Earlier this month, psychiatrist Bob Spitzer made headlines after he retracted his controversial 2001 study proclaiming that "highly motivated" gay and lesbian people could change their sexual orientation. But Spitzer is now going even further by making what has been described as "an unprecedented apology" to both former patients of reparative therapy as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community at large.
Truth Wins Out has obtained a copy of the letter, addressed to Dr. Ken Zucker:
" The Fatal Flaw in the Study –- There was no way to judge the credibility of subject reports of change in sexual orientation. I offered several (unconvincing) reasons why it was reasonable to assume that the subject’s reports of change were credible and not self-deception or outright lying. But the simple fact is that there was no way to determine if the subject’s accounts of change were valid.
I believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy. I also apologize to any gay person who wasted time and energy undergoing some form of reparative therapy because they believed that I had proven that reparative therapy works with some “highly motivated” individuals."
The now 80-year-old Spitzer, who had ironically led the effort to declassify homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973, told American Prospect earlier this month that earlier critiques of his study were "largely correct."
He continued, “The findings can be considered evidence for what those who have undergone ex-gay therapy say about it, but nothing more." After noting that failed attempts to rid oneself of homosexual attractions "can be quite harmful," he then requested writer Gabriel Arana print a retraction of the 2001 study, "so I don’t have to worry about it anymore."
In the article, Arana also claimed to have undergone therapy for over three years with Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, co-founder and former president of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), in an effort to change his own sexual orientation.
Take a look at recent cases of reported "ex-gay" therapy below: