Anti-Gay Pediatrician Group Condemns School Support of GLBT Youth
Anti-Gay Fruit Falls Near the Tree
"With connections this deep to an organization whose primary function is to generate anti-gay propaganda masquerading as scientific research, it should not be too surprising that the American College of Pediatrics [sic] uses the same tactics," the Box Turtle Bulletin article said. "Their letter to the schools is rife with lies, misrepresentations, distortions and outright fraud. In fact, there is little there that has any distant relationship to truth."
But the anti-gay Liberty Counsel, in an April 7 posting to the group’s website, hailed the outreach made by the American College of Pediatricians to the nation’s school district superintendents.
"There is no scientific evidence that anyone is born homosexual," the Liberty Counsel website’s posting declares. "Therefore, the College further advises that schools should not teach or imply to students that homosexual attraction is innate, always life-long, and unchangeable. To the contrary, research has shown that therapy to restore heterosexual attraction can be effective for many people."
The posting went on to criticize, albeit obliquely, efforts by safe schools groups to promote tolerance and acceptance of GLBT youth in the nation’s educational system. "It is not the school’s role to diagnose or attempt to treat any student’s medical condition, and certainly not the school’s role to ’affirm’ a student’s perceived personal sexual orientation," the text stated. "The [College’s] ’Facts About Youth’ website counters the propaganda published by the pro-homosexual pamphlet called ’Just the Facts,’ which is riddled with inaccuracies."
The pamphlet in question, Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth, is intended as "A Primer for Principals, Educators, and School Personnel." It is endorsed by a long list of credible professional organizations, including The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Education Association, among more than half a dozen others.
On page 2, Just the Facts noted, "Typically, sexual orientation conversion therapy is promoted by providers who have close ties to religious institutions and organizations." Science, however, suggests that attempts to "cure" gays are not helpful and may be harmful. The American Medical Association has adopted a resolution to "oppose any psychiatric treatment, such as ’reparative’ or ’conversion’ therapy," and other professional health groups--including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Counseling Association, have similarly rejected such therapies. Moreover, the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973.
Moreover, the American Academy of Pediatrics provides a lengthy list of peer-reviewed publications that address issues of sexual orientation in youth; the publications encourage that adults, such as parents, listen to, understand, and accept a young person’s own perspective on his or her sexual orientation and gender identity.
Even so, the founder of Liberty Counsel, Matthew Staver, was quoted in the text as saying, "Public schools can harm students by suggesting that same-sex attractions are natural and unchangeable. Research shows that youth who experience sexual confusion often do so only for a temporary period. To suggest to a student that temporary sexual confusion means the person is homosexual can be damaging and harmful."