted to become heterosexual. I helped him with the first three issues — because I have the training and experience to do so.

    Regarding his request that I help him become straight, I was honest with him and told him I did not know how to make him straight. I was honest with him and told him that there did not seem to be any credible, scientifically established means of doing this.

    During our sessions together, he decided to follow his MD’s advice on managing his HIV — and his health improved significantly. He began medication for depression and our counseling sessions helped to greatly improve his overall mood. He stopped drugging and drinking, joined some support groups and is still clean and sober.

    He reconnected with his church. He decided to remain celibate — even though he continued to hope that God would do a miracle. I did not try to discourage this. In fact, I supported his return to his faith. I never told him about my history as an ex-ex-gay. I helped him to the extent that I had training and expertise. Can you think of something else I should have done?

  • Lee

    Michael,

    You are right. Some gay people blame personal problems on their sexual orientation. A person does not treat a sex addiction by trying to switch from homosexual to heterosexual. There are plenty of heterosexual sex addicts.

    Some on the religious right also confuse sexual orientation [an inborn trait] with sex addiction [a destructive behavior].

  • Lee

    Eddy,

    If I were Michael I would not treat you or Mary anymore than I would be Michael Jackson’s plastic surgeon. It would be unethical b/c it would be based on a lie and an unhealthy desire to change ytour inborn sexual orientatrin.

    The ethical and healthy choice is to accept your inborn sexual orientation and to behave in a responsible way in therms of your sex lfe or remain celibate if you choose.

    Trying to change someone’s inborn sexual orientation b/c they cannot or will not accept it is unethical. An ethical therapist treats the issue of acceptance.

  • Lee

    Roberto,

    What can I say except you represent the mentality of religious fundamentalists – islamic and christian.

    You need to respect facts and not mindelssly repeat stories in centuries old religious texts as if they are the facts. You are not a child – you need to stop thinking like one.

  • Lee

    Roberto,

    I do blame the people not the bible – the bible is full of metaphors and is an attempt made centuries ago to explain the mysteries of life.

    It has been misued throughout history – just like it is today to lie about the biological basis of sexual orientation.

  • Lee

    Roberto,

    The majority of Americans will put a stop to it. If you continue to cram your fundamentalism down our throats – you will be stopped. We are fighting religious fundamentalismin the Middle East and we can fight it here too.

  • Mary

    Lee,

    Suppose a person came in to see you as a client (and you are a therapist) and they did not like the way they acted around women (your client is a man) He is gay and is uncomfortable with his sexual arousal around women. What do you do?

  • Mary

    Lee,

    I have another question for you.

    Suppose a friend of yours ise really angry with someone and wants to kill them. But since they have no religion for rules and they are not a citizen of the country they live in, they do not feel bound to the laws of the land. What do you advise your friend to do?

  • Mary

    Michael,

    My take on what you say is this:

    You have the right to seek any therapy you want.

    Therapist have the right to seek to help you change or deal with your gay sexuality

    No such therapy exists

    Therefore – it is unethical for a therapist to employ any tactics to help you

    —————————————————————————————————–

    And then you campaign against anyone trying to develop therapies or new ideas.

    It is sort of like when my older brother used to say I could have the ball (in his hand ) if I could get it. But he deliberatly kept it out of reach by holding his arm up and then jumping when I jumped to reach it.

  • Lee

    Mary,

    To your first question – I would say that he is really not gay – or is at least bisexual – if women turn him on sexually.

    I would ask him why that bothers him and try to help him accept his bisexuality of heterosexuality.

    To your second question – I find it interesting that you equate religion with morals. I see no coorelation – in fact religion is often used to justify immorality.

    I have a code of ethics based on my sense of what is right and wrong. I know when I violate those principles and I take steps to make sure I don’t repeat mistakes. Killing another person is clearly wrong and that has nothing to do with religion – although religion has often been used to justify killing others.

    I would advise him to deal with his anger in a responsible and constructive way and if can’t do that on his own I would get him help.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary: You partly understand what I am trying to say. Yes, I believe a person has the RIGHT to seek any therapy they wish. I have NEVER said that you do not — and wish you would quit accusing me of saying it — or implying that I am saying it. Once again, just so there is no confusion: YOU HAVE THE RIGHT. Have I made that clear enough?

    Therapists also have the RIGHT to offer any therapy they feel is helpful — as long as it it not harmful or unethical. Therapists also have the RIGHT, no — more than that — the RESPPONSIBILITY to say: “As far as the current research goes, there do not seem to be any reliable and verifiable, scientifically established therapies that have been proven to actually change a person from gay to straight.” That’s a FACT — and therapists have a RESPONSIBILITY to TELL THE TRUTH.

    That being said, if a client and therapist want to TRY, they both have that RIGHT. I personally don’t believe in those “therapies” so I do not offer them. It would be highly unethical for me to pretend that I do. If another therapist does, good for them. If a client wants to see me anyway, that’s OK too. We can focus on what I can do — and I can refer them if I don’t feel qualified. Do you think I should be REQURIED to provide a therapy I do not believe in and do not know how to do?Any ideas where I might refer them?

  • Michael Bussee

    And by the way, it is not true that I am “campaigning against anyone trying to develop therapies or new ideas.” On the contrary, I sure hope that therapists keep trying to develop new strategies to help people. That is their responsibility and it is also their RIGHT.

