This past Saturday was a triumph of which Gaylesta members can be proud. To describe what occurred, Guy Albert wrote a wonderful letter on the membership listserv; it is repeated below in a slightly edited fashion. In addition, I have posted the statements to the CAMFT Board presented by Gaylesta Advocacy Committee members.
As a proud member of Gaylesta's Advocacy Committee, I want to inform the Gaylesta membership of an important event that occurred this past weekend, likely unbeknownst to many of you. On Saturday, September 20th, several Advocacy Committee members attended the CAMFT Board meeting at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley. As CAMFT members, they showed up to speak in support of a proposal submitted by Beth Grievel requesting that CAMFT amend its Code of Ethics to prohibit Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) by its members. In addition, this proposal asked the Board to make a strong statement condemning the practice of SOCE with all people, including adults. Because of their work, the CAMFT Board approved sending the proposed Code of Ethics revisions to the Ethics Committee for review, and adopted a clear statement against SOCE based upon a prior position statement by the American Psychiatric Association.
I am awed and amazed with the persistence of our Advocacy members in achieving this important milestone. This Saturday's events at the CAMFT Board meeting were the culmination of months of hard work by Advocacy members on top of several years of prior effort and concerted networking.
This important victory could not have happened without Beth Grievel's crafting of a strong proposal, in conjunction with having spearheaded an extraordinary petition drive. Jim Walker worked tirelessly to promote the petition, contacting CAMFT members and allies and succeeding in getting the support of several regional boards. Jim's efforts to communicate with the CAMFT Board and staff started back in 2010, and he has been steadfast in his attempts to educate them and heighten their awareness. James Guay created a video to accompany this effort and flew up from Los Angeles to speak to the Board along with our other colleagues. This is testament to James' ongoing efforts to fight SOCE and to communicate the danger and harm of these practices to the public. One of our Co-Presidents, Jay Paul, spoke to the Board as well. Deborah Cooper, who recently completed her term as Co-President, not only attended, but spoke extemporaneously when there was extra time on the agenda. Other Gaylesta members and local CAMFT organization members also were present to drive home the importance of this proposal to the CAMFT Board.
Please join me in celebrating this victory for Gaylesta, for CAMFT, and especially for LGBTQQI people in California and everywhere. This piece of advocacy continues to send a strong message to the world that we will not stand idle while the people we care about and serve are being harmed.
--- Guy Albert, PhD