FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
ETHICS COMPLAINTS FILED WITH AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION AND PENNSYLVANIA STATE OVER GAY-TO-STRAIGHT THERAPIES
PHILADELPHIA, PA - August 20, 2012- "Conversion" or "reparative" therapy methods refer to any attempt to "convert" or "change" one's sexual orientation or identity through mental manipulation. Sadly, these efforts can result in severe psychological harm and/or suicide. They also generally continue to assert stigma based on lies and hate, which perpetuate negative social impacts on the LGBTQ society at large. PAN has worked tirelessly to expose the immense psychological and physical harm that "conversion" or "reparative" therapies cause to LGBTQ individuals.
In recent times, PAN has become aware of two therapists, Peter Kleponis and Richard Fitzgibbons, who operate a counseling clinic, the Institute for Marital Healing, in West Conshohocken that offers "conversion" therapies for LGBTQ individuals. While they do not clearly imply this on their website, PAN had obtained evidence that indicates that this type of "therapy" is in fact occurring at this location and the views and opinions of both of these individuals regarding whether or not it's possible to "change" ones sexual orientation or identity is readily available online. It's important to point out that these individuals are not basing their "treatments" on any accepted scientific evidence, but rather that these individuals are highly charged and guided by deeply rooted theological ideology.
A PAN volunteer board member discovered that these practices directly violate a myriad of professional policies and ethics put forth by both the Pennsylvania state licensing board and the American Psychological Association (APA). Subsequently, formal complaints were filed against these individuals with both agencies. This week, a meeting will be held with an investigator for the state to discuss the allegations and a response is currently being awaited from the APA, an organization that has been clearly outspoken against intolerance towards LGBTQ individuals. We will keep you posted as both of these complaints continue to unfold.
As far as further direct action is concerned, PAN will be holding a public demonstration outside of the office building for these therapists sometime in October. Tentatively, we are also planning to hold this protest in conjunction with another fundraising drag show that will feature Honey LaBronx, NYC's vegan drag queen! Please stay tuned for further updates and dates for the upcoming events within the next few weeks. Please be sure and subscribe to PAN's e-newsletter to ensure that you are informed of this information. Also, don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!
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Peace Advocacy Network, a Philadelphia-based 501(3)(c) nonprofit, opposes all injustice and inequality through promotion of peace and nonviolence. PAN has also been running its campaign to ban horse-drawn carriages in Philadelphia for over two years, among various other campaigns.