Think Progress LGBT
December 14, 2012

Last week, NARTH, a professional organization for ex-gay profiteers, released new “Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Unwanted Same-Sex Attractions and Behavior.” This document strives to legitimize ex-gay therapy by downplaying research that shows the efforts to be ineffective and potentially harmful and emphasizing myths about what may “cause” homosexuality, like the impact of sexual abuse. According to the guidelines, clinicians who seek to affirm homosexuality — that is, the preponderance of mainstream therapists — are actually engaging in bias against clients’ religion when they deny the possibility of sexual reorientation...This perspective demonstrates the naivete inherent in bias toward ex-gay treatments. First, ex-gay proponents take advantage of clients’ desire to change their sexual orientation by reinforcing it, essentially sacrificing professional perspective in the process by giving clients’ desired outcomes priority over reality. Then, they place sexual orientation and religious beliefs on a false equal footing, suggesting that sexual orientation might be easier to change if the client’s religious affiliation is more “stable.”