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|So.. I've been reading some of the posts on here, and it seems there's a lot of opinions based on assumptions.. on both sides. I don't mean that disdainfully at all. But a lot of ideas seem to be founded on simple ignorance.
So I thoght I'd share the research I've collected. Maybe it won't do any good, but it couldn't hurt.
Anyway, the reason I'm posting this is because both sides seem to hold the evidence of the other side in doubt, citing bias as some infinite obstruction of truth. And yes, anti-gay websites will have anti-gay statistics, while pro-gay sites will have pro-gay statistics.
I'm gay, and of course I'm for gay rights. But I went and found support for homosexuality from sites that are either neutral (like the American Pscyh. Assoc) or are actually anti-gay (like Exodus International). The point is, I tried not to refer to pro-gay organizations for these arguments.
So I begin:
The following national organizations stopped considering homosexuality a disorder quite a while ago:
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Medical Association
American Counseling Association
National Association of Social Workers
Keep in mind these are very prestigious, very real organizations. They're made up of thousands of extremely knowledgable professionals.. licensed doctors. People with a whole lot of education behind them. Their objectives are professional, not political. And they seem to unanimously view conversion therapy (ie trying to make gay people straight) as wholly ineffective and very potentially dangerous. The interesting thing is that these are the sorts of people most qualified to perform conversion therapy, but they mostly don't because they honestly find it not just useless, but possibly harmful.
The two APA's (Psyhcological and Psychiatric) view conversion therapy as quite harmful, and they find such "therapy" procedures to yield extremely low success rates.
The following are direct quotes from an article appearing in the Chicago Tribune that was posted ON AN ANTI-GAY WEBSITE. The website was CrossMinistry.org, a site that is overtly anti-gay.
1) "Though both the ex-gay ministries and NARTH claim impressive successes, none of the groups keeps statistics. But among the ex-gay leadership, there have been several embarrassing returns to homosexuality. A dozen years ago, the two founders of Exodus resigned, denounced the group's rehabilitative practices, declared their own return to homosexuality--as a couple--and promptly dropped from sight."
2) "Spitzer emphasizes that his study concludes [successful conversion] is 'extremely rare.'" [The study was on the long-term success of conversion therapy.]
3) "In the last year, Wade Richards, a spokesperson for Americans for Truth about Homosexuality and an ex-gay role model for Christian youth groups, came out again as homosexual. In London, Jeremy Marks, who had run the flagship Exodus in Britain for 14 years, also publicly returned to gay life."
Interestingly enough, the organizations (like Exodus or NARTH) that either promote or sponsor conversion therapy workshops admit that they can only convert certain homosexuals that fit in a very narrow category -- namely those who have had abusive or negligent fathers and/or overbearing mothers. In other words, if you don't have parents like that, you're pretty much stuck being gay, and NO ONE can help you. Doesn't that pretty much sound as ingrained as you can get?
Personally speaking, I've had a great relationship with both my parents, and that relationship has been maintained all my life. According to Exodus International, this is impossible if I'm gay. And yet, it's true. So what's the truth? Perhaps homosexuality isn't dependent on parental control? Maybe it's more ingrained (read: biological) than that? That seems to be what all the PROFESSIONALS agree on, so why can't the religious sector (whose expertise, to be sure, is not in biology) agree to that?
Finally, some quotes from the American Psychological Association:
1) "...In the last four decades, 'reparative' therapists have not produced any rigorous scientific research to substantiate their claims of cure...."
2) "'Reparative' therapy literature also tends to overstate the treatment's accomplishments while neglecting any potential risks to patients."
3) "There is no evidence that any treatment can change a homosexual person's deep seated sexual feelings for others of the same sex."
4) "The potential risks of 'reparative therapy' are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient."
I post all this not only because it casts serious doubt on the legitimacy of the notion that homosexuality is a choice, but also because of the implications of that doubt: if it's not a choice, if it's not something we can change (and I promise you, it's not), then there's really little argument to be had. Being black isn't a choice. So came the civil rights movement of the 1960s, whcih time has proven to be morally correct.
Fifty years from now, I doubt homosexuality will even be an issue. Rather, it'll be a passage in the history books, a look back on how society has changed. People will look back on homophobia with the same disgust we now look back on racism.
If you need any more evidence or any more quotes, please let me know.