Maryland Psychological Association joins APA in same-sex marriage brief

As I indicated in two recent MPA-NEWS articles, MPA was asked by APA last month if it would co-sign an amicus curiae brief on a case that is pending before the Maryland Court of Appeals. In the case (Deane & Polyak et al. v. Conaway et al.), the plaintiffs asserted that the state’s prohibition of same-sex marriage violated the Maryland Declaration of Rights. In January, Baltimore Circuit Judge M. Brooke Murdock ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, writing that the prohibition “discriminates, based on gender against a suspect class, and is not narrowly tailored to serve any compelling governmental interests.”

Last month, the Maryland Psychological Association was asked by the APA to join them in filing an amicus brief in support of a MD case seeking marriage rights for same-sex couples. A Maryland psychologist made me aware of the APA request and I have been following with interest the deliberations of the MPA. The MPA president and board gave their members and psychologists nationally opportunity to offer opinions and comments about how the MPA board should respond. Although I favored neutrality, I commend Dr. Clavelle and his colleagues for their openness to input from all sides of the issue.

Here is Dr. Clavelle’s email that accompanied his article describing the deliberations and the outcome (which was to join the APA in the brief).

Dear Dr. Throckmorton,

My apologies for the delay in responding to your request for the outcome of our deliberations about the APA brief.

I have attached an article I sent out to the MPA listserv regarding the process we followed to address this matter, as well as the result of our deliberations.

I trust this will give you a good idea of how we proceeded and the position we ended up taking.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

All the best.

Paul Clavelle

MPA President, 2006-2007

NARTH news update

I spoke with Dave Pruden this evening and asked him about the recent changes at NARTH. Dave was quite open about some changes that were announced at the conference. He noted that Dr. Nicolosi’s term as NARTH president will actually end at the 2007 conference in Dallas. At that time, president-elect Byrd will assume the helm with Dr. Nicolosi moving to past-president. A new president-elect will be voted in at the conference. To clarify, the election was a board election, rather than a membership vote. The Scientific Advisory Board that was in the news so much last month is searching for a chair, although most likely Dr. Byrd will have dual roles until someone takes the job.

NARTH news

The 2006 Narth conference has come and gone and there is a wrap-up here. NARTH has had some changes in recent days. A. Dean Byrd, PhD, CEO of the LDS affiliated Thrasher Research Fund was appointed President-elect of NARTH and I heard through a friend who attended the conference that David Pruden, Executive Director of Evergreen International was appointed Executive Director of NARTH. Dr. Byrd is also a clinical professor in the medical school at the University of Utah and was formerly the Director of Clinical Training for the LDS Social Services. No word on when Dr. Byrd’s term will begin.