Synod Votes Against Reparative Therapy

Date Posted: 
Friday, June 10, 2016

On Friday, General Synod delegates voted “to declare that the RCA does not support the use of reorientation/reparative therapy but does affirm the power of the Holy Spirit to transform all lives.”

Reparative therapy describes a variety of treatments intended to change someone’s sexual orientation.

Last year, after an overture drew the topic to delegates’ attention, they asked the Commission on Christian Action to study the matter further and bring a recommendation to General Synod 2016.

The commission’s 2016 report presented research findings against reparative therapy. “There has been no data found for the widespread and long-term effectiveness of reparative therapy,” the report says. “However, there is documentation of the adverse effects of reparative therapy.”

In light of these findings, synod decreed that the RCA does not support the use of reorientation or reparative therapy.

Papers adopted by General Synods in 1978 and 1979 included references to reparative therapy, as did Homosexuality: Seeking the Guidance of the Church, a study guide on the matter of sexual orientation first made available to congregations, classes, and regional synods in 1998. References to reparative therapy in those documents have already been removed from the RCA website, at the direction of General Synod 2015.

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