Saturday, January 23, 2010

There Is More To Life Than Increasing Its Speed

23rd January 2010

“There Is More To Life Than Increasing Its Speed”

Life is only on track, you cannot fast forward nor rewind, I do believe you can learn from the past and if we admit that we are prone to making mistakes and willing to make corrections, there is more to life in the slow lane. We must slow to savour the present and I have learnt to slow down by engaging with the realities in my life and be able to accept that many questions will be unanswered.

If you are extremely hard on yourself as I have been in the past or ignore the realities of taking care of yourself and attending to your personal needs, including physical and emotional, you increased the speed of life.

Part of my routine now is to take time not just to pray but to let down all the pressures of life and do nothing but relax. I am determined to take time to enjoy life regardless of its realistic hardship and uncertainty. Life whether we like it or not will present hardship, ignorance of the people and world around us, statements would be made that are injurious and risky to our well being People will slander and label us, it’s part of my experience I am willing to acknowledge, but yet I am not deterred, but to note that there is more to life.

Increasing the speed of life leads to major complications, frustration, health and relationship will become the casualty of the mad race.

More love more power,
Reverend Rowland Jide Macaulay

Ask Rev Jide Part One

Ask Rev Jide Macaulay

Part One

The above link will take you to House Of Rainbow online video messages, for information and my response.

Question: Was Homosexuality Made?

Dear Rev Jide Macaulay,

I am a born again Christian and I agree with you that God made all people. Without God none of us would be here. Through Jesus everything was made that was made. But homosexuality was not made. I am not trying to argue I just want to understand your logic in this matter and why you think that Jesus the holy one, the king of kings, the saviour of the world, the righteous one, the only true God, the epitome of perfection would create something that he calls an abomination. By saying what you have said sir I believe that you have blasphemed the name of God. You said in one of your videos that you wouldn't ignore the scriptures condemning homosexuality so what do you have to say about Leviticus 18:22 or what about Leviticus 20:13 or even 1Corinthians 6: 9-11? Now you said that the Bible is a wonderful book and truly I agree. Now I don't believe that God hates homosexuality, but I do know that he does not condone homosexual behaviour. Please reply back. I want to hear your opinion on these scriptures. James Okocha

Dearly Beloved James,

Thanks for your note.

First there are more Laws in Leviticus than just the two verses on homosexuality, if we must condemn homosexuality then we must condemn many other things as well, such as planting two crops in the same field, eating catfish, and pork, the wearing of prescription glasses, we must also alienate and kill those who commit adultery, what people have done over the centuries and decades is to systematically select what soothes them, I am sure you will agree with me that it is suicide to argue with those who are prepared to douse me in petrol and set me ablaze in the name of protecting their religion.

The story of the woman Jesus saved from the stone clenching men on the issues of adultery addresses many things for me, She was said to have been caught in the act of adultery if this was the case where was the man she committed adultery with, MEN don’t like to see other men being treated like women and this makes homosexuality a problem. If it was such a huge problem please note Jesus never said anything about it, I will recommend, I hope in your quest to learn more, please spend some time online at, here there are various illustration on the issues of biblical evidence on same sex in the bible, they are compelling and require that we think logically to form our own opinion, What would Jesus do? Is another question that we must ask ourselves, if anything at all Jesus said we must love our neighbour as our self? You have quoted also Corinthians, carefully read this and note that verse 11 is the response to the first two verses (9 &10).

Just like the alienation of homosexuality the same bible was used to alienate women and even in some parts of the world especially developing nations women priest still remain banned from ordination, the bible was used to defend slavery and misogyny, it was also used to support the ban on Interracial marriages, thankfully Obama’s parents escaped the wrath of these outrageous laws and he was able to live to tell the tale.

