How far we’ve come! On December 6 1994, the American Medical Association declared its opposition to Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual ‘cures’.
The association instead recommended ‘nonjudgmental recognition of sexual orientation and behaviour’. It urged doctors to seek a greater understanding of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual patients. Additionally, the association stopped promoting ‘the possibility of sex preference reversal in selected cases’.
Association Vice President Dr M. Roy Schwarz said the report attracted no negative comments during the meeting that adopted it.
“People at these meetings don’t hesitate to say what’s on their minds. The fact that it went through with minimal changes, and nobody argued, I think represents an evolution in the understanding of physicians about this sub-population.”
Benjamin Schatz, executive director of the San Francisco-based Gay and Lesbian Medical Association said that a 1993 survey of members found that 52% previously observed heterosexual colleagues reducing or denying care to gay patients.
He said the AMA’s new policy would place the burden of care on all doctors.
Dr Joseph Nicolosi
However notorious conversion therapist Dr Joseph Nicolosi predictably had a whinge about the December 6, 1994 announcement.
The “medical community has been so bombarded with gay rhetoric and so intimidated that it’s no wonder,” he moaned.
Nicolosi, a founder of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, made his money through Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual ‘cures’. He died unrepentant in 2017.
Prior to the 1994 policy change, the American Medical Association cautiously recommended aversion therapy in ‘appropriate’ cases but even in 1981, described the ‘therapy’ as ‘controversial’.
In disavowing Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual ‘cures’, the association instead recommended treatment to help patients accept their orientation.
“Through psychotherapy, gay men and lesbians can become comfortable with their sexual orientation.”
Read more: December 5 <— On this day —> December 7
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.