Since the launch of the Facts website, numerous emails and phone calls have been received. Below is a sampling of negative comments received and responses from the Facts coalition to these criticisms.
1. What is the College’s response to Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the National Institutes of Health?
We attempted to directly contact Dr. Collins by telephone, fax and mail to engage in a dialogue about his concerns. Click here to view the full exchange between Dr. Collins and the College.
2. What is the College’s response to Researcher Gary Ramafedi’s objection that the College misrepresented his research?
We appreciate Dr. Ramafedi for contacting us directly with his concerns. You can view our response here.
3. Warren Throckmorton has been extensively quoted on the Internet as criticizing this site on his blog. What is the College’s response?
Unlike Dr. Ramafedi, he has not contacted us with his concerns. This causes us to question his motives. Is he genuinely concerned with the accurate reporting of scientific facts, or does he desire an outcome irrespective of the science?
4. “The American College of Pediatricians is not a professional group but a shell organization designed to give legitimate cover to religious right propaganda about the LGBT community.”
The American College of Pediatricians is a national organization of pediatricians and other healthcare professionals dedicated to the health and well-being of children. Formed in 2002 and now with members in 47 states, the College is funded almost entirely by membership dues and receives no financial support from religious or political organizations.
5. “Have any of your so-called ‘researchers’ even talked to one homosexual person?”
The Facts site was created by pediatricians and other medical and mental health professionals with years of experience speaking with homosexual individuals, and counseling children and adolescents with sexual orientation needs.
6. “Most likely, those health and mental problems you claim to occur in homosexuals are there only because people like you treat them as sub-human, and convince them that they are somehow in the wrong.”
“Homosexuals may experience more substance abuse, anxiety and depression but that is a direct result of how hard society makes it for them to be true to themselves.”
Homosexual individuals in the US, as with other minorities, suffer social rejection to varying degrees. There is evidence, however, that this is not the only or even the primary cause for their health problems. Even in societies where homosexuality is more accepted, the health risks associated with the lifestyle remain.
7. “As many authors and poets have stated, love knows no bounds, so stop trying to label people you don’t understand.”
It is the premature labeling being encouraged in schools that is concerning.
8. “How dare you say that my son that is gay does not know what he feels is correct. We have always encouraged him to be his self and be honest and true. He cannot help the feeling he has inside of him!!! For you to tell him or the teachers and other staff he is not correct and to question him is a disgrace!!! It has taken him a long time to become comfortable with himself and to display himself with confidence and pride.”
It is not a goal of the Facts website to force counseling or therapy upon any individual, but to inform school officials and parents that therapy for unwanted same-sex attraction is available and effective for many.
9. “Keep your politics and religious matters out of health care and science.”
The Facts website has no political or religious affiliations, intentions or interests. We deal only in the science of the issues on which we speak.
10. “The fact that this newsletter was sent out to superintendents across the United States is appalling. Any mildly intelligent person would be able to decipher that this is just a ploy to spread narrow-minded and traditional right-wing values to schools around the nation.”
The Facts project exists to alert school officials and others to the important truth that not all health professionals support the Just the Facts brochure (which schools received in the mail in 2008), noting in this case that its contents are misleading.
11. “I have never had a problem accepting myself. I am a happy Homosexual who would’ve loved to have the acceptance and support of all the people I know, including my parents. But because of people like you that bond will be forever broken; we do not need the disrespect and outrageous point you guys make in your, so called, medical press release. A child needs protecting loving parents, regardless of who they decide to love.”
The Facts site is not about diminishing support and acceptance for individual differences; it is about allowing parents, teachers and students access to all available information on the subject of sexual orientation in youth.
12. “If reparative therapy is solid, why are the success rates so vastly different for every organization? Why aren’t there mutually agreed upon tactics?”
Providing psychological care for those distressed by unwanted attractions has a rich history of success, as found in both current and historical research. 1,2,3
13. “Teaching students that it is ‘harmful’ to be gay is more harmful than accepting them for who they are. Yes, some kids experiment. But what about the ones who aren’t ‘confused’?”
It is a healthcare professional’s obligation to inform a patient of the health risks of any behavior.
14. “The carefully worded hate letter is nothing more than right wing bigotry toward the LGBT community.”
The Facts project partners hate no one. We are health professionals wanting everyone to know the facts so that they can make the most healthful choices.
15. “I am a gay man, and proud to be so. I don’t believe being either gay or straight is better or worse. I am proud to be a gay man because I am proud to be myself. Please consider that you are instructing young, beautiful, and fragile children that what they are is unacceptable and somehow wrong.”
The Facts project makes no moral judgments about one’s sexual orientation. It presents a science-based perspective concerning the development of non-heterosexual attractions among school-aged children. It is from an interest in the optimum health and well-being of these children and adolescents that Facts operates. Its intent is to prevent their innocently wandering into a lifestyle that may not be of their choosing and that has been shown to carry serious health risks. For those older adolescents and adults who, after much personal reflection and without school encouragement or coercion, identify as homosexual, we offer no objection except to point out the health risks of this lifestyle.
16. “Other than non-clinical Christian ‘reparative’ therapies that have been discredited by American Psychologists, can you recommend a credible, scientific therapy remedy that you state is effective for many people?”
The most fundamental principle of therapy is that all traits involving behavior can be altered to varying extents by various therapies. The quotation “[R]esearch has shown that therapy to restore heterosexual attraction can be effective for many people” reiterates that fact. To argue that there is some exception to this basic principle demands an enormous burden of proof which has certainly not been met by challenges to any therapy offering to strengthen heterosexual tendencies.
(1) James, E.C. (1978). Treatment of homosexuality: A reanalysis and synthesis of outcome studies. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.
(2) James, S. (1978). Treatment of homosexuality II. Superiority of desensitization/arousal as compared with anticipatory avoidance conditioning: Results of a controlled trial. Behavioral Therapy, 9, 28-36.
(3) National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) Scientific Advisory Committee (2009). What Research Shows: NARTH’s Response to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Claims on Homosexuality. Journal of Human Sexuality, 1, 1-128.