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Why I oppose the ‘Don’t Say Ex-Gay’ bill

A Commentary

Timothy Kincaid

April 26th, 2012

As has been discussed on other threads, the California State Legislature is proposing a bill that will prohibit licensed mental health professionals from offering therapy to minors with the goal of diminishing same-sex attraction or encouraging opposite-sex attraction. Many in our community, including other Box Turtle Bulletin authors, see this as at least a partially positive action. I see it a horrific.

There are many reasons, some philosophical – some pragmatic, why I oppose this bill. Here are a few:

It isn’t needed

No mental health organization has called for this action. But that is not because of ignorance about the issue or a lack of willingness to address it.

In August 2009 the American Psychological Association Task Force Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Response to Sexual Orientation issued it’s report. The conclusion was

The American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation conducted a systematic review of the peer-reviewed journal literature on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) and concluded that efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm, contrary to the claims of SOCE practitioners and advocates. Even though the research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality, regardless of sexual orientation identity, the task force concluded that the population that undergoes SOCE tends to have strongly conservative religious views that lead them to seek to change their sexual orientation. Thus, the appropriate application of affirmative therapeutic interventions for those who seek SOCE involves therapist acceptance, support, and understanding of clients and the facilitation of clients’ active coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, without imposing a specific sexual orientation identity outcome.

However, the findings seem to stop short of banning change therapy. And this is an important distinction.

The Task Force also found

The conflict between psychology and traditional faiths may have its roots in different philosophical viewpoints. Some religions give priority to telic congruence (i.e., living consistently within one’s valuative goals) (W. Hathaway, personal communication, June 30, 2008; cf. Richards & Bergin, 2005). Some authors propose that for adherents of these religions, religious perspectives and values should be integrated into the goals of psychotherapy (Richards & Bergin, 2005; Throckmorton & Yarhouse, 2006). Affirmative and multicultural models of LGB psychology give priority to organismic congruence (i.e., living with a sense of wholeness in one’s experiential self (W. Hathaway, personal communication, June 30, 2008; cf. Gonsiorek, 2004; Malyon, 1982). This perspective gives priority to the unfolding of developmental processes, including self-awareness and personal identity.

This difference in worldviews can impact psychotherapy. For instance, individuals who have strong religious beliefs can experience tensions and conflicts between their ideal self and beliefs and their sexual and affectional needs and desires (Beckstead & Morrow, 2004; D. F. Morrow, 2003). The different worldviews would approach psychotherapy for these individuals from dissimilar perspectives: The telic strategy would prioritize values (Rosik, 2003; Yarhouse & Burkett, 2002), whereas the organismic approach would give priority to the development of self-awareness and identity (Beckstead & Israel, 2007; Gonsiorek, 2004; Haldeman, 2004). It is important to note that the organismic worldview can be congruent with and respectful of religion (Beckstead & Israel, 2007; Glassgold, 2008; Gonsiorek, 2004; Haldeman, 2004; Mark, 2008), and the telic worldview can be aware of sexual stigma and respectful of sexual orientation (Throckmorton & Yarhouse, 2006; Tan, 2008; Yarhouse, 2008). Understanding this philosophical difference may improve the dialogue between these two perspectives represented in the literature, as it refocuses the debate not on one group’s perceived rejection of homosexuals or the other group’s perceived minimization of religious viewpoints but on philosophical differences that extend beyond this particular subject matter. However, some of the differences between these philosophical assumptions may be difficult to bridge.

In a nutshell, that says that different people with different worldviews benefit from different types of therapy. Not exactly a shocking revelation.

The APA is taking a measured and cautious approach designed to address the needs of patients. They are looking to efficacy, but not only to results. They are also considering the side effects – positive and negative – of such therapy. And they are seeking ways to improve communication between differing people so as to maximize mental health consequences.

Which, of course, is of no concern to the California State Legislature. Their agenda is political, not therapeutic.

This removes all therapy for some individuals

Our community tends to focus on the potential harm of change therapy. And there is potential harm. But we are reluctant to admit that some people benefit from this therapy.

No, they don’t change their orientation. But we have heard many people share with us that through their therapy with a change therapist they were able to deal with other issues: finding their own worth, identifying their values, determining what matters, and overcoming messages of condemnation and rejection.

Change therapy has much to be criticized about. But change therapists do attempt to dispel some of the erroneous messages that their patients have heard, including “God hates you” and “you are an abomination” and “you choose to be this way”.

Some may argue that the bad outweighs the good. And in some instances that may be true. But the truth that many forget is that this is the only option for some gay Christian youth. They are not going to have access to an affirmative counselor. They are not going to want access to an affirmative counselor.

And any suggestion on our part that they seek an affirmative therapist is flippant, at best.

This is an extension of a micromanagement ‘government knows best’ approach

Were this coming from a psychiatrist turned state senator, I might see it as a matter of advancing and protecting the interests of the profession. But Senator Ted Lieu is not known for his desire to administer solutions to problems. Rather, it might be best to describe Senator Lieu as a man who is quite convinced that he knows what is best for you and is more than ready to force you to do it. He shares more than a little instinct with Dr. James Dobson – just from the opposite side.

Lieu lists his 2011 Legislative Accomplishments. They consist of a bill to establish committees to decide what job Californians should have, a bill “requiring all pets to be microchipped with the owner’s contact information”, a bill “prohibiting children under the age of 18 from using ultra violet tanning beds”, a bill designed to require out of state employers whose work force is predominantly out of state to provide domestic partner benefits to any employee within the state, a bill which eliminates the right of employers to collect costs or expenses resulting from an illegal strike, a bill which sought to “impose time and place restriction for funeral protests”, and a bill which “prohibits the practice of selling puppies and kittens in parking lots and sidewalks”.

Whether one thinks that these are all good things or all bad things, it’s pretty clear that Lieu has a consistent approach to individual rights: restrict them.

The motivations behind it are less than honorable

In the State of California, there are no more bills that can be passed to put gay people on an equal standing. They have passed them all. The only remaining hurdle is marriage and that is out of the hands of the legislature.

But certain elected officials, and certain gay advocacy groups desperately need for there to be conflict. They regularly send “call your assemblyman, send us money” emails so as to make sure that some unnecessary bill isn’t Defeated by the Right Wing which Wants to Take Away Your Freedom, before it passes overwhelmingly along a party line vote.

This is political cynicism. It is barely even masquerading as anything else. And we are fools if we let ourselves be so easily manipulated.

I was ambivalent about Harvey Milk Day. There’s no need for such a day. There’s no purpose for such a day. But it didn’t harm anyone and wasn’t an expensive waste so I really didn’t much care.

I was troubled about legislation which would require teaching about the contributions to early California history by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people (which would involve some pretty creative revisionist storytelling) while banning anything whatsoever that might “negatively reflect” on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. This was a purely undisguised propaganda bill related in spirit to St. Petersburg’s bill to ban “homosexual propaganda”. Both are attempts to push a point of view while silencing any differing views. You may recall that I didn’t rejoice over that piece of Big Brother heavy-handedness.

This is the next logical step.

Having banned divergent views in the classroom, the legislature now is entering the private sphere to dictate what can and cannot be said.

Before we get all giddy that our views are winning and their views are banned, let’s ask ourselves what it is that we believe.

I hear so very much about “the h8ters”. But is it hate that we oppose, or just the target? If it is hate, then why do those who complain about them the most do so in terms or bald unvarnished hatred?

I hear that it is awful that Tennessee legislators want to ban support for gay kids in school. Is it the refusal to support that is bad, or is it only the target? Because if it is the refusal to support, why are we not upset about conservative kids who will not no longer be allowed to seek therapy that they find supportive?

Before we go down the “I’m right, so what I do is right” road, let’s recall that history and politics are a pendulum. It is swinging in our direction at the moment. But let our behavior and our responses be such that when it reverses, the structures and principles we set in place will ensure that we are not harmed.

Because the laws we pass today to punish, inhibit, and deny rights to those whom we feel are wrong or bad or inferior will give birth to the laws that will be used against us in the future.

Comments

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Priya Lynn
April 26th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy said “Because the laws we pass today to punish, inhibit, and deny rights to those whom we feel are wrong or bad or inferior will give birth to the laws that will be used against us in the future.”.

I don’t have time to go through all your post but this stuck out. First the slippery sloap argument is a logical fallacy as you should know. Second, this has nothing to do with punishing anyone or denying them rights. No one has a right to sell ineffective and potentially harmful products and it is no punishment to deny someone the ability to counsel others to suppress their sexuality. If there were not a religious motivation for people to want themselves or others to take this bogus therapy no one would be arguing against the banning of just one more bit of snake oil. When there is no secular reason to allow the sale of a snake oil a religious reason to want to do so doesn’t justify permitting such a sale.

Priya Lynn
April 26th, 2012 | LINK

Okay, one more:

Timothy said “Our community tends to focus on the potential harm of change therapy. And there is potential harm. But we are reluctant to admit that some people benefit from this therapy.

No, they don’t change their orientation. But we have heard many people share with us that through their therapy with a change therapist they were able to deal with other issues: finding their own worth, identifying their values, determining what matters, and overcoming messages of condemnation and rejection.”.

No one is banning that type of therapy, if people want that type of therapy from a licensed psychologist they can still get it so there is no need to allow ineffective and potentially harmful sexual orientation change efforts promoted by licensed therapists.

Christine
April 26th, 2012 | LINK

Right on Priya Lynn. You’ve hit the nail on the head. Religion is being used as an excuse/justification to do something that would not be permitted under any other guise. Just because you are religious does not mean you should have more rights to sell snake oil than those of us who are not.

All of the “religious conscience” bills to justify discrimination against us in public sphere are the same strategy.

It should not be allowed. The US is not a theocracy.

Andrew
April 26th, 2012 | LINK

Tim, I appreciate you taking the time to lay out your case. I think we continue to have some serious problems.

The first is that any traditional, accepted therapy can and does accommodate integrating the wholeness of the patient first and foremost — to focus on reducing the distress a person may be experiencing as a result of their expectations, values, and the reality of their sexual orientation. That’s the APA recommendation. That’s what my therapist did.

That’s not reparative therapy. Reparative therapy IS change therapy, and it’s a fraud and a sham. That’s not what you’re talking about here, and based on my reading, that’s not what this law intends to do. There’s a massive gulf between incorporating all aspects of a patient’s culture and life to achieve wholeness and what these people do. Confusing them is inappropriate and misleading. I’m going to assume it’s unintentional.

The second is that the vanguard of the antigay movement continues to distract the broader public with the myth that homosexuality is a choice, and that it can be cured. This not only patholigizes gays who feel shame solely are a result of being outsiders, but it muddies the waters with the public. Much the same way that the petroleum industry has invested billions of dollars spreading the myth that climate change is still very much an open question, and that reasonable scientists are unable to achieve consensus, the AntiGay industry has used “ex-gay” to perpetuate the myth that homosexuality is about behavior, not identity, and that it’s a deliberate choice (which is dogwhistle for “sin”), not an intrinsic part of a person.

The unsuspecting public is then far more susceptible to the highly successful antigay campaigns (e.g. Prop 8) that use false and misleading information built on the foundations laid by the ex-gay movement and their lies. These campaigns target the entire community, not merely those individuals seeking wholeness.

This is not accidental – in fact, that’s the entire objective.

Otherwise, why set up faux-mirror organizations (e.g. PFOX) to “counter” the arguments made in support of the gay community? Why is the ex-gay community so focused on harming otherwise uninvolved gays instead of becoming whole? Why are they so eager to “recruit”. I can’t think of another branch of “psychology” that has had the efforts to publicize their message and to recruit that I normally associate with cults, can you? The standard 12-step model, AA, specifically emphasizes anonymity. Something else is clearly at work here…

Because the movement isn’t about achieving wholeness for individuals. It’s about invalidating the rest of us, forcing us back into the closet, and – most importantly – winning a culture war.

Let’s be 100% clear: If they had their way, reparative therapy would not be optional. In the meantime, the best they can do is castigate those of us who do not choose “reparation” or “change” as either lazy or deliberately evil.

