04-14-2006, 08:59 AM
Sexual orientation can be changed
01:00 AM EDT on Friday, April 14, 2006
In his April 9 column "Gay-marriage bill gasping for air," Mr. M. Charles Bakst quotes Ann Bonnetti, of Warwick, as saying, "Being gay is not a choice. This is the way God made them." She is Catholic and the mother of a gay son. Bakst later writes that Fr. Bernard Healy said it is debatable whether people choose to be gay or are born that way. All of these statements are categorically false.
First, there is no debate. No one is born gay, and no one consciously chooses his sexual attraction. Same-sex attraction is a developmental disorder.
According to the American Psychological Association, sexual orientation results from a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive, and biological factors. The American Psychiatric Association adds that to date there are no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological etiology for homosexuality, and that while some "believe that sexual orientation is innate and fixed, [it] develops across a person's lifetime."
Although both organizations discourage re-orientation therapy and insist it does not work, a review of the scientific literature proves otherwise.
Sexual orientation, unlike skin color and all other genetically determined traits, is not innate and is indeed changeable.
MICHELLE A. CRETELLA, M.D.
I am writing my response and should have it turned in by the end of the business day. The editorial dept is closed on the weekends, but letters turned in by the end of the day should make the weekend edition.
04-14-2006, 10:51 AM
In response to Dr. Cretella’s April 14th letter claiming sexual orientation can be changed. She failed to tell the readers the reason all health and mental health associations argue against trying to change ones sexual orientation is that such attempts can lead to anxiety, depression and even suicide. Her letter states that homosexuality is a disorder, thus implying that it needs to be cured. Those claims are not only unfounded, but also dangerous.
To state to the public that homosexuality is not like skin color and other genetic traits and can be changed is a ticket for people to discriminate. That may not have been her intention, but it is usually the result of such blatant misinformation. I can tell you that homosexuality does not fit the criteria of a disorder. I can also tell you that there is no reliable scientific evidence that sexuality can be changed.
The statement that gays can change makes it all sound so easy, but the evidence show that is far from the truth. The horror stories of those who have tried to change far outnumber the stories of those who claim they have changed. Many of the stories end up being told by the love ones of those who committed suicide when the figured out change in sexual orientation is not possible.
These type of letters make it more and more clear to me that this debate over gay rights needs to be over. It is just time to end this injustice of how we treat gays and lesbians. How many more gays need to kill themselves, submit to unconventional and dangerous therapies and suffer from hate crimes and discrimination before society ends this suffering. Enough is enough already!
04-14-2006, 01:12 PM
For the past thirty years, theo-neo-conservative mental health professionals have waged a war against their national professional associations. Initially, they stood alone in their belief that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual should have retained homosexuality as an aberrative disorder. In the past twenty years however, as the neocon and theocon revolution has gained ascendancy and power, these few and discredited professionals have gained support from the folks who translate early twentieth century "creationism" into twenty-first century " intelligent design".
Bad theology and bad science is IMHO, nothing but "professional" quackery of the theological or scientific kind. As an earned doctor of sacred theology, I can make such an assertion with confidence that I speak for the majority of periti who understand that bad biology makes for bad theology.
Reparative therapy is simply new wine in old bottles. The Pink Triangles were used in all sorts of medical and psychiatric and psychotropic experiments.
The agenda is clear. They MUST have choice in order to make either their theological or medical arguement. Without that necessary connexion, their dissention from the rest of their national associations " in good standing" would not have credence on their own merits.
04-14-2006, 01:20 PM
Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents
Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health
Children who are born to or adopted by 1 member of a same-sex couple deserve the security of 2 legally recognized parents. Therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics supports legislative and legal efforts to provide the possibility of adoption of the child by the second parent or coparent in these families.
Children deserve to know that their relationships with both of their parents are stable and legally recognized. This applies to all children, whether their parents are of the same or opposite sex. The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes that a considerable body of professional literature provides evidence that children with parents who are homosexual can have the same advantages and the same expectations for health, adjustment, and development as can children whose parents are heterosexual.1–9 When 2 adults participate in parenting a child, they and the child deserve the serenity that comes with legal recognition.
Children born or adopted into families headed by partners who are of the same sex usually have only 1 biologic or adoptive legal parent. The other partner in a parental role is called the "coparent" or "second parent." Because these families and children need the permanence and security that are provided by having 2 fully sanctioned and legally defined parents, the Academy supports the legal adoption of children by coparents or second parents. Denying legal parent status through adoption to coparents or second parents prevents these children from enjoying the psychologic and legal security that comes from having 2 willing, capable, and loving parents.