    I just don’t happen to agree with the idea that gays are broken or disordered. But other therapist have every RIGHT to disagree with me and to try to develop whatever therapies they think may be helpful to their clients.

    How can I make this any more clear to you? I am not trying to deprive you or anyone of the RIGHT to seek any sort of help they may seek. But, like you, I have a right to criticize and disagree. And I also have the RIGHT and responsibility to conduct my practice in accordance with my own training and values. Every therapist does. So, please lay off this “you don’t want other people to have the RIGHT to seek the kind of help they want”. It simply is not true.

  • jayhuck

    Therapists also have the RIGHT to offer any therapy they feel is helpful — as long as it it not harmful or unethical. Therapists also have the RIGHT, no — more than that — the RESPPONSIBILITY to say: “As far as the current research goes, there do not seem to be any reliable and verifiable, scientifically established therapies that have been proven to actually change a person from gay to straight.” That’s a FACT — and therapists have a RESPONSIBILITY to TELL THE TRUTH.

    Amen Michael – AMEN!!!!!!!!!

  • jayhuck

    Roberto -

    You are deluding yourself. Do you really think the rights are equal when a straight person can marry the consenting, law-abiding, tax-paying, person they love and gay people cannot??? This is an argument that some conservatives must have to tell themselves at night so they can sleep.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary and Eddy: Since you both seem to think I am being unethical and unreasonable in my approach, tell me:

    How should I respond to a client who says “I am here because I want you to help me become heterosexual”. Do either of you know how to do that? If not, is it fair to criticize me for telling a client that I don’t know how?

  • Mary

    Michael,

    If you would look into the therapies that are being used instead of criticising everything and perhaps developing some yourself??

  • jayhuck

    One more time – with feeling :)

    Therapists also have the RIGHT to offer any therapy they feel is helpful — as long as it it not harmful or unethical. Therapists also have the RIGHT, no — more than that — the RESPPONSIBILITY to say: “As far as the current research goes, there do not seem to be any reliable and verifiable, scientifically established therapies that have been proven to actually change a person from gay to straight.” That’s a FACT — and therapists have a RESPONSIBILITY to TELL THE TRUTH.

  • Mary

    Lee,

    First question: So you are saying that you have decided (not him) that he is bisexual or heterosexual. That sounds like a judgment call since he considers himself gay.

    Second question: You have decided that your morals are correct and the other person’s moral are incorrect and needs help. That’s an arbitrary call based on your code of rules – don’t you think?

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary: I have absolutely NO interest in developing therapies to help gay people become straight. I am too busy helping the ones who have been seriously hurt by attempts to change their normal sexual orientation. Leave “developing new therapies” to the folks who think that gays are broken, sinful, diseased and disordered. Count me OUT.

    Answer my question: What should I say to a client who says “I am here to change my orientation from gay to straight”. I don’t know anyone who knows how to do that. What do YOU think I should do?

  • Mary

    Michael,

    You sound like that guy at the patent office back in the early part of the 20th century who said that they might as well close the patent office since everything had already been invented.

    Everytime there is research on the topic or anything – you pooh -pooh it. You discount everything that would permit another person to change. You have thus far in your blogging talked about all the harm that therapy for sexual conflict resolution has caused and that accepting ones gayness is the best option. Sorry to say but you’re a little old and outdated – alot has changed since your day and if you spoke to more people who were outside of the EXODUS or some other ministry arm who have found happiness and success – well – you would not see things differently. You want to see things as you do to justify yourself.

    And yes, there need to be more research and therapuetic developments in the area of sexuality. It’s not over – we don’t know everything.

  • jayhuck

    Mary,

    That’s not true – very little has changed. AND, as Michael has repeatedly said, there is not verifiable, scientifically proved way to change orientation – once again you fail to completely read another’s posts.

    I also find it highly unlikely that a man as educated as Michael, who knows a great deal of past AND present reparative therapies and who helps clients undoing their damage everyday, isn’t aware of what’s going on.

    Your your-outdated argument is very telling.

  • Mary

    I disagree with you Jayhuck. He does not keep current on sexuality issues. He’s been pretty adamant that he’s seen it all and knows it all and there’s no better answer.

    He refuses to admit that people who have changed (not by his standards ) but by the standards that are good enough for the client – are beneficial. He calls that a fraud. I call that a succesful client.

    Call it what you want Jayhuck – but the post was directed to Michael and my conversation will only be with him on this post from here on out. He’s an adult and can write for himself.

    Seems pretty funny that more than one person sees his bias.

  • jayhuck

    Seems pretty funny that more than one person sees his bias.

    More like predictable Mary – I’m not really surprised that people who don’t agree with him call him biased.

    You are right though – Michael can speak for himself!

  • Mary

    Michael,

    You should refer those clients out and let them know what your opinion about such therapies are.

    You cannot help them.

    If I walked into your office my life would be a mess right now. Your ill advice, disregard for the accounts of others (mine included), and self hatred for the things you used to believe (that you would go to hell for being gay – btw, I don’t believe that) lead into a direction that is not unbiased. that is a idsservice to your clients.