I am a Christian and also born again, I am not angry nor wicked in my soul, who wishes to live in this world filled with so much hatred towards fellow humans, I do what I do because I believe and I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt in my heart, soul and mind on the purpose of God for LGBT people, to also be included in the love of God and that we make room for all people at the communion table of God, I believe in the rapture and final judgement of God, I believe that when we are all done on earth we will stand before God on judgement day and I am convinced in my heart that I will make heaven.

It is true God does not hate homosexuals, God hate the interpretation of men that alienates gay people and place them outside the religious communities, I hope you recall, Jesus said what we eat doesn’t defile us but what comes out of our mouth, the words of many people on my video blog who claimed they are Christians question my knowledge of their God, but assures me of the loving and everlasting God I have come to know. if God is as angry as these people I am sure we will relive the Old Testament days, but thankfully Jesus love ended that pain and that is why I believe that Gay people like myself are loved by God. And we need to respond in that universal unconditional love.

Sexuality was not made, neither heterosexual or homosexuality was made, it was given, and what we do with it is important, even if we believe that heterosexuality is the correct way, aren’t you appalled by rape, and child molestation/abuses, are these the standard, what we say is that we should all be in communion with God and fellow humans and cherish the God given nature that we have whether it’s being gay or straight.

I have written so much and there is a danger I might have missed your point, if you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to write me at

God Bless
Rev Jide Macaulay

LGBT History Month in UK

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Father My Faith and My Sexuality Part Three

My Father, My Faith and My Sexuality PART THREE

My friends, brothers and sisters in Stellenbosch have begun the celebration and it was my joy to be woken up and be greeted on this joyous day. Thank you God. Just before breakfast on the 4th November, I went to my dad’s room where we prayed intensely for the love and blessing of God, I felt it, I received it and I claimed it. The day started at the conference with greetings for my birthday, many lovely notes and greetings followed, the day was joyful, as the evening approached, and we got ready for the short trip to Moyo Restaurant, a typified South African joint, its style of the dishes were robust, from vegetables to bush meat, eat till you drop, the kitchen was huge and the serving area was buffet style, there were musicians and dancers everywhere to keep you entertained, we opened several bottles of wine and dance till it was time to return to the hotel, at the hotel the party continued with scores of drinks bought at the bar by friends and well wishers, I was contained with jubilation and love. The night was over and it was time to hit the sack.On the 5th November I was invited to say a prayer at the closing Devotion which was led by Bishop David Russell, this honour to serve with a retired Anglican Bishop was not only invigorating but enlivening to the glory of God.

I reproduce the text of my prayer below;“Holy One, Precious God, Our Father, Dearest Mother, God of inclusive love, we thank you, for we know that, this first African Dialogue on Sexuality and Spirituality is about winning souls, this first African Dialogue on Sexuality and Spirituality is about the healing of broken vessels, this first African Dialogue on Sexuality and Spirituality is about gathering of the lost sheep.We thank you Jesus, we thank you for your wasteful generosity of patience, we thank you for your wasteful generosity of boldness, we thank you for your wasteful generosity of compassion, and we thank you for your wasteful generosity of faith, hope and love.We pray that our faith will move mountains, the way forward shall be filled with hope, who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, no, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Jesus who loved us.

For we are convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ our Lord.Go in the peace and love of God and everyone present would say Amen, Amen.”

Shortly after the morning devotion, I was invited to take part in a pre press conference meeting to finalise the text of the final draft of the press statement. At 2pm after lunch we were ready for the South African Media.

I shared the panel with the Director of IAM, Rev Pieter and the Director of TRP Madelene, Bishop Christopher from Uganda. The experience was extremely positive and a further in-depth interview ensued.Our brief time was soon at end and departing was more painful, big hugs and kisses of good bye was challenging, but we departed at Cape Town Terminals knowing that God had full and total control of the future, which is filled with hope for all lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex Christians.

