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FIRST-PERSON: Psychological pressure, not science

McMINNVILLE, Ore. (BP)–The American Psychological Association has officially come out in support of the legalization of same-sex “marriage.” At its annual meeting held in Hawaii, the largest professional organization of psychologists in the United States adopted a policy July 28 which, in part, states, “Gay couples should be able to marry in civil ceremonies….”

That the APA would support homosexual “marriage” should come as no surprise. On its website the organization is emphatic in its belief that sexual orientation is not a choice and that homosexuality is an irreversible condition.

One thing that might surprise many people is just how the APA came to arrive at its position on homosexuality.

Again, on its website, the organization states, “In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association confirmed the importance of the new, better designed research and removed homosexuality from the official manual that lists mental and emotional disorders. Two years later, the American Psychological Association passed a resolution supporting the removal.”

While it is true that the American Psychiatric Association did remove homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric maladies in 1973, it was not in response to “new better designed research.” It was, according to Jeffery Satinover, “driven by politics, not science.”

In “Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth,” Satinover (former fellow in psychiatry and child psychiatry at Yale University and past William James Lecturer in Psychology and Religion at Harvard) reveals how homosexual activists pressured the American Psychiatric Association into changing its official view of homosexuality.

Writing in 1996, Satinover observed, “Normally a scientific consensus is reached over the course of many years, resulting from the accumulated weight of many properly designed studies.” He goes on to state, “But in the case of homosexuality, scientific research has only now just begun, years after the question was decided.”

In other words, the American Psychiatric Association declared homosexuality to be “normal” without a single shred of scientific evidence. Even now the jury is still out on the issue because not one study to date has shown homosexuality to be innate or irreversible.

How did the American Psychiatric Association manage to render such an unprofessional decision? Satinover quotes Ronald Bayer from his book, “Homosexuality and American Psychiatry: The Politics of Diagnosis” (in 1970, Bayer was a fellow at the Hastings Institute in New York).

Bayer wrote that in 1970 a homosexual faction within the pychiatric association planned to systematically “disrupt the annual meetings of the American Psychiatric Association.” The goal of such action was to force the organization to change its view on homosexuality.

Satinover indicates that at the association’s 1970 annual meeting, Irving Bieber, an eminent psychoanalyst and psychiatrist, was presenting a paper on “homosexuality and transsexualism” when he was interrupted:

“[Bieber’s] efforts to explain his position were met with derisive laughter … [One protestor] called him a ________. ‘I’ve read your book, Dr. Bieber, and if that book talked about black people the way it talks about homosexuals, you’d be drawn and quartered and you’d deserve it.'”

According to Satinover, the activists’ tactics worked. Bowing to pressure, the organizers of the American Psychiatric Association’s 1971 annual meeting “agreed to sponsor a special panel — not on homosexuality, but by homosexuals.” If the panel were not approved, the homosexual activists threatened to “break up more than one section of the meetings.”

In 1972, the homosexual faction of the American Psychiatric Association secured a position before the group’s Committee on Nomenclature. Under pressure, the chairman ceded that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the official reference manual used by professionals in America and throughout the world in diagnosing mental disorders) should probably be changed to reflect a new understanding of homosexuality.

“When the committee met formally to consider the issue in 1973,” Satinover writes, “the outcome had already been arranged behind closed doors.” Further, he points out, “No new data was introduced, and objectors were given only fifteen minutes to present a rebuttal that summarized seventy-years of psychiatric and psychoanalytic opinion.”

Satinover quotes Bayer on the psychiatric association “decision” to change the DSM: “The result was not a conclusion based upon an approximation of the scientific truth as dictated by reason, but was instead an action demanded by the ideological temper of the times.”

In 1975, the American Psychological Association, as it indicates on its website, followed the American Psychiatric Association’s lead and embraced homosexuality as natural and normal. However, the move was not based on research but rather on pressure exerted by homosexual activists.

Don’t be surprised, or swayed, by the American Psychological Association’s recent endorsement of homosexual “marriage.” It is just one more organization that has been co-opted by homosexual activists.
Kelly Boggs’ column appears each Friday in Baptist Press. He is pastor of the Portland-area Valley Baptist Church in McMinnville, Ore.

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  • Kelly Boggs