Religious Right Medical Groups Hail 'Spontaneous and Assisted Change' for LGBT Youth
Back in 2011, David Barton of WallBuilders claimed that public schools want to “force [children] to be homosexual” rather than “develop naturally.” He based his claims on a letter from the American College of Pediatricians, which he described as “the leading pediatric association in America.”
Today, the conservative Washington Times ran a “fair and balanced” article which cited the ACP to rebut claims by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the country’s principal pediatric organization and an opponent of homophobia and sexual orientation conversion therapy.
ACP’s Dr. Den Trumbull told the Washington Times that nearly all gay and lesbian youth through “spontenous and assisted change” will “return to heterosexual orientation.” Dr. Jerry Miller Jr. of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations concurred and added: “I do not think we should normalize these kinds of behaviors and orientations…we want our patients to thrive, and we just don’t think that is going to occur in that [LGBTQ] lifestyle,” which he compared to alcohol and drug abuse.
While the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, National Association of Social Workers and American Psychiatric Association agree with the American Academy of Pediatrics that ex-gay therapy is harmful and not effective, leave it to the Washington Times to cite two peripheral groups in order to prop up its anti-gay bias.
“Sexual-minority youth should not be considered abnormal,” the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said in its new materials on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youths, released Monday.
“That’s where we would disagree. Major, major disagreement,” said Dr. Den Trumbull, president of the American College of Pediatricians, which was formed in 2002 as an alternative to AAP over its policy on gay adoption.
Another group, Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA), says “homosexual behavior can be changed,” and children experiencing “gender-identity confusion” should receive therapy if needed, and be around “appropriate role models.”
As many as 25 percent of youths experience “transient or temporary same-sex attractions,” yet the number of gay adults is much lower — 2 percent to 3 percent of the population, he said.
“Spontaneous and assisted change is possible,” and if a teen’s sexual-orientation confusion is not encouraged or validated, in the vast majority of cases, he or she “will return to heterosexual orientation,” said Dr. Trumbull, who has a pediatrics practice in Alabama.
“It’s wrong for anyone to be bullied or mocked or stigmatized. At the same time — and I know this is heresy to the lesbian and gay community — I do not think we should normalize these kinds of behaviors and orientations,” said Dr. Jerry A. Miller Jr., a pediatrician in Augusta, Ga., who is chairman of the CMDA’s pediatric section
. Teens can get involved in so many risky behaviors, especially regarding drugs, alcohol and sex, said Dr. Miller. As caring physicians, “we want our patients to thrive, and we just don’t think that is going to occur in that [LGBTQ] lifestyle.”
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