  • jayhuck

    Mary,

    Why would your life be a mess right now? What does your orientation have to do with your life being a mess? I’m just curious? Does it have something to do with your religious feelings?

  • Roberto

    Michael Bussee ~ May 3, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    99269

    Mary: I have absolutely NO interest in developing therapies to help gay people become straight.

    A therapist is a sort of scientist, always looking for better ways to treat people.

    That you have chosen not to look for better ways has to leave me with serious questions about your competence.

  • Roberto

    Mary ~ May 3, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    99263

    Michael,

    If you would look into the therapies that are being used instead of criticising everything and perhaps developing some yourself??

    You gotta understand that “therapists” also may have an agenda, too.

    In his case, he chooses not to counsel against the choice of the homosexual, alternative-lifestyle orientation option. That has the effect of reinforcing the patient’s choice of it, going along with it and furthering it. It’s a value judgment on the part of the “therapist” who becomes an agenda counsellor.

  • Roberto

    Michael Bussee ~ May 3, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    99269

    Mary: I have absolutely NO interest in developing therapies to help gay people become straight. I am too busy helping the ones who have been seriously hurt by attempts to change their normal sexual orientation. Leave “developing new therapies” to the folks who think that gays are broken, sinful, diseased and disordered. Count me OUT.

    Sooo, you DO make value judgments. We understand.

    Michael Bussee ~ May 3, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    99269

    Answer my question: What should I say to a client who says “I am here to change my orientation from gay to straight”. I don’t know anyone who knows how to do that. What do YOU think I should do?

    Uhhh, YOU’re s’posed to be the therapist who up to date on these things.

  • Roberto

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    99223

    Trying to change someone’s inborn sexual orientation b/c they cannot or will not accept it is unethical. An ethical therapist treats the issue of acceptance.

    In other words, it’s ethical for a therapist to say, “It’s ok to have chosen to go homosexual,” but not to say, “It’s not ok to have chosen to go homosexual,” is THAT it???

    Soooo, you feel just comfy cozy telling the therapist to fashion, to engineer his therapy according to the homosexual agenda, to support the choice of the homosexual, alternative-lifestyle orientation option. We see.

    The fact is that the therapist is not there to be a cheerleader, motivating the patient in whatever the patient chooses to think and do. He is in the wrong place to enlist support for the agenda.

    The therapist is there to tell the patient the way it is, and, if the patient is reluctant and wants to do what he wants to do, he shouldn’t be seeking therapeutic help anyways, just go on doing what he wants. He should vacat the couch and let somebody in there who wants help.

  • Roberto

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    99225

    Roberto,

    I do blame the people not the bible …

    Yet, you still blame the Bible.

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    99225

    … the bible is full of metaphors and is an attempt made centuries ago to explain the mysteries of life.

    Those who believe get it, and those who don’t don’t.

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    99225

    It has been misued throughout history…

    And, yet, the Truth remains, and some get It.

    Jesus said that only a few will make it through the Gate. Those are the few who get It.

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    99225

    … just like it is today to lie about the biological basis of sexual orientation.

    Then stop doing it.

  • Roberto

    jayhuck ~ May 3, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    99243

    You are deluding yourself.

    That’s what the PR says, anyway.

    jayhuck ~ May 3, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    99243

    Do you really think the rights are equal when a straight person can marry the consenting, law-abiding, tax-paying, person they love and gay people cannot???

    All men may marry the person of the opposite sex they love.

    No man is required to marry.

    All women may marry the person of the opposite sex they love.

    No woman is required to marry.

    All men are prohibited from marrying a person of the same sex they say they love.

    All women are prohibited from marrying a person of the same sex they say they love.

    All are treated equally and equitably.

  • Roberto

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    99227

    Roberto,

    The majority of Americans will put a stop to it.

    That’s pretty big talk.

    How do YOU suppose THAT’s gonna happen when the majority of Americans, in general, believe ther is God and trust in Him?

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    99227

    If you continue to cram your fundamentalism down our throats – you will be stopped.

    What’s the mechanism we’re using to “cram” it down your throat??? Free speech??? Imagine that!

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    99227

    We are fighting religious fundamentalismin the Middle East and we can fight it here too.

    Soooo, you can’t tell the differnce???

  • Roberto

    jayhuck ~ May 3, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    99265

    Therapists also have the RIGHT, no — more than that — the RESPPONSIBILITY to say: “As far as the current research goes, there do not seem to be any reliable and verifiable, scientifically established therapies that have been proven to actually change a person from gay to straight.”

    “However,” therapists who are in sympathy with patients who say that they are homosexual should add, “the fact is that many, many have changed cuz-a competent therapies, but I choose not to use them.”

  • Roberto

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    99235

    Mary,

    To your first question – I would say that he is really not gay – or is at least bisexual – if women turn him on sexually.

    Then, how do those who claim to be homosexual procreate if women don’t turn them on???? Do ALL of them go directly to the test tube???

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    99235

    I would ask him why that bothers him and try to help him accept his bisexuality of heterosexuality.

    So, you would bring your agenda into the therapy. We see.

    What kinda Science is THAT???

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    99235

    I find it interesting that you equate religion with morals. I see no coorelation…

    Of course you don’t.

    If Morals is the jurisdiction of the individual, the individual can justify doing anything.

