Colorado Diocese Adopts Snake-Oil “12 Step Program” For Gay Men

Today we called on the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs to listen to mental health professionals and discontinue their newly adopted “12-step program” for gay men.  The Colorado Springs Gazette reported that the diocese has adopted Twelve Steps of Courage, a counseling program for gay men based on Alcoholics Anonymous.  Part of the program asks participants to admit they are “defective.”

“The diocese should be ashamed for selling this snake-oil therapy that mental health professionals have denounced,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.  “Programs like this say they offer hope but in reality they demean and denigrate LGBT people’s sense of self-worth.”

Both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association have concluded that same-sex attraction is normal and that “reparative” therapy is unhealthy and can be harmful.  In fact in a recent report the American Psychological Association instructs mental health professionals to be honest with clients about the inefficacy of such treatments and to help patients deal with distress over sexual orientation in a positive manner.

The APA report noted that many who seek psychological interventions do so because of distress over the perceived irreconcilability of their sexual orientation and religious beliefs.  They encourage mental health professionals to be respectful of those religious beliefs and work to help patients “address the reality of their sexual orientation while considering the possibilities for a religiously and spiritually meaningful and rewarding life.”

“Homophobia, bias and discrimination are what make it difficult for people to accept and be open about their sexual orientation,” said Solmonese.  “Those who wish to give counsel to people struggling with their identities should offer acceptance, not rejection.”


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

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Florida Man at Center of Adoption Ban Case Officially Adopts Sons

Martin Gill and his sons are finally a family in the eyes of the law:

Gill "After a successful fight to overturn Florida’s ban on gay people serving as adoptive parents, the two young brothers adopted by Martin Gill participated in an adoption ceremony in Judge Cindy Lederman's chambers in Miami-Dade County Juvenile Court today, marking the final step in their adoption process. Gill and his partner had served as foster parents to the two brothers for six years. Gill worked with the American Civil Liberties Union to fight for the right to adopt them by challenging Florida’s 33-year-old ban on gay people adopting. As a result of the ACLU lawsuit on behalf of Gill, the ban was ended last year."

Said Leslie Cooper, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Project: “Martin and his family were instrumental in ending one of the most discriminatory laws in the country. Hopefully now, thousands of children in Florida who are waiting to be adopted will be able to know the love and support of having a family.”

Congratulations!


Towleroad News #gay

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Boston Archdiocese adopts policy that may end discrimination against kids with gay parents (or not)

Seriously, the Archdiocese of Boston is the last institution that should want attention for how its treating children, given its prominent role in the child rape scandal. But, after a Hingham, Mass. Catholic school wouldn’t admit an 8-year old kid with gay parents, the Catholic leaders in Boston were once again thrust into the spotlight over how they were treating children. A new policy has been announced:

The Archdiocese of Boston, under fire from all sides after a parochial school withdrew an admissions offer to the child of a lesbian couple, yesterday released a new Catholic schools admissions policy that said parochial schools will not “discriminate against or exclude any categories of students.’’

However, the policy, which was distributed to pastors, parishes, and school administrators by e-mail, said school parents “must accept and understand that the teachings of the Catholic Church are an essential and required part of the curriculum.’’

Now, it’s unclear if that new policy would actually block the expulsion of kids with gay parents. And, one wonders if it means that kids would have to listen to their teachers rail against gay marriage and gay parenting.

In fact, it’s possible that the Hingham school could reach the same conclusion even under the new policy:

Because the new policy said admissions decisions should be based in part on “the best interest of the child,’’ it remains uncertain whether the Hingham episode would have occurred had the new policy been in place. The specifics of that case remain unclear because the pastor involved, the Rev. James F. Rafferty, has declined interviews.

“The situation at St. Paul’s in Hingham may have taken a different route, but it might have come to the same conclusion,’’ said the Rev. Richard M. Erikson, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Boston. “Father Rafferty still today has the authority to make these decisions as the pastor. But the expectations of the diocese and the guidance the diocese gives in those judgment calls is clearer today than it was then.’’

So, there you have it. The Catholic Church claims to be fixing a problem, but not exactly.




AMERICAblog Gay

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Salute the FL AG: McCollum adopts correct position

6A00D8341C503453Ef0133F5090C83970BBig news out of Florida: Attorney General Bill McCollum, a conservative who’s not exactly known for LGBT rights sympathies, has announced that he will not appeal the District Court’s ruling that finally ridded the state of its hideous, Anita Bryant era adoption ban:

BREAKING NEWS: End of Florida Adoption Ban will NOT BE Appealed [FL Equality]

Though it should be noted that McCollum didn’t do this out of interest in LGBT people: His statement expresses hope that “someday a more suitable case will give the Supreme Court the opportunity to uphold the constitutionality of this law.

But whatever. For now we’ll take a rhetorical “Harumph!” if it means protecting Florida families indefinitely!




Good As You

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