Homosexuality is Not an Addiction is the title of a piece that just came out on Psychology Today. Dr. David Ley's piece cannot be ignored in the conversation on LGBTQ rights and "conversion therapy."
I have been reviewing a position statement opposing "conversion therapy" that will soon be released by an organization that inspired me to do my part in protecting LGBTQ youth in Oregon. It will join countless position statements across all of the nation's leading professional medical and mental health associations opposing such practices. Position statements like this one are a big part of why yesterday, the Oregon Senate joined the Oregon House in passing a bill banning "conversion therapy" with bipartisan support.
I was there for the vote. And as I walked out of the State Capitol, I was greeted by a cool breeze on a sunny Oregon day. I heard the voices of singing children now gathered on those same steps, and looked out on a bright future for the youth of Oregon.
But it was only a few hours later that I saw a headline on my newsfeed that made me once again feel a nagging desperation that has haunted me relentlessly over the past year. Another bullied transgender teen had committed suicide.
I chose to become a Certified Sexuality Counselor because of a belief in the importance of highly-specialized training, professional standards, and accountability, when it comes to supporting people in their most vulnerable selves, in their sexuality. It's the reason I specifically chose certification with AASECT.
The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) is a not-for-profit, interdisciplinary professional organization. In addition to sexuality educators, sexuality counselors and sex therapists, AASECT members include physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, allied health professionals, clergy members, lawyers, sociologists, marriage and family counselors and therapists, family planning specialists and researchers, as well as students in various relevant professional disciplines. These individuals share an interest in promoting understanding of human sexuality and healthy sexual behavior.
AASECT's position statement on conversion therapy acknowledges that the organization's statement is consistent with:
- The American Medical Association
- The American Psychological Association
- The American Psychoanalytic Association
- The American Counseling Association
- The National Association of Social Workers
- The American Academy of Pediatrics
- The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
- The American School Counselor Association
- The Pan American Health Organization
- The National Education Association
- The School Social Work Association of America
- The American School Health Association
- The American Association of School Administrators
- The American Federation of Teachers
- The National Association of School Psychologists
- The Interfaith Alliance Foundation
- The National Association of Secondary School Principals
Today, I want to ask you, the reader:
Do you know of any other organizations who have statement consistent with AASECT's that are not listed above?
If you know of any other statements that also align, I ask you email me directly, so that I can forward them to AASECT's President and Board of Directors - along with a request for AASECT to take a position of responsibility in bringing together a consensus statement, like the one produced by the UK Council for Psychotherapy. I believe it's AASECT's responsibility as the largest in the United States that bridges across professional disciplines in upholding standards of ethical practice with regards to human sexuality. I believe that is why we took a position as an organization in the first place.
It's time to take the direction of the President of the United States and the Surgeon General who have called for an end to "conversion therapy", it's time for a consensus statement.