    However, the individual who understands that there is a Morals Judge outside himself, will do otherwise.

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    99235

    …in fact religion is often used to justify immorality.

    That’s the fault of the indibvidual, not the faith. God gives us the dignity of choice.

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    99235

    I have a code of ethics based on my sense of what is right and wrong.

    So, you are the judge of your own behavior. Convenient.

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    99235

    I know when I violate those principles and I take steps to make sure I don’t repeat mistakes.

    So, YOU get to make up “those principles,” and YOU get to judge. What you’re not telling us is that you also get to change “those principles” to your liking, depending on the circumstances, and, since it’s YOU who get to judge, you’re never guilty. Nice.

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    99235

    Killing another person is clearly wrong…

    Who says, in YOUR “morality”?

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    99235

    … and that has nothing to do with religion…

    As you say, it has to do with whatever YOU think is “moral” at any, given, changing time. Does that system apply to me, too??

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    99235

    …although religion has often been used to justify killing others.

    Men do that. Blame them.

  • Roberto

    Warren ~ May 2, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    99079

    Lee – If you have something that proves homosexuality is biological and prenatally determined, then produce it.

    This is the point. They have nothing but corrupt speculation.

  • Roberto

    Lee ~ May 3, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    99235

    Killing another person is clearly wrong …

    Without God, how do YOU know this??? After all, without God, all things are permissible.

  • Roberto

    Yeah, but what about this:

    http://www.narth.com/docs/study.html

    Those who claim to be homosexual, having made themselves in tgheir own image to be “homosexual,” can choose again, this time to change back to what God chose to make everybody.

  • jayhuck

    Roberto,

    NARTH is not a trustworthy organization.

    Wow – and i thought I was prolific – LOL

  • Roberto

    jayhuck ~ May 4, 2008 at 11:43 am

    99379

    Roberto,

    NARTH is not a trustworthy organization.

    Especially for those who claim to be homosexual, their supporters and activists. I can understand why they wouldn’t trust it.

  • Mary

    Jayhuck,

    Unlike you , I do not believe that the history of my sexuality and my development is mostly biological. Yes, there is a biological aspect to the history of my sexuality – but environment and my interpretation of that has had much to do with my development. And I believe (in my personal relationship with God) that God wants me to (and I am not talking about anyone else) to follow my hetersexuality. This is not about biblical interpretations of the bible, nor influences from friends and family (if you knew them you would know that for sure) nor anything else. It is between me and God. And yes, I would feel that I was not following a direction that he wants me (not talking anyone else here) to go. My life would be in defiance of that instruction.

    Granted, I do many things that are not what God wants me to do. I am not as gracious as I should/can be, I can be impatient, etc…. All things that I work on. And again – that is between me and God.

    Can you imagine me walking into MIchael’s office and have him start telling me what God means to him and how that is supposed to equate what God also means to me??? Nowhere in his writings do I see him acknowledge that people have different personal relationships with God. It’s as if his conclusion is to be the final word on sexuality. I wholly disagree with him.

  • Roberto

    This — http://www.hetracil.com/ — can also help those who know that change is possible from their choice of the homosexual, alternative-lifestyle orientation option back to God’s choice for Man: Heterosexuality.

  • Roberto

    Well, we know that God made Adam and, out of him, Eve, and He programmed their spirits in heterosexuality.

    There isn’t anywhere in the Word of God where God says He programmed the spirits of Man in homosexuality. There is nowhere in the Word of God where God approves of the same-sex sexual relationship. In fact, His approval is directed exclusively at and for the union of a man, as husband, and a woman, as his wife. In the same-sex so-called “marriage,” who would be the husband and who would be the wife??? After all, as I say God says, the only godly union is that of a man, as husband, and a woman, as his wife.

    You would think that, if homosexuality were so important, God would have programmed the spirits of Man equally in heterosexuality and homosexuality. But no. It’s all heterosexuality. And God goes on to condemn what we now call “homosexuality” as an “abomination.”

  • Mary

    Roberto,

    While I respect your opinion, there are people who interpret God and his word differently. Even I, an ex gay, who is a christian, do not totally agree with your perspective. As far as homosexuality being a choice – I don’t think it is. It is a complex series of events and biology and psychology that is not so easy for people to walk away from. Just saying that it is not what God wants is not the answer. Even for yourself – you know – you do things and think things that God does not want for you and yet, you do so.

    God does give a choice as to whether or not we will follow him – and I am honestly sure that we all will fall short of that. Homosexuality (in your book) should be nor greater nor lesser sin than the ones you commit.

    Have you ever had any homosexual feelings?

  • jayhuck

    Roberto,

    The only people who respect NARTH, even a little bit, are people who have an agenda to push. The VAST majority of the scientific community has shunned them – they have misrepresented data and research to further their own ends – don’t drink their Kool-Aid.

    NARTH is nothing but a fringe psychological group.

  • Mary

    Jayhuck,

    I respect NARTH on some aspects but not all. While they are definitely slanted, there is still some value to their website. I look in on it from time to time as well.

    Just so you know – I really don’t care for their political biases and other slants.

  • jayhuck

    Mary,

    First let me say I understand and respect your decisions – however, I don’t get that from Michael’s writings at all.

