HRC Blog

False & Abusive Practices Aimed at “Changing” Sexual Orientation take Another Discrediting Blow

The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, the leading anti-LGBT organization advocating for dangerous efforts that falsely attempt to change one’s sexual orientation, had its tax exempt status revoked by the IRS for failure to fill out proper and routine tax forms. 

HRC is hailing the move as another discrediting blow to NARTH, which has pioneered these abusive practices that have destroyed the lives of countless LGBT young people and adults for years. 

“NARTH’s work throughout the years has amounted to child abuse in every sense of the word,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.  “Sadly, some therapists have looked to this discredited organization for guidance on treating their most vulnerable patients and this has had drastic results.  The IRS is just the latest organization to take a death blow at NARTH.”   

“I can say firsthand these types of practices are dangerous and discredited,” said Ryan Kendall, a former NARTH patient.  “As a survivor, I look forward to the day when they no longer exist.  The revocation of NARTH’s tax exempt status demonstrates that we are ever closer to that day.”

NARTH co-founder Joseph Nicolosi has a long history of ugly and extreme anti-gay rhetoric. He has suggested that “gay activists” are attempting to normalize pedophilia and reportedly said that gays want to infect the population with AIDS.  Nicolosi also has been accused of distorting other researchers’ work to advance his discredited theories. In 2010, one of NARTH’s leaders, psychologist George Rekers, was caught with a male escort by a reporter in Miami International Airport.  Rekers, a practitioner of dangerous reparative therapy, had claimed to be an expert witness in same-sex adoption cases and in a 1998 case in which the Boy Scouts defended its ban on gay scouts before the District of Columbia Human Rights Commission.

Every major medical organization has come out against these practices—which include the use of shame, verbal abuse, and even aversion therapy—saying they pose serious health risks, including depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, and social withdrawal. Those organizations include: the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American School Counselor Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Pan American Health Organization.  Learn more at www.hrc.org/reparativetherapy

Last year, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 1172 into law, the first bill in the nation to ban dangerous practices designed to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender.   

“NARTH has no credibility left,” added Griffin.  “They’ve proven themselves to be a dangerous organization that only the fringe elements of the anti-LGBT movement continue to embrace.”

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