I am not a part of NARTH

UPDATE (Monday morning): The references to me have been removed from the CP article…

That’s the best title I could think of after reading this article in the Christian Post: Ex-gay Convention Draws Protestors in Penn.

I suspect Stephanie Samuel just doesn’t know the area well enough to know why the way she wrote her article is quite misleading. She wrote:

NARTH, an organization with faith-based views on homosexuality, acknowledges on its website that there are those who are comfortable with their homosexual identity. It values an individual’s right to choose. But it also upholds the rights of individuals with unwanted homosexual attraction to receive effective psychological care and the right of professionals to offer that care.

Those experiencing unwanted homosexual desires and who are conflicted by their values deserve treatment and spiritual counsel, NARTH maintains.

Several faith-based groups have created treatment to help those who do not want to embrace the homosexual lifestyle. Warren Throckmorton and Mark Yarhous, (sic) both psychology experts, have crafted a framework, Sexual Identity Therapy: Proactive Framework for Managing Sexual Identity Conflicts, focused on conflicting religious values.

While NARTH encourages therapy, it maintains that it is a professional organization that only promotes practices have been proven scientifically effective. NARTH urges against claims that there is “scientific knowledge” that settles the issue of homosexuality. Instead, it encourages a broad view based upon diverse understandings of the family, of core human identity, and the meaning and purpose of human sexuality.

She also wrote about my work against bullying which seems odd in an article about NARTH. Since NARTH has not commented on bullying, it seems out of place to even mention what other groups are doing.

It is the weekend so no changes are going to be made to the article until Monday but I did write a comment on the CP wall. Here it is:

The Sexual Identity Therapy framework (sitframework.com) is listed above in such a way that a reader might assume it is connected with or consistent with the work of NARTH. However, there is no connection. NARTH advocates sexual reorientation whereas, our framework does not advocate orientation change. Our framework is in keeping with the guidance of the APA and other professional societies whereas NARTH work has been questioned by those same groups.

While I appreciate the mention of my work against bullying, there is again no connection between that work and the NARTH organization. If anything, NARTH promotes harmful stereotypes about gay people which do not contribute to solutions to the problems of bullying.

I repeat, I regret the mention of my work in sexual identity therapy and bullying in the same context as mention of the work of NARTH. For more information or clarifications of our work, please see www.sitframework.com and www.wthrockmorton.com or contact me at warrenthrockmorton@gmail.com.

You can read more about NARTH here (where and why I decided not to attend the 2006 NARTH conference) and here and reparative therapy here.

  • Lynn David

    NARTH, an organization with faith-based views on homosexuality …. maintains that it is a professional organization that only promotes practices have been proven scientifically effective. NARTH urges against claims that there is “scientific knowledge” that settles the issue of homosexuality. Instead, it encourages a broad view based upon diverse understandings of the family, of core human identity, and the meaning and purpose of human sexuality. … But NARTH maintains that its stance that homosexuality is the product of biological, psychological and social factors that begin at a young age is the same stance held by the American Psychological Association.

    I’ve never heard a more confused and contradictory descriptor of what would purport to be a science-based organization and what it considers to be the state of the science. Then again, maybe it is a good description of NARTH. But the article was poorly structured and showed a lack of understanding of the issue. Can’t expect a journalist to be perfect though.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    It’s really just poor writing in general, very badly written. Then again, finding people willing to write positively about NARTH without gagging probably takes them to the bottom of the proverbial barrel.

  • http://nojam75.blogspot.com Norm!

    Ha! NARTH desperately claims itself a “scientific, secular organization”. And yet even this poorly researched ‘news’ article describes NARTH as “an organization with faith-based views on homosexuality”.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    How sad that the Christian Post cannot distinguish between having a conservative sexual ethic and engaging in anti-gay activism and hocus-pocus science.

    I blame this both on both conservative Christianity and the gay community. Both are inclined towards all-or-nothing positions and leave little room for nuanced approaches.

    Which is sad; there are no doubt many people who believe that their faith calls them to live according to a specific sexual ethic but who also have no desire to run demonize gay folk or treat them like any other person who does not share their doctrinal views.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    timothy – Yes, exactly.

  • ken

    I think the comments about how other christian organizations have spoken out about bullying was meant (although poorly presented) to contrast how NARTH has NOT said anything about it (even though they claim to “acknowledges on its website that there are those who are comfortable with their homosexual identity. It values an individual’s right to choose.”)

    Warren, didn’t you present your SIT framework at a NARTH conference several years ago?

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

    ken: I spoke to the reporter this morning. She was viewing NARTH as a Christian organization and suggesting that Christians were not as harmful as the gay leader expressed. I wish it was what you said, and perhaps with correction it will be.

    RE: SIT Framework – I was going to go but declined because of NARTH’s non-reaction to the strange comments of NARTH advisors about bullying and slavery. More here.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    I blame this both on both conservative Christianity and the gay community. Both are inclined towards all-or-nothing positions and leave little room for nuanced approaches.

    Very true, and very frustrating.


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