    I don’t see Michael trying to suppress anything – he is honest with his clients, as all therapists should be. Sure he can refer them to someone who may work in such therapies, but he also has an obligation to tell the client that there IS NOT VERIFIABLE SCIENTIFIC METHOD FOR CHANGING ORIENTATION – that is a fact and a truth that must be communicated to the client – along with the potential risks.

  • jayhuck

    Mary,

    If you respect NARTH even a little, you might want to check out the most recent article about them on BoxTurtlebulletin:

    NARTH inserts foot in mouth again

  • Mary

    Jayhuck,

    His honesty is very different than the honesty I recieved from someone else (my shrink). And I do get that he is very biased and has negative experiences and transmits those into his therapy and practice. And the fact is – here I am as proof.

    Unfortunately, politics and funding for research has made getting proof difficult. Also, therapy and techniques have improved. I seriously doubt that electric shock is till being used or aversion therapy. And the hocus pocus pray away the gay thing is well – his experience and certanly not mine. And the S & J research that came out last year shows proof. I read the findings differently than gay activists do. And I would certainly give a client both interpretations of those findings. Michael has consistently said that there is no proof. I disagree. I see the world differently – my bias.

    So – you see – with his bias – had I walked into his office – I would have been given a very grim outlook and discouraging (biased) news. As it was, I was given lots of resources to read, check out and evaluate. Both sides. I have been able to make my own conclusions – not my shrinks.

  • Mary

    Jayhuck,

    This is a clients view – and that client has a right to that view. He cannot be challenged by his shrink since that shrink is obligated to an ethic of confidentiality. And as I said – I do not respect everything about NARTH. You are picking and choosing. That is not something I am going to get into a long discussion with you about. I, too, pick and choose and respect some of what NARTH says and does – not all.

  • jayhuck

    Mary,

    Did I ever say anything about electric shock – regardless of the proof or the difficulty in getting it the fact still remains that THERE IS NO VERIFIABLE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE out there and clients need to know that.

    When I talk about harm Mary, I’m not talking about therapies that were done some 30 years ago, I’m talking about Ex-Ex Gays, some that have just come out of therapy in the last 5 years who are talking about the harm that was done to them.

    I see little bias in Michael and a great deal of honesty. It would be dishonest and agenda pushing NOT to share such information with a client.

  • Roberto

    Mary ~ May 4, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    99391

    Roberto,

    Have you ever had any homosexual feelings?

    No.

  • jayhuck

    NARTH has done nothing to win itself respect within the scientific community – in fact they have embarrassed themselves and their profession too many times for them to be taken seriously anymore. You may find value in their site, I see absolutely nothing except an organization built on falsehood and misrepresentation.

  • Mary

    Jayhuck,

    I am so sorry for ex ex gays who have been harmed. But they are adults and could have walked out of therapy at anytime. And I am glad they finally did so and found peace with their sexuality. And I am glad they are speaking out. People need to hear both sides of the story. I read Peter Toscano’s blog regularly. He is very intelligent and gifted man. What insight and compassion he has! I think he adds so much to the the gay experience that cannot and should not be overlooked by anyone. As well as Christine Blake’s story. Very powerful and honest and thoughtful. Everyone should be familiar with her story as well.

    You are picking and choosing to listen to a subset of people. That is fine. and I believe those people were harmed and could have avoided a lot of pain and angst. I do agree with you but not entirely.

    You are right it would be dishonest not to share with someone those stories and aspects of the experience. But it would be equally dishonest and biased not to share the other perspective. Or to share that side with discouraging footnotes.

  • Roberto

    jayhuck ~ May 4, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    99396

    Roberto,

    The only people who respect NARTH, even a little bit, are people who have an agenda to push.

    That’s what anybody who claims to be homosexual, a supporter and/or an activist must say.

    jayhuck ~ May 4, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    99396

    The VAST majority of the scientific community has shunned them – they have misrepresented data and research to further their own ends …

    You must be talking about the “scientific” information coming from the homosexual community.

    jayhuck ~ May 4, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    99396

    NARTH is nothing but a fringe psychological group.

    Dismissing information that would defeat your cause is something that we’ve come to expect from the community of those who claim to be homosexual.

  • jayhuck

    Is Roberto still talking? :)

  • Mary

    Roberto,

    Since you have never had homosexual feelings – can I make a suggestion? Get to know peole who have. It is a difficult life – one that if you are going to preach on – should be understood from the level of the person. Jesus spoke to those at their level of understanding – how can you expect to speak to someone if you do not understand them?

  • jayhuck

    I agree with you Mary :)

  • Roberto

    Mary ~ May 4, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    99412

    Roberto,

    Since you have never had homosexual feelings – can I make a suggestion? Get to know peole who have.

    All I need to know is what God says about it. It’s not about what other things they do, but, rather, what they do that defies God, and I don’t need to know any more about it than that.

    Mary ~ May 4, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    99412

    It is a difficult life – one that if you are going to preach on – should be understood from the level of the person.

    To what end?

    Mary ~ May 4, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    99412

    Jesus spoke to those at their level of understanding – how can you expect to speak to someone if you do not understand them?

    Understand what that God hasn’t told me already about it?

  • Mary

    Roberto,

    Gay people in this country are well aware of what the bible says about homosexuality.

    It is difficult to be treated without love and respect in a society. It is difficult to be told everyday by so many people that your life is not good, that your feelings are wrong, and that you are not with God.

    There is no sure fire therapy that will gaurantee a change of one’s sexual and romantic interest. And many, many people with all earnest heart’s have prayed and prayed a thousand hours everyday just to feel heterosexual (or not feel gay) just for a moment. It is tremendously difficult to feel in conflict everyday, all the time, without relief.

    Your comments are simply more of the same that has come from blank and empty hearts that have no compassion for those who suffer.

    You sound like a man with some knowledge of the bible but who has no love. You and the words you speak are nothing without love.

  • jayhuck

    Thank you Mary :)

  • Roberto

    Mary ~ May 4, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    99425

    Roberto,

    Gay people in this country are well aware of what the bible says about homosexuality.

    They have not delved deeply enough into the Word of God, except to find things to twist to suit their agenda.

    Mary ~ May 4, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    99425

    It is difficult to be told everyday by so many people that your life is not good, that your feelings are wrong, and that you are not with God.

    The Call of God is to declare the Word of God.

    Mary ~ May 4, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    99425

    There is no sure fire therapy that will gaurantee a change of one’s sexual and romantic interest.

    There are no guarantees in/of anything. So what? We don’t try?

    Mary ~ May 4, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    99425

    And many, many people with all earnest heart’s have prayed and prayed a thousand hours everyday just to feel heterosexual (or not feel gay) just for a moment. It is tremendously difficult to feel in conflict everyday, all the time, without relief.

    (Jas 4:3) Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

    Mary ~ May 4, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    99425

    Your comments are simply more of the same that has come from blank and empty hearts that have no compassion for those who suffer.

    Biblical compassion is unselfish concern for those who will die without Christ.

    Mary ~ May 4, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    99425

    You sound like a man with some knowledge of the bible but who has no love. You and the words you speak are nothing without love.

    Biblical love is unselfish concern for the Salvation of others, at least as much concern for their Salvation as you have for your own.

    What you advocate is worldly love. The kind of love that shuts up. Biblical love speaks up, even at the expense of friendship which is not as important as saving someone’s life.

  • Roberto

    To Word — –> The Word

  • Roberto

    Mary ~ May 4, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    99425

    Roberto,

    You sound like a man with some knowledge of the bible but who has no love. You and the words you speak are nothing without love.

    Out of the entire world, God saved eight. Did He do that out of love? Of course He did.

    Where Jesus says that those who are not born again are condemned, did He say that out of love? Of course He did.

    Where Jesus calls other people names, did He do that out of love? Of course He did.

    God, through Jesus, says that it doesn’t matter what others think about the declaration by those who are born again of the Word of God; God says that those who are born again are to declare the Word of God and ignore the philosophies of men. He says that people will get angry but that so what.

    Remember that they hated Jesus before they hated me.

    The bottom line is that it’s THEIR choice. When, on Judgment Day, they stand before the LORD, they won’t be able to blame anybody else for the choices they made.

  • Roberto

    It is a difficult life – one that if you are going to preach on – should be understood from the level of the person.

    When it comes to what it takes to obtain Salvation, the only thing that matters is that that person understands God’s point of view. It’s not necessary for God to understand the person’s point of view. He already knows that men’s hearts are wicked. That’s all He needs to know.

  • Mary

    Roberto,

    Have you ever considered your own heart wicked – that which condemns others without first taking a look at yourself?

    The Greatest Gift

    1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

    2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

    3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

    4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

    5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

    6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

    7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

    9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

    10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

    11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

    12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

    13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

    You have become a clanging cymbal

    Shall I now begin to judge you, chastise you, demand of you to obey all of God’s instructions for your own salvation? No. No one can. And since the sure observer knows the hearts of all men – I assume he knows the hearts of gay people alot better than do you. Nuf said. Go judge yourself if you feel so compelled to bring salvation to someone.

  • Roberto

    Your comments are simply more of the same that has come from blank and empty hearts that have no compassion for those who suffer.

    “Suffer” from what??

    Did Jesus enable and empower those who “suffer” to go on suffering?? Of course He didn’t.

    Worldly compassion is interested in solidarity with those who suffer, enabling and empowering them to go on suffering. The sufferer wants somebody to suffer with him. That’s not what Jesus was about. That’s not what He is about.

  • Mary

    I don’t know – Jesus suffered a lot for me. I don’t understand why you say the same thing that people have heard a so many times and think that it is going to be different when you say it. Especially when you have not taken the time to understand what a gay person goes through. Jesus did understand all things – but I don’t think that you do. Acting as if you do is sort of boastful and prideful – don’t you think?

    Why don’ t you know any gay people? Do you not engage in fellowship with them – or do you simply make demands and quote the bible? Do you get to know the hearts of those who suffer or do you just tell that to knock it off? God has heard our hearts – yours too. Have you ever suffered greatly, been lonely beyond your threshold, lost your innocence in a stark and glaring way, been betrayed, found guilty (even if just by you), craved for someone to understand you?

