In what’s been described as another discrediting blow, the leading US group advocating changing people’s sexual orientation has lost its tax exempt status.
The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), accused of promoting dangerous efforts that falsely attempt to change one’s sexual orientation, had its tax exempt status revoked by America’s Internal Revenue Service for failure to fill out proper and routine tax forms.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest LGBT civil rights organisation in the US, welcomed the news.
“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 organisation for guidance on treating their most vulnerable patients and this has had drastic results. The IRS is just the latest organisation to take a death blow at NARTH.”
NARTH co-founder Joseph Nicolosi has a long history of anti-gay rhetoric. He has suggested that “gay activists” are attempting to normalise paedophilia 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 of American defended its ban on gay scouts.
“NARTH has no credibility left,” asserted Griffin. “They’ve proven themselves to be a dangerous organisation that only the fringe elements of the anti-LGBT movement continue to embrace.”
The South African Society of Psychiatrists says that it “opposes any psychiatric treatment such as ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapy designed to change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual”.
It further states that it supports the American Psychiatric Association’s stance that “this type of therapy can be destructive,” adding that “reparative therapy runs the risk of harming patients by causing depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behaviour”.