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APA Shuns Academic and Religious Coalition on Homosexuality

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  • Thomas Morey
    12-3-2007 APA Shuns Academic and Religious Coalition on Homosexuality by Jennifer Mesko, managing editor of Citizen Link Focus on the Family, others want faith
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 2007
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      12-3-2007
      APA Shuns Academic and Religious Coalition on
      Homosexuality

      by Jennifer Mesko, managing editor of Citizen Link

      Focus on the Family, others want faith of patients
      considered in therapy decisions.

      Focus on the Family and 20 million Americans have been
      denied input into an American Psychological
      Association panel on homosexuality.

      This summer, a task force set up by the APA began
      reviewing the organization's 10-year-old policy on
      therapy for homosexuality. The APA opposes counseling
      that treats same-sex attraction as a mental illness;
      some psychologists want the APA to forbid therapies
      that address unwanted same-sex attraction.

      In a letter sent in June, Focus on the Family joined
      more than 250 signers — representing about 20 million
      people in the pro-family, academic, scientific and
      therapeutic communities — in urging the APA to respect
      the religious commitments of their clients, even if
      that means they decline to identify as homosexual.

      "There are folks who struggle with same-sex attraction
      who, because of their religious beliefs, do not find
      living homosexually to be acceptable to them," said
      Carrie Gordon Earll, senior director of issue analysis
      at Focus on the Family Action. "They should have a
      right to have access to therapy, to therapists who can
      help them live out the fact that change is possible."

      The letter requested a meeting with APA leaders, but
      so far, that request has been ignored. In September,
      APA Board President Sharon Stephens Brehm responded to
      Focus on the Family, saying, "We will not be meeting
      with individual advocacy organizations."

      Yet, it was pro-gay "advocacy organizations" that
      initially suggested an update to APA policies.

      And a report earlier this year by Ex-Gay Watch — a
      recognized pro-gay blog — revealed a meeting between
      the APA’s director of LGBT Concerns Office, Dr.
      Clinton Anderson, and the former assistant director of
      Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Ron
      Schlittler.

      That same report stated that Anderson sought formal
      opinions from PFLAG and the National Gay and Lesbian
      Task Force in September 2005 in anticipation of
      forming the APA task force.

      Focus on the Family sent another letter — this one in
      early November — again asking for a meeting with the
      APA.

      Just before Thanksgiving, Brehm sent another response
      to Focus on the Family, pledging to share its concerns
      with the Board of Directors at its Dec. 7-9 meeting.

      "The task force is actually going to be hurt by a
      decision by APA leadership to deny them the
      opportunity to meet with these experts," Earll said,
      "and we're still hoping that that will change."




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