Christopher Curtis, PlanetOut Network, June 28, 2005
Tennessee's investigation into a Christian reparative therapy camp found no evidence of child abuse, despite the assertion by mainstream psychiatric and psychological associations that the process is emotionally harmful and can lead to self-destructive behavior.
Last week, Tennessee's Department of Children's Services investigated reports of child abuse at the Refuge program run by Love In Action International, an organization that believes homosexuals can be turned into heterosexuals through various types of therapy.
Refuge "treats" people between 15 and 18 years old.
The camp made headlines after "Zach," a blogger who identified himself as a 16-year-old from Bartlett, Tenn., said his parents had sent him to a camp to change his sexuality.
The Department of Children's Services could not say whether it found "Zach," or even if he really exists.
John Smid, executive director of Love in Action, defended the program.
Both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association have strongly discounted reparative therapy, saying it is an unsound practice that can hurt those who undertake it.
Schlittler told the PlanetOut Network that the people behind reparative therapy are
Schlittler added he did not blame the parents who took their kids to these programs.