Monday, October 08, 2012

Position Statements




What is this webpage about?

This web page details the evidence-based position statements/policies of a large number of reputable scientific associations and organisations concerning the suitability of homosexuals for inclusion in various personal and societal roles.  It includes position statements on Marriage, Adoption, Attempts to change sexual orientation and Military service, in that order.  Please click any of the contents sections to be taken to that section, though this will refresh the page.

The American Psychological Association (APA), 2004:
"The benefits, rights, and privileges associated with domestic partnerships are not universally available, are not equal to those associated with marriage, and are rarely portable... The APA believes that it is unfair and discriminatory to deny same-sex couples legal access to civil marriage and to all its attendant benefits, rights, and privileges".

The American Anthropological Association (AAA), 2004:
"The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.
The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association strongly opposes a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples".

The American Sociological Association (ASA), 2004:
"A constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman intentionally discriminates against lesbians and gay men as well as their children and other dependents by denying access to the protections, benefits, and responsibilities extended automatically to married couples... we believe that the official justification for the proposed constitutional amendment is based on prejudice rather than empirical research, and... sociological research has repeatedly shown that systems of inequality are detrimental to the public good".

The American Psychiatric Association (APA), 2005:
"In the interest of maintaining and promoting mental health, the American Psychiatric Association supports the legal recognition of same-sex civil marriage with all rights, benefits, and responsibilities conferred by civil marriage, and opposes restrictions to those same rights, benefits, and responsibilities".

The American Medical Association (AMA), 2009:
"(The) American Medical Association: (1) recognizes that denying civil marriage based on sexual orientation is discriminatory and imposes harmful stigma on gay and lesbian individuals and couples and their families; (2) recognizes that exclusion from civil marriage contributes to health care disparities affecting same-sex households".

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), 2006:
"There is ample evidence to show that children raised by same-gender parents fare as well as those raised by heterosexual parents. More than 25 years of research have documented that there is no relationship between parents' sexual orientation and any measure of a child's emotional, psychosocial, and behavioral adjustment. These data have demonstrated no risk to children as a result of growing up in a family with 1 or more gay parents. Conscientious and nurturing adults, whether they are men or women, heterosexual or homosexual, can be excellent parents. The rights, benefits, and protections of civil marriage can further strengthen these families."

The American Bar Association (ABA), 2010:
"(The ABA) urges state, territorial and tribal governments to eliminate all of their legal barriers to civil marriage between two persons of the same sex who are otherwise eligible to marry".

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), 2006:
"The literature (including the literature on which opponents to marriage of same-sex couples appear to rely) indicates that parents’ financial, psychological and physical well-being is enhanced by marriage and that children benefit  from being raised by two parents within a legally-recognized union".
"CPA is concerned that some are mis-interpreting the findings of psychological research to support their positions, when their positions are more accurately based on other systems of belief or values".
"CPA further asserts that children stand to benefit from the well-being that results when their parents’ relationship is recognized and supported by society’s institutions".

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), 2012:
"The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) supports full legal equality for same-gender families to contribute to overall health and longevity, improved family stability and to benefit children of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) families".

The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA), 2013:
"The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) endorses full local, state, and federal recognition of same-sex and same-gender civil marriage with all the rights, benefits, and responsibilities it confers. Civil marriage confers important social, legal, and psychological benefits. Limitations on access to marriage and the invalidation of marriages unjustly deprive same-sex and same-gender couples and their families of these benefits."

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), 2009:
"The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry rejects all public and private discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity of persons of any age particularly in the areas of employment, military service, housing, public accommodations, membership, licensing, promotion or assignment, education, training, marriage, adoption, parenting, foster care, or qualification as an expert in a court of law".

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), 2005:
"NASW encourages the adoption of laws that recognize inheritance, insurance, same-sex marriage, child custody, property, and other relationship rights for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people".

Full copies of many reputable association's position statements can be found here.

The American Psychological Association (APA), 2004:
"There is no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation: lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children".

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), 2006:
"The AAFP establishes policy and supports legislation that promotes a safe and nurturing environment, including psychological and legal security, for all children, including those of adoptive parents, regardless of the parents’ sexual orientation".

The Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA), 2009:
"South African-based as well as other international research has found that there is no difference between children who are raised by homosexual versus heterosexual parents regarding matters such as sexual orientation, gender identity, sex-role behaviour, likelihood of being sexually abused, self-concept, intelligence, personality characteristics, behaviour problems, peer relations, parental separation and divorce, general adjustment and accomplishment of developmental tasks."