  • jayhuck

    Mary,

    I hope you don’t mind this advice – but you’re not going to win this argument with Roberto – he’s a man with an agenda and no pleas for compassion or understanding are going to sway him. If I were you I’d just save my time and effort for other things :) Thank you for your words though

  • Mary

    Jayhuck,

    I know. But everytime someone starts in the way he does – people like that need to hear from an exgay who is a christian. And gays and ex gays need to hear someone stand up without fear of retribution from some group. It’s not so much for Roberto’s sake – as I know he cannot hear – but for those who live in fear of some group that might chastise them for being gay or those who are exgay and are afraid of being sympathetic to gays and how it might look. Someone without an agenda, without an alliance to some group, someone who does not recieve a paycheck for their opinions needs to speak up. Roberto’s words were said with coldness and without love. Christians do not act like that – at least from the book I read.

  • ken

    Eddy said in post 99011;

    (I realize this is a bit old, but I’ve been busy and people mis-representing the facts about the APA’s removal of homosexuality from the DSM is a pet-peeve of mine).

    There’s ‘an intensive review by experts lasting more than a year’. Really, a whole year?

    Yes, actually 2 years. The NIMH Task Force on Homosexuality was appointed in 1967 and produced its final report in 1969. Although I suspect Jack was referring to the APA committee the followed up on the Task force report and eventually removed homosexuality as a disorder.

    Did these experts suspend their lives, their practice, their other duties so they could all gather together and review intensively?

    while I don’t know for sure, I’m fairly certain the answer to this question is ‘no.’ However, I would add that that there would have been no need for them to “suspend their lives, their practice, their other duties ” to review the literature. These are unreasonable criteria you have placed on the requirements of an “intensive review.”

    Did they poll the psychiatric community for case studies?

    Yes they did, and I suspect they relied heavily on the task force’s reviews as well.

    The APA’s decision has been discussed before and it is clear you followed that discussion because you made a comment about spelling in it here: 70742

    The entire tone of your post indicates you aren’t really interested in getting the facts about the decision. However, if you are interested in more information on it and not just posting sarcastic comments to promote your own biases about the decision, you might try reading the Task Force’s final report, You can get a (rather poor) copy of it here: Task Force Final Report there is a link to the pdf file at the top of the page.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary: You said: ““You should refer those clients out and let them know what your opinion about such therapies are. You cannot help them. If I walked into your office my life would be a mess right now. Your ill advice, disregard for the accounts of others (mine included), and self hatred for the things you used to believe (that you would go to hell for being gay – btw, I don’t believe that) lead into a direction that is not unbiased. that is a disservice to your clients.”

    Mary, first of all, I don’t get requests like yours. But if you had walked into my office, I would have been as truthful and compassionate and professional as I know how. I would not preach to you or lay my beliefs on you. That would be a disservice. I would try to help you make whatever changes might make your life more satisfying for you. I just don’t know how to make a gay person straight.

    On the blogs, I am a private citizen and professional stating my own, very strong, opinions. In therapy, the session is about the patient, not me — so I keep those to myself. I have told a few (straight) clients who asked what science has to say about an actual change in orientation, but that’s about it.

    As a Marriage and Family Therapist, almost all my clients are heterosexuals with marriage or parenting problems, so the issue doesn’t come up. If it did, Wendy Gritter (in Canada) is the only person I would trust as a referral.

  • Michael Bussee

    BTW: I do not hate myself — as you seem to assume. Used to, but not now.

  • Michael Bussee

    You and Eddy seem to be suggesting tht it is somehow unethical, cruel or uncaring for me to not personally provide (or now how to do) ANYTHING a client asks. I should try to make them ex-gay — even though I am not convinced such a thing is possible and that such attempts are often psychologically and spritually harmful..

    According to you, I should refer them (if not to EXODUS or NARTH) to someone (Who? Where?) who does know how to help a client lead a lifetime of celicacy or try to become straight — even though I have serious scientific, Biblical and moral objections to their teachings and approach.

    In my mind, a therapist must do what they (1) know how to do (2) what they believe is helpful and (3) that which is backed up by sound scientific research regarding its efficacy. If I don’t believe as you do and do what the client demands, then I am a bad therapist?

  • Mary

    Well, at least you would refer to someone. It is too bad that you don’t know anyone – partly because of the political pressure put on therapists to be gay affirming only. The one I see does not advertise on NARTH nor EXODUS and it is not her main focus of her practice.

    It is sort of the double bind that people set up for themselves. You can’t refer somoone out because you don’t know anyone. Those who are practicing don’t advertise it because of the political pressure not to do such therapy. Hence – Michael you are kept safely in your convienent world of not knowing anyone.

    Although, like you I would not refer someone to NARTH or EXODUS but I do have a couple of names that I would refer someone to.

  • Mary

    I mean legitimate, licensed, ethical practioneers who have all their credentials don’t advertise.

  • Mary

    Also, I meant to to say most do not advertise

  • Mary

    IN addition to which, anyone who starts a research gets blasted from gay activists – which I do understnad – but it stops all the wheels of progress.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary: If you or Warren or Eddy or Wendy or anyone else knows where these therapists who are (1) afraid of advertizing and who know how to do the type of therapy wou are suggesting that I should do – please tell me. Otherwise, please lay off.

    I have asked for this repeatedly — and you seem upset with me that I don’t know any. Is it my fault they don’t advertize? I don’t even get requests from clients to find such therapists. It is my job to put together such a list?

