Trumps Science’ at Psychological Association, Critic Says
August 4, 2004
By Sarah Junk, CNSNews.com Correspondent
The American Psychological Association’s recent
endorsement of homosexual marriage, which followed its support for homosexual
adoption and the removal of sodomy laws, shows that the group places politics
before science, according a conservative critic.
“Politics trumps science in some of these
organizations, particularly when a pro-homosexual ideology is the governing
principle” said Peter Sprigg, senior director of policy studies at the
Family Research Council.
But in defending the decision, Armand Cerbone, chairman
of the American Psychological Association’s Working Group on Same-Sex
Families and Relationships, said “APA and psychologists had to grapple with
the issue of what psychology believes is in the public interest in this
The APA has expressed its support in the past for
allowing homosexuals in the military and as Boy Scout leaders. And it long ago
sided with the American Psychiatric Association in removing homosexuality from
the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In doing so, the
American Psychological Association approved a resolution declaring that
“homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment, stability,
reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities.”
Removing homosexuality as a mental disorder was “the
first step in a long-term agenda to normalize the practice of homosexuality in
the eyes of the public,” said Sprigg.
Another conservative group, Focus on the Family, has
criticized the APA for its endorsement of same-sex marriage, claiming that it
would make “lab rats” out of children exposed to the “social
The American Psychological Association in recent years
“has become more and more involved in advocacy for certain political
viewpoints,” said Bill Maier, vice president of Focus on the Family.
Maier said APA’s endorsement of homosexual marriage
does not necessarily mean that rank-and-file psychologists agree with the
decision, but rather that the idea comes from “a very powerful special
interest” inside the APA—the Committee on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual
“A scientific organization has no place in advocating
social policy,” said Maier. “That’s not their role.”
Individuals unhappy with their same-sex attractions often
refuse to get help from psychologists, said Arthur Goldberg, co-director of
JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality). That’s because the
American Psychological Association is perceived to be an organization
dedicated to political correctness, he said. The APA is critical of
professional attempts to change sexual orientation.
“They need to know they have the ability to change, and
unfortunately the politically correct focus is to try to keep this as a secret
... to not let people know they have the ability to change,” said Goldberg.
He said that people who are unhappy with their same-sex attractions often turn
to “ex-gay” or religious organizations that have training in the “gender
affirming process” instead of seeing traditional psychologists.
Ron Schlittler, interim executive director of PFLAG
(Parents, Families Friends of Lesbians Gays), has a different perspective. The
endorsement of same-sex marriage by “respected organizations that a lot of
people look to for thoughtful fact-based information” such as the APA is
helpful, he said.
“Just because they conclude that what the gay and
lesbian community has been saying all along happens to be true doesn’t make
them apologists or out with a certain agenda,” said Schlittler. He added
that groups that portray themselves as pro-family and condemn homosexual
marriage are “choosing to not pay attention to the richness and texture of
what the American family really is.”
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