Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays are taking on the American Psychiatric Association this week in claiming the APA may force out therapists who try to help homosexual clients become heterosexuals.
"As we speak, the APA is moving toward criminalizing the practice of reparative therapy," said Robert Knight of the Family Research Council, referring to the counseling approach designed to help homosexuals forsake that lifestyle.
APA President Rodrigo Munoz has called reparative therapy "destructive." Its sister organization, the American Psychological Association, has likewise condemned reparative therapy.
Sunday, about 25 of the activists - who use the acronym PFOX - picketed some of the 15,500 therapists attending the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting at the Washington Convention Center. They carried signs with messages like "APA: Repent of your unholy criticism" and " `Born gay' is a lie, APA, and you know it."
The object of their ire was a position statement unanimously adopted five months ago by the APA board of trustees.
That statement says reparative therapy potentially causes "depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior" among its clients. Such therapy, it suggests, is discriminatory because the therapist may be aligning himself or herself "with societal prejudices against homosexuality."
"The APA would presume to tell America what is and is not normal," said Peter LaBarbera, director of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality. "Americans are slowly waking up to the fact that the APA emperor has no clothes."
He and other speakers at a press conference yesterday said APA's position could damage the 900 therapists who belong to the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, a California group that works with the ex-gay movement. …