irishTruth Wins Out applauded the Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW) today for condemning “reparative therapy” — a fringe and discredited practice that claims to “cure” homosexuality.

“The actions taken by the Irish Association of Social Workers will save lives,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. “So-called ‘reparative therapy’ is nothing more than stereotypes disguised as science. This false doctrine is promoted by ideologues that twist science to fit their sectarian views.”

“There is no evidence that conversion therapy is effective, though there is evidence of mental health risks associated with the use of such approaches with gay, lesbian or bisexual people,” Declan Coogan, a spokesperson for the IASW told the Irish Examiner.

At its conference, IASW delegates voted to oppose use of reparative therapy in Ireland. Mr Coogan said IASW discouraged social workers from making referrals to agencies that claim to “cure” homosexuality.

Last month the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Britain issued a statement saying there was no sound scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. It also criticized “so-called treatments of homosexuality” as recommended by NARTH, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality.

“It is encouraging to see a worldwide rejection of the quack-like theories promoted by NARTH,” said Besen. “This disreputable organization is on the far-reaching fringe of acceptable medical and mental health practices.”