The American Psychiatric Association (APA), 2005:
"The American Psychiatric Association supports initiatives which allow same-sex couples to adopt and coparent children and supports all the associated legal rights, benefits, and responsibilities which arise from such initiatives".

The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA), 2012:
"Accumulated evidence suggests the family factors that are important for children’s outcomes and well-being are family processes and the quality of interactions and relationships. Evaluation of an individual or family for these parental qualities should be determined without prejudice regarding actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. There is no credible evidence that shows that a parent’s sexual orientation or gender identity will adversely affect the development of the child".

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), 2009:
"There is no evidence to suggest or support that parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender are per se superior or inferior from or deficient in parenting skills, child-centered concerns, and parent-child attachments when compared with heterosexual parents".

The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), 2005:
"The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) affirms that lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents are as well suited to raise children as their heterosexual counterparts".

The National Association of Social Workers, (NASW), 2005:
"LGB people must be granted all rights, privileges and responsibilities that are granted to heterosexual people, including but not limited to inheritance rights, insurance, marriage, child custody, employment, credit, and immigration".

The American Medical Association (AMA), 2004:
"(The) AMA will support legislative and other efforts to allow the adoption of a child by the same-sex partner, or opposite sex non-married partner, who functions as a second parent or co-parent to that child".

The Australian Psychological Society (APS), 2007:
"It is family processes (such as the quality of parenting and relationships within the family) that contribute to determining children’s wellbeing and ‘outcomes’, rather than family structures, per se, such as the number, gender, sexuality and co-habitation status of parents. The research indicates that parenting practices and children’s outcomes in families parented by lesbian and gay parents are likely to be at least as favourable as those in families of heterosexual parents, despite the reality that considerable legal discrimination and inequity remain significant challenges for these families".

The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), 2007:
"The Royal College of Psychiatrists holds the view that LGB people should be regarded as valued members of society who have exactly similar rights and responsibilities as all other citizens. This includes equal access to... the rights and responsibilities involved in procreating and bringing up children".

The American Bar Association (ABA), 1999:
"Supports the enactment of legislation and the implementation of public policy providing that adoption shall not be denied on the basis of sexual orientation".

Barnardo's, UK Children's Charity, 31/01/2011:
"Children in the care system are continuing to lose out on potential parents. Society’s attitude plays a pivotal role in discouraging people from considering adoption. The idea that gay parents are second best must be challenged. To suggest that a same sex couple is not as able to raise a child as a heterosexual couple is at once absurd and unsubstantiated. To continue to discourage potential adopters simply because of their sexual orientation is severely diminishing the chances of securing loving, stable homes for the children who are waiting".

The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), 2006:
"A review of the psychological research into the well-being of children raised by same-sex and opposite-sex parents continues to indicate that there are no reliable differences in their mental health or social adjustment and that lesbian mothers and gay fathers are not less fit as parents than are their heterosexual counterparts".

The American Psychiatric Association (APA), 1998:
"There is no published scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of reparative therapy as a treatment to change ones sexual orientation. The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient. Many patients who have undergone reparative therapy relate that they were inaccurately told that homosexuals are lonely, unhappy individuals who never achieve acceptance or satisfaction".

The UK Council for Psychotherapy & The British Psychoanalytic Council, 2014:
"Conversion therapy is the umbrella term for a type of talking therapy or activity which attempts to change sexual orientation or reduce attraction to others of the same sex. There is no good evidence this works and we believe it has the potential to cause harm. Often these approaches are based on religious interpretations about sexuality rather than on a researched and informed understanding of sexual orientation."

The American Psychological Association (APA), 2009:
"There are no studies of adequate scientific rigor to conclude whether or not recent SOCE (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts) do or do not work to change a person’s sexual orientation. Scientifically rigorous older work in this area (e.g., Birk, Huddleston, Miller, & Cohler, 1971; James, 1978; McConaghy, 1969, 1976; McConaghy, Proctor, & Barr, 1972; Tanner, 1974, 1975) found that sexual orientation (i.e., erotic attractions and sexual arousal oriented to one sex or the other, or both) was unlikely to change due to efforts designed for this purpose".

The Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA), 2009:
"While “causes” for any of these sexual orientations remain unclear, they are highly resistant to change. Further, there is no reliable evidence that sexual orientation is subject to redirection, “conversion” or any significant influence from efforts by psychological or other interventions."

