Should Gays Go Straight?

A young man—I'll call him Kevin—decided to seek out a therapist. You see, Kevin was homosexual, which was causing intense emotional distress. He hoped to find a therapist to help him overcome his homosexual impulses. But if the American Psychiatric Association has its way, soon Kevin won't be able to find any therapists to help him. The APA is poised to make it illegal for any psychiatrist to help a homosexual client change his ways. Psychiatrists who defy the ban could even have their licenses revoked. The showdown will take place at the APA's upcoming annual meeting, where members will vote on a position statement condemning psychiatric treatment aimed at helping homosexuals to change their orientation. Promoting the statement is a powerful gay caucus within the APA. Opposing it are groups such as the Committee of Concerned Psychiatrists and the Committee of Concerned Psychoanalysts. They argue that the position statement is highly irregular on many counts. For one thing, condemnations of this sort are normally passed only when a course of treatment has been proved harmful or dangerous. No one has proved that trying to change homosexual orientation is harmful. On the contrary: Published studies indicate that clients who overcome homosexual impulses are much happier with their lives. What's worse, the position statement proposed by the gay caucus condemns treatment even when the client himself wants it. It effectively handcuffs therapists and requires them to disregard the wishes of homosexual clients who want to change. Even medical research will be stifled. Researchers will be afraid to publish anything suggesting that they helped a client change his sexual orientation. As a result, any data showing that clients' lives improve when they give up homosexuality will be suppressed. Only pro-gay research will be published. Opponents of the position statement say its purpose is purely political: It was adopted to appease the powerful, 500-member gay caucus. Many psychiatrists admit privately that going up against the gay caucus is professional suicide. They're afraid of being smeared by the formidable gay political machine. What we're seeing here is the politicizing of medicine. Beneficial practices are being outlawed simply because they run counter to a particular political agenda. And make no mistake: If this statement is passed, it will drive Christians right out of the field of psychiatry. Christian psychiatrists who counsel their clients to take the life-giving road out of homosexuality will risk being sued and even having their licenses revoked. In essence, biblical counseling of homosexuals will be redefined as malpractice. As the Christian perspective becomes increasingly unpopular, Christians are simply being pushed out of various professions. If you want to fight the gay takeover of psychiatry, why don't you contact the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a professional organization that researches the cause and treatment of homosexuality. You and I need to oppose the politicization of medicine. Otherwise therapists will soon be required to tell people like Kevin that his only alternative is to stay gay—and learn to like it.  


Chuck Colson


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