“Gay cure” advocate compares reparative therapy to open heart surgery

LAST June, Bridgette P LaVictoire exposed the cock-eyed thinking of Doctor Nicholas Cummings,President of the American Psychological Association from 1979 to 1980 on her Lez Get Real blog

He had just compared gays to drug dealers in a pow-wow he had with National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality or NARTH.

Cummings isn’t a homophobe, mind. He just thinks that they should be cured. He told NARTHty people:

Dr Cummings

Dr Cummings

It’s a difficult therapy … Admittedly we had failures. The recidivism along the way with some would be intense, but we experience the same thing with treating substance abuse and alcoholism. Falling off the wagon is part of the treatment.

LaVictoire commented:

The thing is, alcoholism and substance abuse have underlying psychological and sociological reasons, and if those are not addressed, then they cannot be cured. Homosexuality lacks any underlying psychological disorder, and, in fact, the damage to many lesbians and gays comes not from internal psychological problems, but sociological pressures that cause them problems.

Now Cummings is back in the limelight, having sprung the defence of another crackpot “gay cure” outfit called JONAH, which seeks to unkink gay Jews. According to this report, JONAH needs defending because it’s in the crosshairs of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) which is suing the ministry and its founders for “consumer fraud”.

In an affidavit in support of JONAH’s motion before the New Jersey Superior Court to dismiss the SPLC lawsuit, Cummings observed that “only a small minority of patients” want to change their sexual orientation.

It’s “difficult therapy,” and change is “not easily accomplished,” but it can be done. In fact, he stated, the rate of success is high “if patients are highly motivated and clinically diagnosed as having a high probability of success” before the therapy begins.

And he dismissed the notion that simply because some patients claim to have been harmed by reparative therapy the treatment should be outlawed.

Many medical treatments — open heart surgery, for example — work for one person but not for another. But that doesn’t mean we outlaw all open-heart surgery.

According to JONAH defence attorney Charles LiMandri of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, the SPLC’s goal is to shut the Jewish ministry down.

If it succeeds, Courage — the Catholic apostolate that ministers to persons with same-sex attraction — may be next in the crosshairs, LiMandri warned.

In what some describe as a case of David vs Goliath, the SPLC has more than $200 million in assets, which the center says comes primarily through donor contributions. LiMandri, a Catholic, is arguing the JONAH case pro bono.

Noting that the SPLC website targets about 70 organisations (including Courage), LiMandri predicted:

If the SPLC wins this case, they’re going to go state by state and shut them all down.

Let’s hope he’s right.