CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Darin Miller, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866) 372-6397
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council (FRC), testified today before the D.C. City Council in opposition to a bill that would forbid licensed counselors in the District from engaging in "sexual orientation change efforts" (SOCE) with minors.
Such bans have already been enacted in California and New Jersey, and are under challenge in federal courts. A number of other state legislatures have declined to act on similar bills.
During his testimony Sprigg made the following comments:
"The American Psychological Association (APA), under the sway of a small but influential pro-homosexual lobby, has criticized and discouraged, but never banned, reorientation therapy. Yet even the APA acknowledges that 'participants reporting beneficial effects in some studies perceived changes to their sexuality, such as in their sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual behavior, [and/or] sexual orientation identity.'
"The evidence that sexual orientation change efforts, or SOCE, are harmful is virtually all anecdotal - the kind of evidence which critics of SOCE refuse to accept with regard to the effectiveness question."
Following the hearing Sprigg joined other opponents of the bill, including ex-gays who have benefited from such therapy, for a press conference outside the Wilson Building.
Sprigg's paper on the subject, "Protect Client and Therapist Freedom of Choice Regarding Sexual Orientation Change Efforts," is available on the FRC website: http://www.frc.org/socetherapybans