(L-R) Peter Sprigg, anti-LGBT specialist at hate group Family Research Council and faux psychiatrist Keith Vennum, head of the oddly named Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (FKA NARTH).

Image source: Family Research Council

Peter Sprigg, the anti-LGBT specialist for Family Research Council, has received an impressive award. The prestigious Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity (formerly known as NARTH) has given Mr. Sprigg its “President’s Award.” The president of ATCSI is Dr. Keith Vennum. Vennum claims to be a psychiatrist (he specializes in conversion “therapy”). However his only board certification is in anesthesiology.

Sprigg is, indeed, a champion of pseudoscientific conversion therapy. The reason he is and the reason it exists is not to help anyone. The existence of conversion therapy is used to justify discrimination and to fight against nondiscrimination laws. Were it valid science then one could possibly claim that sexual orientation and gender identity are choices rather than immutable characteristics.

According to hate group leader Tony Perkins:

On the plaque, Peter is described as “[a] tireless advocate for those experiencing unwanted sexual attractions and a champion for their right to secure professional therapeutic assistance consistent with their personal values.”

As some of you know, Peter has been one of the most vocal opponents of state and local laws that would crackdown on therapy options for people with unwanted same-sex attractions. … In September FRC published another paper, “Are Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) Effective? Are They Harmful? What the Evidence Shows.”

I am glad that Perkins brought that up. The Sprigg cites six “studies” One paper from a Baptist organization is not a study at all. Another is not peer reviewed and published to a Catholic outlet. Three are published to very substandard journals (one of those no longer exists). The one study published to a respectable journal has been retracted (Spitzer). There is no peer-reviewed study published to a respected academic journal that counters the conclusion of the APA: Conversion therapy does not work and is possibly harmful.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.