"A political agenda shouldn't prevent gays and lesbians who desire to change from making their own decisions."
This is an important point. The entire assault on ex-gay therapy is about denying patients access to a service that they want and need... for ideological reasons.
The gay rights movement claims that sexual reorientation is quackery. And that's where this op-ed by Nicholas Cummings, a former president of the American Psychological Association and a San Francisco therapist, comes in. His credentials for challenging the gay rights movement on this issue are hard to deny.
When I was chief psychologist for Kaiser Permanente from 1959 to 1979, San Francisco's gay and lesbian population burgeoned. I personally saw more than 2,000 patients with same-sex attraction, and my staff saw thousands more. We worked hard to develop approaches to meeting the needs of these patients.
Of the roughly 18,000 gay and lesbian patients whom we treated over 25 years through Kaiser, I believe that most had satisfactory outcomes. The majority were able to attain a happier and more stable homosexual lifestyle. Of the patients I oversaw who sought to change their orientation, hundreds were successful.
Gays and lesbians have the right to be affirmed in their homosexuality. That's why, as a member of the APA Council of Representatives in 1975, I sponsored the resolution by which the APA stated that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and, in 1976, the resolution, which passed the council unanimously, that gays and lesbians should not be discriminated against in the workplace.
And here's the important part.
But contending that all same-sex attraction is immutable is a distortion of reality. Attempting to characterize all sexual reorientation therapy as "unethical" violates patient choice and gives an outside party a veto over patients' goals for their own treatment. A political agenda shouldn't prevent gays and lesbians who desire to change from making their own decisions.
But the gay rights movement is all political agenda which leads LGBT into irreconcilable absurdities.
The LGBT movement wanted to claim that homosexuality is genetic, not a choice, for political reasons... even though genetic is hardly the same as immutable.
To make this argument stick, the gay rights movement then had to argue that every single person who decides they're gay is following an inescapable biological drive that cannot be in any way altered. And that to claim otherwise is bigotry.
That claim was already silly. It depended on accepting that not only is homosexuality a genetically immutable identity, which is a ridiculous and intellectually repugnant bit of genetic causality that becomes quite troubling when applied to genes that supposedly correlate with criminal activity, but that it applied to absolutely everyone who in any way ever identified as gay.
Making the entire ridiculous argument even sillier, the T part of LGBT decided that gender was wholly and completely mutable at any time, even though gender is about as genetic as you get.
And so we have a transsexual movement within the gay rights movement which claims that gender is mutable but sexual orientation isn't.
If you can believe that and think it makes sense, you probably have a bright future with MSNBC.
Gay and lesbian rights activists appear to be convincing the public that homosexuality is one identical inherited characteristic. To my dismay, some in the organized mental health community seem to agree, including the American Psychological Association, though I don't believe that view is supported by scientific evidence.
It's not. But it's not about science. It's about agenda.
Whatever the situation at an individual clinic, accusing professionals from across the country who provide treatment for fully informed persons seeking to change their sexual orientation of perpetrating a fraud serves only to stigmatize the professional and shame the patient.
Shaming the patient is the point. For some people, validating their lifestyle to escape that sense of shame requires shaming those who don't go along with the agenda.