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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended September 17, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
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Sent on Mormon-News: 18Sep00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Evergreen Told Homosexuality Not Genetic

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The opening speaker at this year's Evergreen International Conference told attendees that no one is born gay and claiming that scientific research that indicate's otherwise is flawed. Former homosexual Richard Cohen, author of "Coming Out Straight," told the 10th Annual Evergreen Conference that there is no biological differrence between homosexuals and heterosexuals.

Instead, Cohen claims that homosexuality is a mental illness, which he calls "Same Sex Attachment Disorder" (SSAD). Cohen told the group, which includes clergy and therapists, that homosexuals can be cured through so-called reparative therapy. Cohen blames SSAD on childhood trauma, "A little boy in a man's body looking for a daddy's love in the arms of another man. Or a little girl in a woman's body looking for a mommy's love in the arms of another woman." He says, however, that the disorder can be complicated by a host of social, familial and psychological factors.

Evergreen International has unofficial ties to the LDS Church, and its conference was held in the LDS Church's Joseph Smith Memorial Building (former Hotel Utah). The Salt Lake City-based group teaches that reparative therapy can be successful for homosexuals. But the majority of mental health professionals dismiss the treatment as ineffective and possibly damaging. But neither advocates of reparative therapy nor its detractors yet have definitive scientific evidence to support their conclusions.

Scientific evidence of a "gay gene" has also proved elusive, with claims of discovering such a gene in dispute as scientists are unable to replicate key studies that claim such a gene exists.


None Born Gay, Author Insists at Therapy Panel
Salt Lake Tribune 16Sep00 N4
By Bob Mims: Salt Lake Tribune


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