ST. LOUIS — The July 28 decision by the 150,000-member American Psychological Association (APA) to endorse homosexual marriage and adoptions was portrayed as a key victory for homosexual activists.
But it didn't feel like a victory for many homosexuals.
Experts in the reparative treatment of homosexuals estimate that 40% are victims of childhood molestation. This was the fate of Peggy, a 39-year-old Minnesotan, who spent 18 years in the lesbian “community.”
When she read the results of the “APA Working Group on Same-Sex Families and Relationships,” she saw a repudiation of her own experience.
The working group was appointed in February by the APA's Council of Representatives. According to a July 28 APA press release, it was “charged with developing policy recommendations for APA that would guide psychologists in the current public debate over civil marriage for same-sex couples.”
Peggy finds its recommendations in support of same-sex marriage a psychological disaster waiting to happen.
Molested as a child by an adult male, Peggy grew up alienated from men, believing them interested only in sexual exploitation. She became alienated from the Church after she began sexual relationships with women.
Peggy spent 12 years in a “committed” relationship with another woman. “We really kept up with the Joneses,” she said. “We had a great joint income. Both of us were in the professional world. We had beautiful cars and traveled. We built a new house. I had everything I thought I wanted. Then one day I was sitting in the family room of the new house, and everything came crashing down. I thought, ‘I am spiritually and emotionally dead inside.’”
Peggy abandoned the “lifestyle” four years ago and was reconciled to the Church. “I might still struggle with loneliness, but even if I never marry I know a peace and a freedom I never knew before,” she said.
Linda Nicolosi, publications director of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), said that psychological and psychiatric associations have developed methodologies that guarantee pro-homosexuality findings. NARTH is a proponent of reparative therapy, through which those caught up in homosexual behavior are helped to abandon the lifestyle.
Said Nicolosi, “Sadly, the professional organizations seem to think that only gay-identified people can fully understand gay issues. So they turn over the study and discussion of these issues to gay-activist groups… Opposing them would mean being called ‘homophobic — not something most clinicians would like to risk. It hurts their careers.’”
The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses in 1973; a decision endorsed by the Psychological Association in 1975. Recently, both associations have flirted with the normalization of pedophilia; both backtracked after public outrage.
Heartbeat News editor Dale O'Leary, a Catholic writer and social analyst who has extensively researched homosexual issues, said that the enemies of traditional morality create a false dichotomy between science and religion.
“But they don't have science on their side,” O'Leary said. “The science is pretty concrete — same-sex attraction is not genetically determined; it is the result of early childhood experiences.”
The working group's chairman, Dr. Armand Cerbone, was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame last year.
Other members included Dr. Beverly Green, editor of Psychological Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Issues, Dr. Kristin Hancock, former president of the APA's Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Issues and Dr. Lawrence Kurdek, author of Social Services for Gay and Lesbian Couples.
Another member was Dr. Candy McCullough, a deaf lesbian who deliberately created (through the artificial insemination of her deaf lover by a deaf sperm donor) one child totally deaf and another mostly deaf, the better to proclaim pride in the “deaf community.”
The sixth member, Dr. Anne Peplau of UCLA, told the Register she was unaware of Dr. McCullough's actions, and dismissed as “nonsense” the allegation that the Working Group was “stacked.” Said Peplau, “I'm happily married, married to the same man for years, have a son, and I was a member.”
However, Peplau is herself a long-standing proponent of homosexual relationships. According to a list of her published works available at the Web site of UCLA's Faculty of Psychology, an article she co-authored, “Women in Love: Attachment and autonomy in lesbian relationships,” won the 1979 Evelyn C. Hooker research award by the National Gay Academics Union.
Peplau has retained that pro-homosexuality perspective. In 2000, she co-authored an article in the summer issue of the Journal of Social Issues that asserted that “the illness model of sexual orientation is no longer scientifically viable” and therefore “scientific researchers should avoid taking heterosexuality as the norm for mental health.”
The Working Group summarized existing research to conclude “that same-sex couples are remarkably similar to heterosexual couples, and that parenting effectiveness and the adjustment, development and psychological well-being of children is unrelated to parental sexual orientation.”
Nicolosi said that the evidence cited by the APA working group is flawed. “The data they are using is studies showing ‘no harm’ to children raised by same-sex parents,” she said. “But most of these studies compared children of single heterosexual mothers — a population known to be at risk — to children of two lesbian mothers.”
More important, “What the public fails to understand is that data alone cannot tell us about psychological health; it must be interpreted through a philosophy, a worldview. And the APA's worldview is that heterosexuality is no longer to be considered normative.”
Peggy said she only grew mentally at ease when she left the lifestyle.
She said she never expected this to be so. “I had a friend from college. I told her back then I thought I was a lesbian, and she said she would pray for me every day. She still does.
“Back then she was kind of a thorn in my side, but now I know she is very much part of my conversion story. She said to me nine years ago, ‘Peggy, you might be right. You might go to Heaven, and I'll see you there, and wouldn't that be great? But what if you're wrong, and I'm right?’ Then she did a 30-day mass novena for me.”
Having escaped from homosexuality, Peggy now believes that everyone is created heterosexual — and with an innate yearning to know God.
“Our sexuality is imprinted at birth,” she said. “We are oriented to love the Lord. I think it's unfortunate so many people aren't interested in exploring the richness of what the Catholic Church teaches about our sexuality.”
Kevin Michael Grace writes from Victoria, British Columbia.
- September 19-25, 2004