Pan American Health Organization & World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO), 17/05/12:
"Services that purport to "cure" people with non-heterosexual sexual orientation lack medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being of affected people".

The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA), 2012:
"Psychoanalytic technique does not encompass purposeful attempts to “convert,” “repair,” change or shift an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.  Such directed efforts are against fundamental principles of psychoanalytic treatment and often result in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damaging internalized attitudes".

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), 1993:
"Therapy directed specifically at changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation".

British Psychological Society (BPS), 2012:
"The BPS believes that people of same-sex sexual orientations should be regarded as equal members of society with the same rights and responsibilities. This includes freedom from harassment or discrimination in any sphere, and a right to protection from therapies that are potentially damaging, particularly those that purport to change or ‘convert’ sexual orientation. Recent publicised efforts to repathologise homosexuality by claiming that it can be ‘cured’ are rarely guided by rigorous scientific or psychological research, but often by religious and political forces opposed to full civil rights for people of same-sex sexual orientations."

The American Counseling Association (ACA), 2006:
"The ACA Ethics Committee strongly suggests that ethical professional counselors do not refer clients to someone who engages in conversion therapy or, if they do, to proceed cautiously only when they are certain that the referral counselor fully informs clients of the unproven nature of the treatment and the potential risks and takes steps to minimize harm to clients".

The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), 2004:
"The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy takes the position that same sex orientation is not a mental disorder. Therefore, we do not believe that sexual orientation in and of itself requires treatment or intervention".

The American Medical Association (AMA), 2004:
"(The) AMA opposes, the use of "reparative" or "conversion" therapy that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation".

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), 2000:
"Proponents of reparative and conversion therapies, such as the most commonly cited group NARTH, claim that their processes are supported by scientific data; however, such scientific support is replete with confounded research methodologies... Media campaigns, often coupled with coercive messages from family and community members, has created an environment in which lesbians and gay men often are pressured to seek reparative or conversion therapies, which cannot and will not change sexual orientation".

The Australian Psychological Society (APS), 2000:
"The validity, efficacy and ethics of clinical attempts to change an individual’s sexual orientation have been challenged.  To date, there are no scientifically rigorous outcome studies to determine either the actual efficacy or harm of therapies or  treatments that attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation".

The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), 2007:
"Although there is now a number of therapists and organisation in the USA and in the UK that claim that therapy can help homosexuals to become heterosexual, there is no evidence that such change is possible".

The American Psychological Association (APA) on NARTH, 2006:
"The APA’s concern about the position’s espoused by NARTH and so-called conversion therapy is that they are not supported by the science. There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish".

"Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth", 2008, endorsed by the following organisations, makes the points below:
American Academy of Pediatrics,
American Association of School Administrators,
American Counseling Association,
American Federation of Teachers,
American Psychological Association,
American School Counselor Association,
American School Health Association,
Interfaith Alliance Foundation,
National Association of School Psychologists,
National Association of Secondary School Principals,
National Association of Social Workers,
National Education Association,
School Social Work Association of America:
"The terms reparative therapy and sexual orientation conversion therapy refer to counseling and psychotherapy aimed at eliminating or suppressing homosexuality. The most important fact about these “therapies” is that they are based on a view of homosexuality that has been rejected by all the major mental health professions".
"Efforts to change sexual orientation through therapy have been adopted by some political and religious organizations and aggressively promoted to the public. However, such efforts have serious potential to harm young people because they present the view that the sexual orientation of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth is a mental illness or disorder, and they often frame the inability to change one’s sexual orientation as a personal and moral failure".
"The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of Social Workers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured”".

The American Psychological Association (APA), 2004:
"Empirical evidence fails to show that sexual orientation is germane to any aspect of military effectiveness including unit cohesion, morale, recruitment and retention... and... comparative data from foreign militaries and domestic police and fire departments show that when lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are allowed to serve openly there is no evidence of disruption or loss of mission effectiveness... and... when openly gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals have been allowed to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces..., there has been no evidence of disruption or loss of mission effectiveness".

The American Psychiatric Association (APA), 1990:
"APA opposes exclusion and dismissal from the armed services on the basis of sexual orientation. Furthermore, APA asserts that no burden of proof of judgment, capacity, or reliability should be placed on homosexuals which is greater than that imposed on any other persons within the armed services".

The American Bar Association (ABA), 2010:
"On behalf of the American Bar Association, I write to express our strong support for repeal of 10 U.S.C. §654, the statute commonly known as “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”".

The American Medical Association (AMA), 2010:
"(The) American Medical Association will advocate for repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the common term for the policy regarding gay and lesbian individuals serving openly in the U.S. military".

The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA), 2009:
"It is the position of APsaA that sexual orientation is not germane to any aspect of military effectiveness".


  1. Your site was sent as a link in a comment by 'Jacob', on an article I wrote on gay pride marches - I am interested in truth, not in enforcing dogma, so I will read what you have written. At a glance, your site is very interesting. Informed debate is far preferable to entrenched drum-beating. Thank you for taking the time to write reasoned articles.

    1. Thanks for the comment. I too dislike the tendency to propagandise among various politically interested factions. Unfortunately, most people seem more readily swayed by that than reason and evidence.

      There are a few myths, or at least inadequately evidenced claims promulgated by pro-gay groups but on the whole, the evidence tends to be against heterosexist arguments. Pride marches often do seem to alienate, rather than disarm homosexuality's detractors, though it is typically forgotten that they are a carnival like any other, rather than being intended to accurately represent LGBT people in their day to day lives.

      The (demonstrable) involuntary nature of sexual orientation, coupled with its absence of any intrinsic victims are each independently sufficient to render it amoral, rather than immoral or morally good.

      I've found your article and will give it a read. I discuss pride marches in a section of my "Main Essay", linked at the top of this page btw.

  2. Thank you for your lengthy comments on my article - comments I have taken on board and will use in a new article. It is good to be able to debate issues, without over the top emotionalism. I consider myself an ex-Catholic, although it may be more appropriate to use the term 'recovering catholic' as I am still struggling to throw of years of indoctrination. Do you have any information on the controlling nature (and hypocrisy) of the church with regards to sexuality? I don't want to jump in with statements about homosexual child abusing priests, as there may be heterosexual child abusers amongst them, and as you pointed out, arguing from a position of ignorance is not a positive thing!

    1. You're welcome and that's good to hear.

      Regarding the other issues you raised here; a report commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops found the following:

      Terry et al. 2011, "The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010", Page 64:
      "The data do not support a finding that homosexual identity and/or preordination same-sex sexual behavior are significant risk factors for the sexual abuse of minors."

      Concerning child abuse in general, there are some key things that the public tend not to grasp... Harrison et al. 2010, Social Legal Studies, 19(4), 481-496, DOI: 10.1177/0964663910369054:
      "The tendency for the subject of paedophilia to generate strong opinions rather than facts (Musk et al., 1997) can be problematic for offenders, practitioners, and, by implication, society more generally."

      The following are excerpts from a major review of the topic of paedophilia in a high impact factor journal.

      Hall & Hall, 2007, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 82(4), 457-471:
      "Pedophilia is a clinical diagnosis usually made by a psychiatrist or psychologist. It is not a criminal or legal term... By diagnostic criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, a pedophile is an individual who fantasizes about, is sexually aroused by, or experiences sexual urges toward prepubescent children (generally <13 years) for a period of at least 6 months... Child molestation is not a medical diagnosis and is not necessarily a term synonymous with pedophilia.5,7,15,17,26... "Pedophilia, especially the exclusive type, may be best thought of as its own category of sexual orientation, not something that is superimposed on an existing heterosexual or homosexual identity".

      There are at least two main categories of paedophile. Regressed (those who are typically attracted to adults but also attracted to children, possibly due to problems in their adult relationships) and fixated (those who are exclusively attracted to children and not to adults). Below is an example of the distinction between (paedophilic) attraction to pre-pubescents and (teleiophilic) attraction to adults. I can elaborate further but I am by no means an expert on the topic.

      Groth et al. 1978, Archives Of Sexual Behavior, 7(3), 175-181:
      "All regressed offenders, whether their victims were male or female children, were heterosexual in their adult orientation."

      Regarding the Catholic Church, I tend to cite scripture if attacking religion but I have a few points concerning the church itself, though I'm not sure if they exactly match what you're after.

      "In March 2009, on his flight to Cameroon (where 540,000 people have HIV), Pope Benedict XVI explained that Aids is a tragedy "that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems"."

      The church has a rich history of persecuting scientists:
      Burned at the Stake for Heresy/Heliocentrism:
      Life-long house arrest for heresy:

      There was a rather scathing UN report in to the Catholic church's handling of molestation a year or so ago that might be worth looking up.