The American Psychological Association has declared that mental health professionals should not tell gay clients that they can become straight through therapy or other treatments.

Instead, the APA is urging therapists to consider multiple options -- that could range from celibacy to switching churches -- for helping clients whose sexual orientation and religious faith conflict.

In a resolution adopted by the APA's governing council and in a comprehensive report based on two years of research, the association puts itself firmly on record in opposition of so-called "reparative therapy" which seeks to change sexual orientation.

No solid evidence exists that such change is likely, says the report, and some research suggests that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.