¨It’s about spreading and maintaining sectarian religious positions.¨
Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
¨The American Psychological Association adopted a resolution stating that the ethical standard for mental health professionals is to “avoid telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments.”
At its annual convention, the approval of the “Resolution on Appropriate Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts” was based upon a 138-page report (with a 25 page bibliography) from a professional task force that had spent two years systematically investigating the evidence of so-called “reparative therapy” or other sexual orientation change efforts.
Some of the report’s observations:
“Same-sex sexual attractions, behavior, and orientations per se are normal and positive variants of human sexuality – in other words, they do not indicate either mental or developmental disorders.”
“Homosexuality and bisexuality are stigmatized, and this stigma can have a variety of negative consequences (e.g. minority stress) throughout the life span.”
“Gay men, lesbians, and bisexual individuals form stable, committed relationships and families that are equivalent to heterosexual relationships and families in essential respects.”
“We found that there was some evidence to indicate that individuals experienced harm from SOCE [sexual orientation change efforts]…. These negative side effects included loss of sexual feeling, depression, suicidality, and anxiety.”
“There is currently no evidence that teaching or reinforcing stereotyped gender-normative behavior in childhood or adolescence can alter sexual orientation. We have concerns that such interventions may increase self-stigma and minority stress and ultimately increase the distress of children and adolescents.”
The report also recognizes that this science will not inform certain right-wing religious prejudices against LGBT people and suggests alternatives for those LGBT folks who are stuck with the need for a religion that says they love the wrong gender. In these cases counselors should “explore possible life paths that address the reality of their sexual orientation, reduce the stigma associated with homosexuality, respect the client’s religious beliefs, and consider possibilities for a religiously and spiritually meaningful and rewarding life,” such as exploring a community of faith that affirms them.
Right-wing religious institutions, of course, are responsible for the guilt, shame, demeaning, bigotry, and self-hate, that those who seek to change the unchangeable about themselves have internalized enough to be suicidal when they fail. Negative feelings were not inborn, but taught incessantly by society and its religious leaders.
So, the APA reiterates professional standards again in the midst of regular misuse of “psychology” by antigay religious people to cover their religious prejudices. The debate really, then, is about the use of religion and religious arguments not anything psychologically wrong with LGBT people.
It’s about spreading and maintaining sectarian religious positions. And it’s been going on too long against decades of professional studies to the contrary often because those of us who disagree won’t label religious prejudice clearly as religious prejudice.
It will continue to be sad to watch LGBT people who won’t leave their abusers but need their love, acceptance, and affirmation so much that they will live lives of denial and depression. But we’ll be clear.
This is only about the religion you have chosen. It’s your choice. Your suffering is your own. Feel that your love is sinful if you need to feel that.
But don’t blame psychology for your sectarian beliefs about LGBT people. Don’t tell them any longer that they‘re the sick ones.¨ read it all, HERE
UNDERSTANDING THE ¨REASON¨ WHY FUNDAMENTALISTS MUST EXCLUDE GAYS (and other ¨sinners¨)
Fundamentalists have to "stand against all compromise" because they themselves are in a constant battle with temptation and these temptations lead to questioning what they say they believe. And if they open that questioning door there is so much that is so plainly insane in their various scriptures that to even look into the room in their brains where all the dark little doubts are kept is to start a process where their whole faith will unravel.
The reason they have to hate every "deviation" is simple: At some point in their lives most fundamentalists do ask questions. At some point they also grow weary of fighting their own bodies. At some point they have a choice: to listen to their reasonable doubts and follow their questions, and therefore grow and change their minds by admitting the fact of paradox, or deny the reasonable voice of doubt and redouble their efforts to "keep faith."
If on top of wrestling with doubts religious believers are earning both their living and deriving their meaning from a religious leadership role -- and the power it gives them over other people -- then they have all the more motivation to deny their doubts (and their bodies and/or their sexual orientation) and dig in their heels.
I think that is why so many closeted gay Evangelical men turn out to be leaders in anti-gay iniatives. I think this is why so many leaders in Congress harping on "family values" or state governors crusading on platforms of "moral rectitude" turn out to be mired in some sexual scandal, say taking trips to South America to visit their mistresses, or getting caught in men's rooms playing footsie with the gay guy in the next bathroom stall. I think that is why sometimes the sons (or daughters) of some religious leaders are, counter-intuitively, harsher and even more extreme in their views than their parents.¨ read it all, HERE
· Thanks to The American Psychological Association
· Thanks to Robert N. Minor
· Thanks to Flickr Photosharing
· Thanks to The Huffington Post, siedebar
· Thanks to Frank Schaeffer, sidebar
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