My Father My Faith and My Sexuality Part Two

My Father, My Faith and My sexuality PART TWO

I became attached to my father and we spent quality time together, he has always been my greatest mentor, a sole motivator of my thinking. A joy to call him father, brother and friend. We spoke about the past in order to look into the future and appreciated the present time. After dinner we said our good nights and I went to join a few people for an extended social time.On the 3rd November, it was the day of the first step into the conference on dialogue, Devotion with praise, worship and prayer opened the day, the peculiarity of fear came upon me, as we received guidance on how best to approach dialogue, assuredly it was the first time I felt that I would not need to debate, argue, dispute, disagree, be confrontational, there was an overwhelming willingness to listen, hold, touch, watch, speak honestly, the dialogue between professional biblical scholars and the simplicity of sexual minority people, we dined together, we laughed, we comforted each other soothing away as much pain as we can.

I sensed the Holy Spirit was there, I knew certainly in my mind that Jesus looked with favour and I heard him say “Thank you to all participants, for you are doing this to me”Three speakers spoke from the heart, about the challenges of Faith, Culture and Human Rights, each settled amicably without judgement, all the people listened. After the first session of the dialogue, which required that we identify the stumbling blocks to dialogue, the six colourful groups had time to interact, the barriers are coming down, we are on the journey to breaking down walls, and building up hope.

Without any harshness, people’s mind are reconciling, one lesbian woman spoke of her joy that her father was here, her father responded; I too echoed with a joyful heart for the presence of my father at the dialogue, the support and love of these parents were immeasurable. After dinner, myself and my father had a wonderful time reflecting on the day.4th November, so many things came into my mind today, first it was my 44th birthday, and last year, it was the American Presidential election date, which elected Obama. Whilst the American experience brought change for the Americans, I am experiencing so much personal changes in my life, change which includes love from my own heart, the beauty of God’s holiness, accepting the burden of a pioneer for change, the passion for the inclusive love of Christ gospel, my congregation, my own self created families, at home in Nigeria and abroad.

The joy of knowing that God stands with me and will lift me up in times of trouble and protect me through fires and burning rage, my entire being loving God, was part of that change. I look forward to this day more in the tranquillity of Jesus increasing love and also clarity of my visions, missions and goals, thanks you Jesus. I know that when we lean on God with faith, mountains will move, valleys will be exalted, and Praises will fill the heaven and the earth.

My Father My Faith and My Sexuality Part One

My Father, My Faith and My Sexuality PART ONE;

This short note is to embrace my journey of hope as an African child, a devout Christian, a leader, who also happens to be gay. For many years whilst I struggle to find a place to reconcile my dignity in faith and sexuality, the first dialogue on sexuality and spirituality ignites hope for many in Stellenbosch South Africa, November 2009.

This note finally serves as a beacon of hope for the future and I invite you to share this hope with me and many on this journey.It was the 31st October and yet another trip to South Africa, this time visiting and attending a conference in Stellenbosch. My excitement was multi-fold, first attending a conference on an anticipated dialogue about Christianity and Sexual Orientation with many African people, amongst my joy is also meeting my father whom I was forced to leave behind in Nigeria in September 2008, aftermath of my experience with the Nigerian media’s unethical reporting of our church, House Of Rainbow Nigeria, a mission I lead that welcomes and affirm sexual minorities.

I arrived in Cape Town on the 1st November after a long but interesting overnight direct flight from London Heathrow, the weariness of the flight was less of a concern as all my thoughts and energy focussed on meeting my father. I was met at the airport by John and Telwin both very courteous host of the conference.I had time after I checked in to my hotel in Stellenbosch to make the 1 hour 10 minutes train journey to Cape Town to join my friends, brothers and sisters for worship at Good Hope MCC Cape Town, listening the Rev Greg Andrews a visiting minister, I was reminded of the joy of being part of an inclusive ministry, a mission we take for granted in many parts of the West but extremely essential in Africa, sharing blessings at Communion was a joy.