  • Mary

    Michael,

    Unfortunately, I cannot give out the name of mine. Of those that I feel comfortable with that are public are Warren, and Janelle Hallman for women and that’s about it. And I would use these two people for further referrals.

    Like you I would not suggest that there is any gaurantee, that different therapists have different approaches and to look into those.

    Like I said – it is a double bind created by political pressure.

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    Please forgive me. I was not trying to question either your therapy or credentials but I can see how it looked that way. I was mostly going after that piece of your comment where you said you didn’t see the need for groups like SIT since all the guidelines are already in place. But then you admitted that you couldn’t assist people like Mary or myself and you didn’t know anyone who could.

    So, for purely selfish reasons, my discussion was motivated by the realization that I’m still out in the cold. If I sought counseling through my church wanting to explore whether or not homosexuality is right or wrong…I can’t get that. They don’t want me to question it. But, if I go to a therapist wanting to explore whether or not homosexuality is right or wrong…I can’t get that. They don’t want me to question it either. It seems both sides either want me to see it their way from the start or want it understood that the only reasonable outcome is that I learn to see it their way. For a question of such significance, I’d hope to find a counselor/therapist who could at least pretend not to have a pre-conceived conclusion. That’s sounding more and more impossible.

    Ken–

    Thanks for some direction and clarity on the mechanics behind the reclassification. The link says the materials are no longer available online but even the knowledge of the 2 year prior study is more than I had before. I’ll see what I can do about getting access to that pdf.

    The declassification happened during my post high school and college days back when I was quite a social activist. (Anti-war, racial equality, and gay awareness were my principal causes.) Anyway, I recall that we celebrated the declassification as a political victory but I can see where that could have been our own ignorance. (Something happens that fits with your agenda and you take it on investing it with your own particular spin…sometimes with little or no regard for the original process and purpose.)

    (That, BTW, is pretty much what I think Focus on the Family did with the news of the symposium.)

  • ken

    I’m not sure where you are getting that the report is no longer available online. Here is a link directly to the pdf file (note for those who would rather not download the whole thing, you can read the 1 paragraph abstract in the previous link I gave, at the top of the page is a link to the Full Text)

    Task Force report – Full PDF Text

  • Eddy

    Ken–

    Many, many thanks! This link worked and I was able to read the entire document. LOL. I’m doing mandatory overtime this week…and it’s all proofing scanned documents. I’ve saved a copy to review more deeply after the work crunch is over.

    Thanks again for the link. I’m a books/library kind of a guy…the computer only became part of my personal life about 5 years ago…I’ve learned to google and even to do some selected searches but some things are still way beyond my scope. This link is much appreciated!

  • Eddy

    Ken–

    Just from the read I did, it’s clear that the task force agenda was not exclusively political but the entire ‘social issues’ area could/would be interpreted as political. But, in reading the language and some of the incidental concerns they brought up, these seem to be entirely realistic and valid concerns. The psychological community’s motivation for speaking to the ‘social issues’ was directly related to concerns for mental health. So, currently I’m at “partially political but, understandably so, and not insidious.” :-)

    Just reading it–some of the language and phrasing–is taking me back to that time. I do want to review it again when I can be more reflective.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary: you said : Michael you are kept safely in your convienent world of not knowing anyone. Me not knowing anyone? Heck, you can only think of two — and one is too scared to step forward and make herself known.

    Where are the rest of them? Hiding in closets for fear of the dreaded gay activists? If they realy know truth that can actually set people free, don’t thet have a moral obligation, as a Christian, to make themselves known?

    Contrary to what you are implying, I am not afraid of knowing someone who knows how to do the therapy you and Eddy are promoting. I would really and sincerely like to meet one. I have no need for a “convenient world” where everyone agrees with me.

    My eyes are open here. So I repeat: If someone — anyone — knows who these therapists are, I repeat: PLEASE TELL ME. I would love to meet them. So far, Wendy Gritter is it — and not everyone can go to Canada to see her.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    Hope this gets through – it is about the third time I have tried.

    As to your request. I would refer anyone to Warren who has more contacts and connections than do I. For women, I would refer them to Hallman, as she has also more contacts and connections as well. Both are different kinds of therapists with different views on the development of sexuality. But – niether do they suggest to anyone that they impose their views on to their clients. They both have specifically said that they work with a certain client (not all kinds of homosexuals) and that the decision for the outcome of therapy is theirs.

    I cannot give the name of my personal therapist – as this has been discussed on this blog before. Some people have families to protect. And yes – some gays have been very active in seeking these people out and calling much attention to them. That is repressed expression. Not everyone wants to be highlighted, and some just do not have the time nor energy to deal with the onslaught of gay activists in their e-mail, at their office, in their mail box, or bothering the people around them etc…

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  • Tim

    There are a lot of posts in this comment thread. If it hasn’t been stated earlier, the APA has been changing its stance and saying now that any biological component in minimal and enivironmental influences are more of a component.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Tim – You have the wrong APA – you are referring to the psychological group.

    And the APA did not say environmental influences were more of a component. Please see this recent post here:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton//2009/05/14/worldnetdaily-suddenly-finds-year-old-narth-article-newsworthy/


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