While in California, they are trying to ban children from being forced to undergo ‘conversion’ or ‘reparative’ therapy, in Pennsylvania, a complaint has been filed against two therapists who are providing this dangerous and often deadly service. Reparative therapy attempts to ‘cure’ someone of being lesbian or gay through a lot of severe psychologically harming therapies which have never been proven to work and either drive someone into having risky sexual encounters in shameful manners or drives people to commit suicide. Some have managed to break from the therapy and finally accept being lesbian or gay.
The Peace Advocacy Network explains about their efforts to shut down this damaging therapy thusly:
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.