I sent the following letter to the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) Board members a couple of days ago. Last week, CAMFT published an ad in The Therapist by the American Association of Christian Counselors in which Tony Perkins, a well-known anti-LGBT activist, was featured as a plenary session speaker. Here is my response to the publication of this ad.
April 10, 2014
Dear CAMFT Board members,
I recently learned that CAMFT published an ad for the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) in its most recent issue of The Therapist (March/April 2014). The full page ad for the “International Marriage & Family Summit” appears to be strategically placed just before the CAMFT Annual Conference spread. The ad could easily be mistaken for being part of the CAMFT conference. The AACC recently appeared in the news as one of 3 plaintiffs in the case against New Jersey’s bill to protect youth from SOCE. CAMFT is therefore running an ad for an organization that is defending SOCE practitioners in court.
What is most egregious about the ad is that Tony Perkins is listed as one of the plenary session speakers at the AACC summit. Perkins, president of the evangelical Family Research Council, is known for his repeated vile attacks against LGBT people. In an All Things Considered (NPR) report, Perkins said, "These young people who identify as gay or lesbian, we know from the social science that they have a higher propensity to depression or suicide because of that internal conflict” (10/26/2010).
Perkins essentially claims that the much higher rate of suicide among LGBT youth is caused by an abnormality that leads them to despair. He dismisses the notion that the roots of this despair might lie in the marginalization, the bullying, and the rejection that many LGBT kids experience, the very marginalization he and his organization espouses. Further, the “social science” is he referring to is obviously rooted in an ideological perspective that has no basis in science. He has also repeatedly linked gay men and lesbians to pedophiles, with no scientific basis for his assertions. In 1996, Perkins paid $82,500 to use the contact list of former Ku Klux Klan leader, David Duke, in a political campaign. He then tried to hide this information and was fined for doing so.
I understand that CAMFT has a policy of accepting advertisement money without espousing the views held by the advertiser. I nonetheless doubt that CAMFT is really seeking such an indiscriminate and open view of your advertising that you would accept submissions from anyone, even if their perspectives were racist, misogynistic, or violent.
As was previously noted by some colleagues of mine, and as I continue to experience, CAMFT’s printing of this advertisement in such a prominent location in the publication builds upon its reputation as an organization that supports the marginalization of LGBT people. I am awaiting the CAMFT Board’s response regarding this matter.
Guy Albert, Ph.D.
3036 Regent Street,
Berkeley, CA 94705-2551
Voice mail: 510-496-3447 Fax: 510-849-2219http://guyalbert.com