[from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, 870 Market St. Suite 570,
San Francisco CA 94102; ph =415 392 6257; Fax: 415 392 3442

(Compiled 9/95)

Over the past two decades, a number of health care, mental health care, and social service organizations have adopted policy statements on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth.* These statements debunk pathologizing models and support the need for competent, nonjudgmental services. As an educational and lobbying tool, these statements can be a powerful resource for LGBT youth and advocates seeking to create or maintain programs and services. They can also be an important resource for attorneys representing LGBT youth clients who are denied access to appropriate services and placements, or who are subjected to homophobic or transphobic counseling or other treatment.

This is not an exhaustive list. In addition, since organizations periodically revise and update their policy statements, this list may not include the most recent revision of some statements. Please contact NCLR regarding updates or suggested additions.

Some of the policy statements listed below refer specifically

The American Academy of Pediatrics

Homosexuality and Adolescence, (American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Adolescence, Pediatrics Vol. 92 No.4, October, 1993) (providing guidelines for competent, nonjudgmental services for pediatricians who serve LGBT youth and stating that "[t]herapy directed specifically at changing sexual orientation is contraindicated").

The American Medical Association

Health Care Needs of Gay Men and Lesbians in the U.S., (AMA Report, 1994) (calling for "nonjudgmental recognition of sexual orientation by physicians," and stating that "aversion therapy is no longer recommended for gay men and lesbians").

The American Psychological Association

Discrimination Against Homosexuals, (APA Policy Statement, 1975)
(recognizing that homosexuality is not a mental illness and urging "all mental health professionals to take the lead in removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated with homosexual orientations"). Fact Sheet on Reparative Therapy, (American Psychological Association, lggl) (stating that "[n]o scientific evidence exist< to support the effectiveness of any of the conversion therapies that try to change sexual orientation").

Fact Sheet on Reparative Therapy. (APA, 11991) (stating that "[n]o scientific evidence exists to support the effectiveness of any of the conversion therapies that try to change sexual orientation").

Resolution on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youths in the Schools, (APA & National Association of School Psychologists, 1993) (supporting right of LGB youth to a safe and nondiscriminatory school environment).

* Resolution on Child Custody and Placement, (APA Policy Statement, 1977) ("The sex, gender identity or sexual orientation of natural or prospective adoptive or foster parents should not be the sole or primary variable considered in custody or placement cases.").

The American Psychiatric Association

Resolution of the American Psychiatric Association (Dec.15, 197 (declassifying homosexuality as a mental illness).

Fact Sheet on Reparative Therapy, (APA, 1993) (stating that "[t]here is no published scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of 'reparative therapy' as a treatment to change one's sexual orientation").

Discrimination in Selection of Foster Parents, (APA Policy Statement, 1986) (stating that homosexuality "should not necessarily or automatically rule out selection of a potential foster parent").

The National Association of Social Workers

Lesbian and Gay Issues. (NASW Policy Statement, 1987) (affirming that social workers have an ethical duty to "ascertain the needs and promote the well-being of lesbians and gay men, and stating that "same-sex orientation should be afforded the same respect as that of opposite-sex sexual orientation").

Foster Care and Adoption, (NASW Policy Statement, 1987) ("Barriers that are unsupported by tested experience, such as resistance to using single parents, foster parents (for adoption), and nontraditional family patterns including lesbian and gav parents as potential foster care and adoption resources, must be removed.").

Child Welfare League of America

* Serving Gay & Lesbian Youths: The Role of Child Welfare Agencies, (Child Welfare League of America, 1991) (calling child welfare agencies to provide competent, nonjudgmental services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth).

put together by Shannon Minter, 9-95

A List of National Organizations Relevant to Academics That Have Policies Inclusive of "Sexual Orientation."

Return to the Handbook Table of Contents

Last updated 11/6/96 by Jean Richter, [email protected]