A ministry that challenges us not just to celebrate the Open and inclusive Holy Communion and love of Christ but to also take that love to the end of the earth, come to the table and be filled with love and take that love to the people out there, echoed Revd Andrews. I took time after the service to reflect on my time in prayers. I was delighted to be amongst friends. Revd Pressley drove me back to my hotel accompanied with three others. What a joy in my soul.After breakfast on the 2nd November, I left a message at reception to call me as soon as possible once my father arrived, my excitement was much as I embraced my father, we spoke unending over a few cups of Rooibos tea, and decaffeinated coffee, retracting our experiences and later had lunch, the conference registration was set about 4pm. Whilst my father arrived with his luggage missing, it wasn’t long before I offered him clothes from my wardrobe and it was just like happy times again, my shirt fitted him like my twin, I unpacked my bags with gifts I had got him from the UK.

I was anxious about the conference as it is about the focus of religion and sexuality, many people arrived from other nations in Africa, I was getting filled with anxiety on the outcome of the conference, I have prayed for this day and I believed firmly that God will guide us, will aid us and provide us with the knowledge to gain and break out of every chain. I am persuaded that nothing can separate us from the love of God and the relevance of our participation will be guided by the Holy Spirit. As the deer panted for the water, so my soul longs after God. This song was in my spirit and I begun to look at the situation for which dialogue was important, the discussion for the liberation of the Holy Scripture, the rescuing the word of God from wordmongers, to share insights from personal experiences and the lack of compassion. At the end of the 2nd November, I was so excited, I have met many people, all fine, all strange, all beautiful, all intellectual, all spiritual, there were some strangeness which exhume my own outlandish approach to life. I felt that since we are here we are determined to take the road and veer on the side that seek to be part of the solution and stop being part of the problem, my views were later shared by many.

