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“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.

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

  1. jay says:

    Not to defend JONAH but it’s a case, as far as I’m concerned, of one cracpot group suing another. Basically SPLC goes from one high panic headline (often sloppy with the facts) to another.

    I wrote them off years ago.

  2. Maggie says:

    “Homosexuality lacks any underlying psychological disorder”

    Correct, which is why it cannot be ‘cured’ with psychology or other mind games.

    “in fact, the damage to many lesbians and gays comes not from internal psychological problems, but sociological pressures that cause them problems.”

    Correct, but it is the sociological pressures of certain societies to ‘conform’ to heterosexual norms that causes the problems. Let LGBT people be free to be themselves and the ‘problem’ is solved.

  3. 1859 says:

    If this guy thinks that being gay can be medically ‘treated’ then it follows he does indeed think it is a pathology, a sickness, an abberation. I’m sorry, he may scream from the academic rooftops that he’s not a homophobe, but I don’t believe him. This sort of ‘professional’ garbage just massages the egos of all the homophobic bigots on the planet and should be denounced for what it is – pseudo-science.

  4. barriejohn says:

    SPLC may not be above criticism, but “crackpot” seems a very extreme term to use!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Poverty_Law_Center

  5. jay says:

    SPLC relies on scare tactic reports (society’s always in grave danger) about how all these foes of decency (or ‘anti government ‘forces) are so well financed … but don’t worry, you can send your donations to SPlC

  6. barriejohn says:

    @jay: I hope your antipathy towards them is not unduly influenced by their criticism of “conservatives” like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer!

    Apologies from Exodus International now:

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/06/20/us-head-of-gay-cure-ministry-says-sorry-for-causing-pain-and-hurt/

  7. […] 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…  […]