American Academy of Nursing Opposes Reparative Therapy and Employment Discrimination Against LGBT Individuals

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Academy Releases Two Statements in Support of LGBT Rights

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American Academy of Nursing

The American Academy of Nursing released two statements in support of LGBT rights in its May/June issue of its academic journal, Nursing Outlook, opposing reparative therapy and employment discrimination for LGBT individuals.

The Academy’s statement on reparative therapy opposes and condemns its use for homosexuality, calling the practice ineffective, unethical, abusive and harmful.

“The Academy concludes that reparative therapies aimed at “curing” or changing same-sex orientation to heterosexual orientation are pseudo-scientific, ineffective, unethical, abusive and harmful practices that pose serious threats to the dignity, autonomy and human rights as well as to the physical and mental health of individuals exposed to them. Based on sound scientific evidence, its commitment to human rights and dignity, and its mission of promoting positive health outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals, the Academy concludes that efforts to “repair” homosexuality, by any means, constitute health hazards to be avoided and are to be condemned as unethical assaults on human rights and individual identity, autonomy and dignity,” the Academy said in its statement on reparative therapy.

The statement cited strong scientific evidence concluding that techniques used in reparative therapies are ineffective by failing to achieve intended results and imparting inherently harmful effects on mental and physical health on individuals being pressured to change.

“The Academy is proud to issue a strong statement opposing reparative therapy and we look forward to working with our fellows and other professionals in the health care community to ultimately end this practice,” said Academy President, Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN.

In its statement opposing employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the Academy said, “Employment discrimination adversely affects physical and mental health. By perpetuating social stigma and adding to minority stress, it contributes to health disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.”

The Academy cited that there are no federal laws barring employment discrimination that include protections for LGBT people.

“The lack of federal law barring employment discrimination against LGBT people leaves millions at risk of losing or being denied employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” the Academy said in its statement.

Federal anti-discrimination legislation has been introduced in Congress multiple times since 1994 and has never been passed.

“The Academy supports efforts to end employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” Mason said. “We will work with other nursing and health professional organizations to move toward the goal of ending employment discrimination for LGBT people in the public and private sectors.”

The Academy also states that employment discrimination negatively influences opportunities for acquiring or keeping employer-sponsored insurance (ESI). LGBT adults are more likely than non-LGBT adults to be uninsured. The disparity, likely due to employment discrimination, contributes to reduced access to ESI.

The Academy’s position statements on reparative therapy and employment discrimination for LGBT people were prepared by its fellows on the LGBTQ expert panel, comprised of health experts from academia, and public and private-sector organizations.

About the American Academy of Nursing
The American Academy of Nursing (http://www.AANnet.org) serves the public and the nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. The Academy's more than 2,300 fellows are nursing's most accomplished leaders in education, management, practice, policy, and research. They have been recognized for their extraordinary contributions to nursing and health care.

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Elyse Petroni, Manager, Communications and Public Affairs
@AAN_Nursing
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