Friday, January 8, 2010

An event in Waltham Forest LGBT History Month

An event in Waltham Forest LGBT History Month

Prayer And Praise in London

Uk Urged to Act on Malawi Arrests

UK urged to act on Malawi arrests

Foreign Secretary receives OutRage! appeal for action Tatchell letter delivered to jailed men London, UK - 8 January 2010 British Foreign Secretary David Miliband is being urged to press the Malawian government to release two men, Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, who are being held on remand over their alleged homosexual relationship, to drop all charges against them and to repeal the country's anti-gay laws. Mr Miliband is also being asked to seek a halt to the arrest and prosecution of three Malawian human rights campaigners, who publicly defended the jailed men and secured them legal representation. The call comes from the London-based LGBT human rights group OutRage! Spokesperson, David Allison, has written to the Foreign Secretary, appealing to him to make representations to the President of Malawi, his Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. A copy of Mr Allison's letter follows below. Meanwhile a letter of "support and solidarity" from OutRage!'s Peter Tatchell is being delivered to Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga in Chichiri Prison, Malawi. The two men, who were arrested following their engagement ceremony late last year, are being held on remand on gay sex charges ahead of their trial on 15 January A copy of Mr Tatchell's letter follows below. For background on the Malawi arrests, see here: Protest to the Malawian High Commissioner in London:His Excellency Dr. Francis Moto, High Commission of Malawi, 70 Winnington Road, London N2 0TX, United Kingdom. Telephone: +44(0) 20 8455 5624, Fax: +44(0) 20 3235 1066. Email: Further information: David Allison - 0208 240 0222Peter Tatchell - 0207 403 1790Gift Trapence, Executive Director of the Malawian human rights group CEDP+ (265) 888 50 Copy of the OutRage! letter to David Miliband MP, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband MPSecretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth AffairsKing Charles StreetLondon SW1A 2AH 6 January 2010 Dear Secretary of State, This letter is in support of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, citizens of Malawi, who are being held in custody in Chichiri Prison, Malawi, and denied bail, on charges of consenting adult homosexuality following their same-sex engagement ceremony. In doing so they have committed no criminal offence under the laws of Malawi. The ceremony is legal in Malawi and no laws were broken by the two participants. The news release below provides more comprehensive details about their case. We ask you to intercede with the President of Malawi, his Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to urge that these two men are not ill-treated while in prison, to urge that they are swiftly released on bail and to urge that all charges against them are dropped. We further ask you to press the Government of Malawi to initiate moves to decriminalise homosexuality in accordance with the equality and non-discrimination clauses of the Malawian constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. Finally, we ask that you call upon the Malawian government to halt police harassment and legal proceedings against HIV educators and human rights defenders from the Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP); three of whose workers have recently been arrested following their public defence of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga and following their HIV education work with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. I hope that you feel able to make these humanitarian representations to the leaders of Malawi and that you will advise us at your earliest opportunity. Thank you. David AllisonOutRage! - The LGBT Human Rights Campaign Copy of Peter Tatchell's message the jailed men, Tiwonge and Steven Dear Tiwonge and Steven, May 2010 bring you and all Malawians justice, freedom and equality. Congratulations on your courageous witness for gay human rights, as you battle for your right to be accepted, without discrimination. Millions of people around the world know about your arrest and detention. You have received worldwide news coverage. Stay Strong. We are with you in this period of trial and tribulation. You are inspirations to us all. We salute you. Take heart. You will win in the end. Justice and freedom will triumph. You follow in the footsteps of the Malawians who fought against colonialism and the South Africans who battled against apartheid. They were arrested and persecuted, but they were victorious eventually. Tell the judge that Malawi's anti-gay law was not devised by Malawians. It is was devised in London in the nineteenth century and imposed on the people of Malawi by the British colonisers and their army of occupation. Before the British came and conquered Malawi,there were no laws against homosexuality. These laws are a foreign imposition. They are not African laws. You are making history, and history will honour you. I send you love and solidarity! Peter Tatchell, OutRage! London, UK Donate to the Malawi Defence Campaign To make a donation from a UK bank within the UK, make an electronic bank transfer to OutRage! Account name: OutRage!Bank: Alliance and Leicester Commercial Bank, Bootle, Merseyside, GIR 0AAAccount number: 7780 9302Sort code: 72-00-01 For electronic transfers from abroad, please ADDITIONALLY quote this: IBAN: GB65ALEI72000177809302 Or post a cheque payable to "OutRage!" to OutRage!, PO Box 17816, London SW14 8WT. Enclose a note giving your name and address and stating that your donation is for the Malawi Defence Campaign. OutRage! will pass the money donated to the LGBT campaign team in Malawi. Thank you. OutRage! - 0208 240 0222 and Further information: Gift Trapence, Executive Director of the Malawian human rights group CEDP + (265) 888 50 9732 Peter Tatchell, OutRage! 0207 403 1790

Write to the Malawi Ambassador in Your Country

Write to the Malawi Ambassador in Your Country

Hi All, Here is a draft letter that you can send to the Malawian Ambassador inyour country. You could also ask your national parliament and European parliamentrepresentative to write a letter of protest to the Malawian Ambassadorand to the President of Malawi. Thanks and best wishes,


Dear Ambassador of Malawi, As you may know, the situation is urgent Malawi where two men, StevenMonjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, have been arrested and are in prisonon charges of homosexuality after they held a same-sex engagement ceremony(which is not illegal under Malawaian law). They face 14 years jail. The human rights defenders from the ngo CEDEP who supported them andfound them lawyers have been arrested too - though they have since beenbailed. Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga are due to stand trial nextFriday, 15 January. Can you please urge the urge the Government of Malawi to: 1. Ensure that the two jailed Malawian men, Steven Monjeza and TiwongeChimbalanga, are not ill-treated while in prison, that they areswiftly released on bail and that all charges against them aredropped. 2. Decriminalise homosexuality in accordance with the equality andnon-discrimination clause 20 of the Malawian constitution and theAfrican Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights. 3. Cease police harassment and legal proceedings against HIV educatorsand human rights defenders from the Centre for the Development ofPeople (CEDEP); three of whose workers have recently been arrestedfollowing their public defence of Steven Monjeza and TiwongeChimbalanga and their HIV education work with lesbian, gay, bisexualand transgender people. Signed ENDS

