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Dr. Nicolas Cummings interviewed by the Catholic Register

July 08, 2013 By: Tom Coy Category: Clinical Science, Sexual Orientation Change Efforts

June 18, 2013

The following excerpts are from the article “Same-Sex Desire: Hardwired With No Hope for Change?” by Sue Ellen Browder on the National Catholic Register website: “An intensely polarized debate has developed primarily around the question, ‘Does reparative therapy work or doesn’t it?’”

“The SPLC lawsuit states: ‘The essential premise of conversion therapy — that it will ‘convert’ a gay person to a straight person — has no basis in scientific fact.’”

“But psychologist Nicholas Cummings, a past president of the American Psychological Association and lifelong champion of homosexual rights, said the real question people should be asking is not, ‘Does it work?’ but, rather, ‘Which individuals will most likely benefit from this therapy and which won’t?’
In an affidavit in support of JONAH’s motion before the New Jersey Superior Court to dismiss the SPLC lawsuit, Cummings observed that ‘only a small minority of patients’ want to change their sexual orientation. It is ‘difficult therapy,’ and change is ‘not easily accomplished,’ but it can be done. In fact, he stated, the rate of success is high ‘if patients are highly motivated and clinically diagnosed as having a high probability of success’ before the therapy begins.”

“As chief psychologist for the Kaiser Permanente health system from 1959 to 1979, Cummings said, ‘I personally saw over 2,000 patients with same-sex attraction, and my staff saw another 16,000.’
Noting that individuals who identify as homosexual ‘fall along a very broad spectrum of personalities,’ Cummings stated, ‘contending that all same-sex attraction is an unchangeable or immutable characteristic like race is a distortion of reality.’”

‘Totally Hijacked’

“In an interview with the Register, Cummings expressed dismay that the American Psychological Association would allow its task force’s statements to be misused by the SPLC and others as ‘proof’ the therapy should be outlawed.”

“’The APA hasn’t flatly come out and said that reparative therapy should be illegal,’ Cummings said. ‘But it is certainly supporting of all those who say that.’”

“Cummings said that since he was APA president in 1979-80, the organization has been ‘totally hijacked’ by the homosexual/lesbian political lobby. ‘It’s incredible.’”

“Having personally seen ‘hundreds of people change,’ Cummings said the view that all homosexuality is ‘hardwired’ and same-sex attraction can never be changed is simply ‘not supported by scientific evidence.’”