Bishop Gene Robinson backs out of APA symposium

Today, the Washington Blade reported that Bishop Gene Robinson backed out of his scheduled presentation at the American Psychiatric Association conference. He was scheduled to present about “A Pastoral Approach for Gay & Lesbian People Troubled by Homosexuality.”

Bishop Robinson provided the following explanation:

“Conservatives, particularly Focus on the Family, were going to use this event to draw credibility to the so-called reparative therapy movement,” Robinson told the Blade. “It became clear to me in the last couple of weeks that just my showing up and letting this event happen … lends credibility to that so-called therapy.”

This is quite troubling and not at all accurate. Since no one on the panel planned to speak about reparative therapy, it is clear to me that the Bishop was misinformed. The symposium was approved by the APA in October of 2007 and nothing has changed in the descriptions, personnel or intent of the symposium since then. The meeting is not going to endorse reparative approaches, or advocate for any change in APA policy.