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Malawi 'gay marriage' trial on 15 January

Malawi 'gay marriage' trial on 15 January
Defendants refused bail, face gay sex charges Human rights defender arrested on false porn charges London - 5 January 2009 A Malawian court yesterday refused bail to two men who celebrated their engagementto be married in a traditional African ceremony, which they held late last year. Giving his ruling at a court in the city of Blantyre on Monday 4 January, judge Nyakwawa Usiwa-Usiwa claimed Steven Monjeza (26) and Tiwonge Chimbalanga (20) were at risk of mob violence and would be safer in custody - a claim rejected by the defendants and their lawyers.
In Malawi, even people accused of serious crimes like violent robbery and assault usually get bail. The same day the police arrested a worker from the human rights group CEDEP, which assisted the detained men and secured them legal representation. "Steven and Tiwonge are the first same-sex couple to begin the process of getting married in Malawi," said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of OutRage! in London, who has been liaising with human rights defenders inside Malawi to support the detained men. "The two men have been returned to Chichiri Prison pending their trial on charges of homosexuality, scheduled for Friday 15 January in Blantyre," added Mr Tatchell. "They face a maximum sentence of 14 years jail, under Malawi's anti-gay law, section 153 of the penal code, which was originally imposed on the country by the British colonisers during the nineteenth century. "Both men deny the charges and will challenge the prosecution on the grounds that it is illegal under the equal rights and non-discrimination clauses of the Malawian constitution.
"Tiwonge and Steven are quite fearful and dejected. They were jeered in court and have been disowned by their families. Conditions in Chichiri jail are appalling. They say they have been beaten in prison and they are now threatened with forced intimate medical examinations to determine whether they have had sex. "Visitors have taken them food and clothing and given them some money. They encouraged them to stand firm and reassured them that they have support inside Malawi and worldwide. This has lifted their spirits. "Steven and Tiwonge now have a good legal team, including Mauya Msuku, Felix Tandwe and Noel Supedi.
"They also have the support of the Malawian human rights group, the Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP), which works to defend the welfare of marginalised communities, including prisoners, sex workers and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. "Ominously, the administrator of CEDEP was arrested on 4 January on trumped up charges that the group's safer sex HIV education materials are pornographic. His arrest is almost certainly in retaliation for CEDEP's public support for Tiwonge and Steven. There are concerns that the Executive Director of CEDEP, Gift Trapence, may now also face arrest by the police. "This prosecution is illegal. It is contrary to section 20 of the Malawi constitution, which outlaws all discrimination and it violates the equal treatment provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, which Malawi has signed and pledged to uphold.
"Malawi's anti-gay laws were not devised by Malawians. They were devised in London in the nineteenth century and imposed on the people of Malawi by the British colonisers and their army of occupation. Before the British came and conquered Malawi, there were no laws against homosexuality. These laws are a foreign imposition. They are not African laws," said Mr Tatchell. See details of the Malawian constitution and African human rights law below.
Donate to the Malawi Defence Campaign To make a donation to support the jailed men, post a cheque payable to "OutRage!" to OutRage!, PO Box 17816, London SW14 8WT. Enclose a note giving your name and address and stating that your donation is for the Malawi Defence Campaign. OutRage! will pass all money donated to Tiwonge and Steven's defence team in Malawi. Thank you. OutRage! - 0208 240 0222 and
Further information: Gift Trapence, Executive Director of CEDP + (265) 888509732 Peter Tatchell, OutRage! 0207 403 1790 Constitution of Malawi - Article 20: 1. Discrimination of persons in any form is prohibited and all persons are...guaranteed equal and effective protection against discrimination on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, nationality, ethnic or social origin, disability, property, birth or other status.$FILE/Constitution%20Malawi%20-%20EN.pdf
The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights - Articles 2, 3 and 4: Article 2Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, color, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status. Article 31. Every individual shall be equal before the law. 2. Every individual shall be entitled to equal protection of the law. Article 4Human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right. ENDS

