Liberty Counsel Action's Matt Barber attended the conference, which was sponsored by B4U-ACT, a Maryland-based organization* of psychiatric practioners seeking to eliminate what it considers "tremendous barriers" among mental health professionals, the public, and "minor-attracted individuals" (pedophiles).
Barber says while at the conference he felt he was on a different planet, as the presenting professionals argued to remove pedophilia from the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). That, he believes, would mean pedophilia would no longer be considered a mental disorder.
"The entire focus of the event was on the victimhood of the pedophile," Barber accounts. There was "very little concern for the children who are the victims of these individuals when they are raped, who these individuals lust after," he adds.
And he says the experts' discussions were focused on "destigmatizing pedophilia ... removing the stigma, and [getting] the public to stop demonizing pedophiles."
APA states it stands firmly behind efforts to criminally prosecute those who abuse and exploit children and adolescents. But Barber is concerned the APA is already moving toward declassifying pedophilia as a mental disorder "by saying that a pedophile is only a pedophile in their latest DSM ... if they are distressed by their attractions or behaviors."
Barber believes that would bring the APA one step closer to de-classifying pedophilia as a mental disorder, as they did homosexuality in the 1970s.
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Concerning that issue, the APA board has also voted unanimously to endorse homosexual "marriage," which comes as no surprise to one traditional marriage activist, since the organization has contributed to 11 amicus briefs since 2004 in court cases that favor same-sex marriage. (Listen to audio report)
"The fact that the vote was 157 to nothing shows the liberal groups think that's at work in the APA," suggests Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH). "I mean, these guys are like on another planet. In the real world, same-sex so-called 'marriage' is very controversial, and society is divided over it. But in the APA, at least in this vote -- 157 to nothing -- everybody's for it."
But he is not convinced that all members would agree with the vote, so he is certain politics is at work within the organization.
"For them to say that opposition to same-sex marriage is causing psychological distress among lesbians and gays, I mean these guys have it completely backward," LaBarbera contends. "The reality is that self-described homosexuals and lesbians, they do have psychological problems because homosexuality is a perversion."
The AFTAH president adds that organizations like the APA "are ideologically and liberal left, and they're now at war with traditional and conservative America."