Several states have considered or enacted legislation sanctioning second-parent adoption by partners of the same sex. In addition, legislative initiatives assuring legal status equivalent to marriage for gay and lesbian partners, such as the law approving civil unions in Vermont, can also attend to providing security and permanence for the children of those partnerships.
Many states have not yet considered legislative actions to ensure the security of children whose parents are gay or lesbian. Rather, adoption has been decided by probate or family courts on a case-by-case basis. Case precedent is limited. It is important that a broad ethical mandate exist nationally that will guide the courts in providing necessary protection for children through coparent adoption.
Coparent or second-parent adoption protects the child’s right to maintain continuing relationships with both parents. The legal sanction provided by coparent adoption accomplishes the following:
Guarantees that the second parent’s custody rights and responsibilities will be protected if the first parent were to die or become incapacitated. Moreover, second-parent adoption protects the child’s legal right of relationships with both parents. In the absence of coparent adoption, members of the family of the legal parent, should he or she become incapacitated, might successfully challenge the surviving coparent’s rights to continue to parent the child, thus causing the child to lose both parents.
Protects the second parent’s rights to custody and visitation if the couple separates. Likewise, the child’s right to maintain relationships with both parents after separation, viewed as important to a positive outcome in separation or divorce of heterosexual parents, would be protected for families with gay or lesbian parents.
Establishes the requirement for child support from both parents in the event of the parents’ separation.
Ensures the child’s eligibility for health benefits from both parents.
Provides legal grounds for either parent to provide consent for medical care and to make education, health care, and other important decisions on behalf of the child.
Creates the basis for financial security for children in the event of the death of either parent by ensuring eligibility to all appropriate entitlements, such as Social Security survivors benefits.
On the basis of the acknowledged desirability that children have and maintain a continuing relationship with 2 loving and supportive parents, the Academy recommends that pediatricians do the following:
Be familiar with professional literature regarding gay and lesbian parents and their children.
Support the right of every child and family to the financial, psychologic, and legal security that results from having legally recognized parents who are committed to each other and to the welfare of their children.
Advocate for initiatives that establish permanency through coparent or second-parent adoption for children of same-sex partners through the judicial system, legislation, and community education.
COMMITTEE ON PSYCHOSOCIAL ASPECTS OF CHILD AND FAMILY HEALTH, 2000–2001
Joseph F. Hagan, Jr, MD, Chairperson
William L. Coleman, MD
Jane M. Foy, MD
Edward Goldson, MD
Barbara J. Howard, MD
Ana Navarro, MD
J. Lane Tanner, MD
Hyman C. Tolmas, MD
F. Daniel Armstrong, PhD
Society of Pediatric Psychology
David R. DeMaso, MD
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Peggy Gilbertson, RN, MPH, CPNP
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Sally E. A. Longstaffe, MD
Canadian Paediatric Society
George J. Cohen, MD
Ellen C. Perrin, MD
Perrin EC. Children whose parents are lesbian or gay. Contemp Pediatr.1998; 15 :113 –130
Janice Ann Delong v Fredrick Joseph Delong III, Guardian Ad Litem. Brief of Amicus Curiae American Psychological Association. Available at: http://wwwpsyclaw.org/delongbrief.html. Accessed February 15,2001
Kimberly Y. Boswell v Robert G. Boswell. Brief of Amici Curiae American Psychological Association and National Association of Social Workers. Available at: http://www.psyclaw.org/boswellbrief.html. Accessed February 15,2001
Gold MA, Perrin EC, Futterman D, Friedman SB. Children of gay or lesbian parents. Pediatr Rev.1994; 15 :354 –358[Medline]
Tasker F. Children in lesbian-led families: a review. Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry.1999; 4 :153 –166[CrossRef]
Patterson CJ. Children of lesbian and gay parents. Adv Clin Child Psychol.1997; 19 :235 –282
Benkov L. Reinventing the Family: The Emerging Story of Lesbian and Gay Parents. New York, NY: Crown Publishers;1994
Parks CA. Lesbian parenthood: a review of the literature. Am J Orthopsychiatry.1998; 68 :376 –389[Medline]
American Academy of Pediatrics, Perrin EC, and the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health. Technical report: coparent or second-parent adoption by same-sex parents. Pediatrics.2002; 109 :341 –344[Abstract/Free Full Text]
PEDIATRICS (ISSN 1098-4275). ©2002 by the American Academy of Pediatrics
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