The American Psychological Association (APA) announced yesterday that psychologists should not advise gay clients that therapy can help them become straight. A six-member task force completed two years of research on 83 studies of sexual orientation conducted since 1960 and found no evidence that therapy can change an individual's sexual orientation. The APA governing council voted 125-4 at its annual meeting this weekend to endorse the report, according to the Associated Press.
The research concluded that therapeutic attempts to change patients' sexual preferences are not only unsuccessful, but can also be harmful by causing depression or suicidal thoughts, reports the DC Examiner. The study advises therapists to affirm that homosexuality is not a mental disorder with patients. "Practitioners can assist clients through therapies that do not attempt to change sexual orientation, but rather involve acceptance, support and identity exploration and development without imposing a specific identity," says the report.
For individuals whose sexuality conflicts with his or her religious beliefs, the study says that therapists should encourage celibacy rather than attempt heterosexuality, according to the Wall Street Journal. Additionally, the study recommends that these individuals seek a new faith that accepts homosexuality.
Media Resources: Associated Press 8/5/09; DC Examiner 8/5/09; Wall Street Journal 8/6/09
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .