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  Windy City Times

Groups hit 'ex-gay' therapist with complaint
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2012-10-11

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Illinois became latest battleground state in a nationwide fight over "ex-gay" therapy Oct. 11.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health and the American Psychoanalytic Association announced that they have filed a licensing board complaint against a mental health professional practicing reparative therapy, a practice purported to change sexual orientation.

The complaint, filed with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, advocates for the investigation of Paul McNulty, a Bloomingdale Illinois social worker.

McNulty has a profile on the People Can Change website, a self-described non-profit, "to support and guide men who seek to transition away from unwanted homosexuality, by courageously and compassionately sharing our own first-hand experience with change."

According to that profile, McNulty is also a member of Exodus International and the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, two controversial groups seen as anti-gay by many.

The complaint against McNulty alleges he violated the Illinois' Professional Counselor and Clinical Professional Counselor Licensing Act in offering "ex-gay" conversion therapy.

"By offering and embracing scientifically unsound and potentially harmful services that reflect prejudice, Mr. McNulty appears to be in violation of the State's licensing standards," the complaint states.

McNulty did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The complaint is part of a national effort to end reparative therapy in the U.S. said Christine Sun, deputy legal director, Southern Poverty Law Center.

"We have traveled across the country listening to survivors stories," said Sun. "The common thread for all of these stories is the pain and devastation this junk science has caused them."

The complaint comes on the heels of the passage and signing of a California bill that makes it illegal to practice reparative therapy on minors. LGBT rights advocates that backed the California bill have vowed to support similar efforts in other states.

Yamani Hernandez, executive director, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, said that the groups would also support legislative efforts to end conversion therapy in Illinois.

"The fact of the matter is that it's not just about one individual," said Hernandez. "It's about the practice in general."


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