from Political News
Dr. Stotland defended the APA's recent endorsement of gay marriage at its Atlanta convention in late May. According to Stotland: "This issue came looking for us; we didn't go looking for it. But, we're physicians and we followed the medical evidence."
According to Stotland, "We advocate for what's good for people's mental health and there is a great deal of evidence that being able to form stable, loving relationships that are protected" is good for the mental health of individuals.
Dr. Satel, however, told Bill O'Reilly that she dissents from the APA's endorsement of gay marriage because this is a social issue, "not a clinical issue. I think it hurts our credibility [because] it seems like we have a political agenda. I think we should stick with issues that are clinically relevant" and to "educate the public on psycho-pathology." Satel said she would also oppose the APA if it came out against gay marriage: "I think that [opposition to gay marriage] would be an irrelevant issue."
When O'Reilly asked Dr. Stotland if she was familiar with a study of how marriage has virtually collapsed in Sweden since gay marriage was adopted, Stotland said she'd just returned from Stockholm and had not heard about any great numbers of marriages collapsing.
O'Reilly told her the data on Sweden was irrefutable but she countered that the APA had plenty of data showing "what good for people's mental health."
When Dr. Stotland was asked by O'Reilly if she would approve of polygamy, she said the APA would work on such data when it became available and is currently only concerned that individuals can form stable relationships.
Dr. Satel reemphasized her belief that the APA's endorsement of gay marriage hurts the credibility of the organization and "turns people away from us. We want them to look to the APA as a neutral expert" on mental health issues. Satel is co-author of One Nation Under Therapy: How the Helping Culture Is Eroding Self-Reliance.
Dr. Stotland has been a long-time critic of reorientation therapy. In 1998, when the APA voted to condemn reorientation therapy, the Associated Press quoted Stotland as saying: "All the evidence would indicate this is the way people are born. We treat disease, not the way people are. The very existence of therapy that is supposed to change people's sexuality, even for people who don't take it, is harmful because it implies that they have a disease. There is evidence that the belief itself can trigger depression and anxiety."
Analysis Of Trends In Sweden
Mr. O'Reilly was referring to work done by Hoover Institution Fellow Dr. Stanley Kurtz, who has written extensively in recent years on the Swedish experiment with gay marriage. In a 2004 analysis published in The Weekly Standard, Kurtz observed that in Sweden, "The separation of marriage from parenthood was increasing; gay marriage has widened the separation .... Scandinavian gay marriage has driven home the message that marriage itself is outdated, and that virtually any family form, including out-of-wedlock parenthood, is acceptable."
In a previous analysis, "Beyond Gay Marriage," published in The Weekly Standard in 2003, Dr. Kurtz predicts: "Among the likeliest effects of gay marriage is to take us down a slippery slope to legalized polygamy and 'polyamory' (group marriage). Marriage will be transformed into a variety of relationship contracts, linking two, three, or more individuals (however weakly and temporarily) in every conceivable combination of male and female."
Additional Reading On Same-Sex Households And Children:
Gender Complementarity and Child-rearing: Where Tradition and Science Agree by Dr. A. Dean Byrd
Review Of Research On Homosexual Parenting, Adoption, And Foster Parenting by Dr. George Rekers