Since then, the role of psychotherapy in sexual orientation change efforts has been politicized. Gay and lesbian rights activists appear to be convincing the public that homosexuality is one identical inherited characteristic. To my dismay, some in the organized mental health community seem to agree, including the American Psychological Association, though I don’t believe that view is supported by scientific evidence.

Gays and lesbians have the right to be affirmed in their homosexuality. That’s why, as a member of the APA Council of Representatives in 1975, I sponsored the resolution by which the APA stated that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and, in 1976, the resolution, which passed the council unanimously, that gays and lesbians should not be discriminated against in the workplace.

But contending that all same-sex attraction is immutable is a distortion of reality. Attempting to characterize all sexual reorientation therapy as “unethical” violates patient choice and gives an outside party a veto over patients’ goals for their own treatment. A political agenda shouldn’t prevent gays and lesbians who desire to change from making their own decisions.