Here’s a scenario everyone’s probably heard before. Loving Christian parents learn that their godly spawn is gay. After berating him/her for the crime of not following God’s Genital Usage Manual, they consult with other loving Christians who tell them about anti-gay therapy. And it’s backed up by SCIENCE! The loving Christian therapist then proceeds to let the little spawn know that his/her sexual urges are evil, but it’s a choice! You can change! And after years and years of being told that their natural sexual proclivities are filthy and wrong, yet finding they can’t change them, the therapy ultimately succeeds when, long down the road, the subject kills him/herself. Voila! One less gay person in the world.
Well, one state finally wised up to the fact that this is child abuse, as California has banned it.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill banning therapy aimed at turning gay kids straight, saying such efforts “will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”
“This bill bans non-scientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide,” Brown tweeted.
The California Senate passed the bill in May. It will kick in on January 1.
Good! Now if only 49 or so other states would follow suit, we might actually be getting somewhere. And let’s be clear about just what this bill does:
The bill prohibits efforts to change the sexual orientation of patients under age 18.
Bear this in mind, because inevitably the religious right will throw a fit about this and do their best to distort the facts as much as possible. For instance…
But it’s facing a legal challenge from a group seeking an injunction against it. The Pacific Justice Institute told CNN it was filing a lawsuit Monday.
Yes, the Pacific Justice Institute. So-named, I assume, because the bottom of the Pacific is where they hope to bury any rights gays might think they have. And they’re not alone.
But the president of an organization that promotes reparative therapy, the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, called the bill “another triumph of political activism over objective science.”
“In NARTH’s view, a truly scientific response would call for more and better research to answer these questions, not a legislative ban that runs roughshod over professional judgment and parental choice,” said Christopher Rosik, a psychologist.
Oh really? So how do you feel about those stem cell research bans that have been enacted in so many states? My guess is a lot of the NARTH-heads oppose it. But let’s compare.
For starters, most scientists agree that stem cell research is promising and worth pursuing. When it comes to gay reversion therapy, though, the scientific consensus is that it’s harmful and unnecessary:
The American Psychiatric Association says the potential risk of so-called “reparative therapy” is great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior. Therapists’ alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce the self-hatred already felt by patients, the association says.
So there’s your scientific objectivity for you.
Also, the states in question banned a type of research. California hasn’t said people can’t do anti-gay “research”. They merely can’t use bogus therapies on defenseless children merely because their parents are ignorant bigots who can’t love them for who they are.
So NARTH is full of shit when they say California has enacted “a legislative ban that runs roughshod over professional judgment and parental choice”. The professional judgment has already been made, and parents don’t get to choose to abuse their children.
In a statement on NARTH’s website, the group says the law will seriously jeopardize the livelihoods of “licensed therapists in California who would otherwise be willing to assist minor clients in modifying their unwanted same-sex attractions and behaviors.” It also will “supplant the rights of parents,” the group says.
That’s like complaining that bans on child porn put those poor child pornographers out of business and prevents parents from sexually abusing their children. Of course it does! That’s the whole point!
The Pacific Justice Institute, which describes itself as a network of more than 1,000 attorneys “defending religious, parental, and other constitutional rights,” argues that the law violates the First Amendment.
*spit take* WHAT? The first amendment? How? Remember, the law only prohibits attempts to change the sexuality of people under 18. It says nothing about speech, religion, the press or anything else in the first amendment. You can still stand on the corner with your God Hates Fags signs. No one’s stopping you idiots from yelling your bigotry from the rooftops. You just can’t use harmful quack therapies on children. This is not a first amendment issue.
“Of all the freedom-killing bills we have seen in our legislature the last several years, this is among the worst,” said Brad Dacus, the group’s president and founder, in a written statement.
We want to be free to drive our children to depression and suicide!
But Equality California said, “This law will ensure that state-licensed therapists can no longer abuse their power to harm LGBT youth and propagate the dangerous and deadly lie that sexual orientation is an illness or disorder that can be ‘cured.'”
Why do you hate freedom???
Ryan Kendall, who went through this type of therapy when he was 13, told CNN it began after his mother read his diary and discovered he was gay. In the therapy, he was consistently told his sexuality was a choice and could “be fixed,” he said.”I never believed that. I know I’m gay just like I know I’m short and I’m half Hispanic. I’ve never thought that those facts would change. It’s part of my core fundamental identity. So the parallel would be sending me to tall camp and saying, ‘If you try very hard, one day you can be 6-foot-1.'”
Ryan Kendall, you made my day. 🙂
Kendall said psychologist Joseph Nicolosi treated him. His parents provided CNN with copies of bills from Nicolosi’s office, but Nicolosi said he did not remember treating someone by that name.
He told CNN he views the therapy he provides as “trying to bring out the heterosexuality” in someone.
That assumes there’s heterosexuality in there to begin with.
The therapy is not harmful, and he treats only people who want to change, Nicolosi said.
Yeah, ’cause 13-year-olds really know what they want when it comes to sex.
A leading psychologist in the field of reparative therapy, George Rekers, treated a boy named Kirk Murphy, whose story was told in a 2011 CNN report. Rekers considered Kirk a success story, writing that ‘his feminine behavior was gone,’ — proof, Rekers said, that homosexuality can be prevented.
But Murphy’s family said he never stopped being gay. He hanged himself at the age of 38. Despite allegations by the family that Rekers’ therapy ultimately led to the suicide decades later, Rekers told CNN that scientifically, it “would be inaccurate to assume that it was the therapy,” and that he grieves for the parents.
“Two independent psychologists with me had evaluated him and said he was better adjusted after treatment,” Rekers said.
“I only meant to help, do the best I could with the parents,” he added.
Rekers’ days as a prominent anti-gay champion came to an end after he hired a male escort to accompany him on a trip to Europe. He denied any sexual contact or awareness at the time that the escort offered sexual favors.
LOL. I remember this guy. “What? I didn’t know that RentBoy.com was a gay hooker site!” Really effective therapy you got there, guys.
Kendall said the therapy he underwent “led me to periods of homelessness, to drug abuse, to spending a decade of my life wanting to kill myself. It led to so much pain and struggle. And I want them to know that what they do hurts people. It hurts children. It has no basis in fact. And they need to stop.
They don’t care about you, pal. All that matters is upholding a collection of arbitrary and anachronistic social mores because the Ruler of the Whole Universe wants them to. ‘Cause he cares about that kind of shit, for some reason. They don’t give a fuck about how much harm it does to others so long as no one disturbs their precious status quo.
As for the bill, I don’t know how much of an effect it will have if it doesn’t also ban the practice of sending children across state lines for bogus anti-gay treatment. If it just bans administering the treatment in the state, then parents will just send their kids to whacko places like Arizona, and nothing will change. But at least this is a step in the right direction.