Monday, January 4, 2010

Insufficient Evidence that Sexual Orientation Change Efforts Work, Says APA

Insufficient Evidence that Sexual Orientation Change Efforts Work, Says APA
Practitioners should avoid telling clients they can change from gay to straight
TORONTO—The American Psychological Association adopted a resolution Wednesday stating that mental health professionals should avoid telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments.

The "Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts" also advises that parents, guardians, young people and their families avoid sexual orientation treatments that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and instead seek psychotherapy, social support and educational services "that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth."

The approval, by APA's governing Council of Representatives, came at APA's annual convention, during which a task force presented a report that in part examined the efficacy of so-called "reparative therapy," or sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE).

"Contrary to claims of sexual orientation change advocates and practitioners, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation," said Judith M. Glassgold, PsyD, chair of the task force. "Scientifically rigorous older studies in this area found that sexual orientation was unlikely to change due to efforts designed for this purpose. Contrary to the claims of SOCE practitioners and advocates, recent research studies do not provide evidence of sexual orientation change as the research methods are inadequate to determine the effectiveness of these interventions." Glassgold added: "At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions. Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted or its long-term mental health effects. Also, this result was much less likely to be true for people who started out only attracted to people of the same sex."

Based on this review, the task force recommended that mental health professionals avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts when providing assistance to people distressed about their own or others' sexual orientation.
Read the task force report

Report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation
APA appointed the six-member Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation in 2007 to review and update APA's 1997 resolution, "Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation," and to generate a report. APA was concerned about ongoing efforts to promote the notion that sexual orientation can be changed through psychotherapy or approaches that mischaracterize homosexuality as a mental disorder.

The task force examined the peer-reviewed journal articles in English from 1960 to 2007, which included 83 studies. Most of the studies were conducted before 1978, and only a few had been conducted in the last 10 years. The group also reviewed the recent literature on the psychology of sexual orientation.

"Unfortunately, much of the research in the area of sexual orientation change contains serious design flaws," Glassgold said. "Few studies could be considered methodologically sound and none systematically evaluated potential harms."

As to the issue of possible harm, the task force was unable to reach any conclusion regarding the efficacy or safety of any of the recent studies of SOCE: "There are no methodologically sound studies of recent SOCE that would enable the task force to make a definitive statement about whether or not recent SOCE is safe or harmful and for whom," according to the report.

"Without such information, psychologists cannot predict the impact of these treatments and need to be very cautious, given that some qualitative research suggests the potential for harm," Glassgold said. "Practitioners can assist clients through therapies that do not attempt to change sexual orientation, but rather involve acceptance, support and identity exploration and development without imposing a specific identity outcome."

As part of its report, the task force identified that some clients seeking to change their sexual orientation may be in distress because of a conflict between their sexual orientation and religious beliefs. The task force recommended that licensed mental health care providers treating such clients help them "explore possible life paths that address the reality of their sexual orientation, reduce the stigma associated with homosexuality, respect the client's religious beliefs, and consider possibilities for a religiously and spiritually meaningful and rewarding life."

"In other words," Glassgold said, "we recommend that psychologists be completely honest about the likelihood of sexual orientation change, and that they help clients explore their assumptions and goals with respect to both religion and sexuality."

Members of the APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation:
Judith M. Glassgold, PsyD, Rutgers University – Chair Lee Beckstead, PhD Jack Drescher, MD Beverly Greene, PhD, St. John's University Robin Lin Miller, PhD, Michigan State University Roger L. Worthington, PhD, University of Missouri

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 150,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.