Lastly, the assertion that government has no place in regulating harmful practices is absurd and patronizing.

You can’t market rat poison as Vitamin C. You can’t allow your mailman to perform heart surgery. You wouldn’t allow a celibate priest lacking any formal psychological training to conduct intensive sexual re-orientation on young children using techniques debunked by every professional in the industry. Oh, apparently you would. Bring on the hair shirts!

What you describe above is integrative mainstream therapy, and that’s just not what’s proscribed in this bill. And confusing the two puts you squarely in the same league as the PFOX and Petroleum crowd. Misleading at best.

Andrew
April 26th, 2012 | LINK

For the record, I do know people who are gay, who accept their orientation, and who have chosen to live alternative lifestyles (e.g. married to a person of the opposite sex who is fully informed) while acknowledging that they have made a choice between their orientation and other important parts of their life (church community, family, life expectations, etc.). They are making this choice without judgement – they have accepted who they are from an orientation perspective, and are making choices based on their priorities.

No tennis rackets and screaming “Mom! Mom! Mom! Why did you do this to me!”, no cuddling in their therapist’s lap, no providing Mom and Dad with lengthy lists of masturbatory fantasies and mea culpa’s describing their worthlessness. No lockdowns, no youth camps, no press conferences, no recruiting others to “leave a shameful lifestyle of sin” while pushing to punish those who don’t.

Just a personal, honest life with eyes open and an accepting spirit, lived on their own terms, without projecting onto other people.

They didn’t need reparative therapy. And it shouldn’t be confused with reparative therapy – it’s achievable through APA-standard therapy techniques without demonization or shame.

In short, it may not be my choice, but it’s healthy, and I’m happy for them.

StraightGrandmother
April 26th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, I don’t have time right now to look it up but I will do so tomorrow.

I am quite sure I remember reading the full report that in the American Psychological Association report of Therapeutic Response to Sexual Orientation Change Efforts that it said in the report that this should not be tried on children and adolescents.

Am I remembering right?

StraightGrandmother
April 26th, 2012 | LINK

From the American Psychological Association report (I did not even copy the sections in residential centers for getting your teenager straight as most people already know that is not a good idea but there is that also but I did not copy and paste)
………………….
Here starting from the bottom of page 79

Finally, we were asked to report on the appropriate application of affirmative therapeutic interventions for children and adolescents who present a desire to
change their sexual orientation or their behavioral expression of their sexual orientation, or both, or whose
guardian expresses a desire for the minor to change.

We recommend that LMHP provide multiculturally competent and
client-centered therapies to children,
adolescents, and their families rather than SOCE.
……………………………
starting on the bottom of page 85

We reviewed the limited research on child and adolescent issues and drew the following conclusions:
There is no research demonstrating that providing SOCE to children or adolescents has an impact on
adult sexual orientation. The few studies of children with gender identity disorder found no evidence that
psychotherapy provided to those children had an impact on adult sexual orientation We are concerned that such
interventions may increase the self-stigma, minority stress, and ultimately the distress of children and
adolescents. We have serious concerns that the coercive or involuntary treatment of children or adolescents has
the potential to be harmful and may potentially violate current clinical and practice guidelines, standards for
ethical practice, and human rights.

Gerald
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

If your understanding of SB 1172 is anything like your out-and-out misunderstanding of the so-called “gay history” legislation, then I don’t really know why anyone would give you an ounce of credibility.

For the record, the “gay history” law says nothing about requiring any specific topic or event be taught during any specific time period (let alone “early” California history) at any particular grade level. Feel free to quote any part of the actual language of the law that does.

Furthermore, the “gay history” law does not, as you claim, ban “anything whatsoever that might ‘negatively reflect’ on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.” With this claim, you do just what the anti-gay have done: you left out a key word — “because.” The law actually bans the teaching of anything that might reflect badly simply BECAUSE of a person’s sexual orientation (as well as other characteristics like race, gender, etc.). I can say to the students in my senior high school government class that Barney Frank is a terrible congressman because of the Dodd-Frank bill. That certainly reflects badly on him, and he’s gay. What I can’t say is that Barney Frank is a terrible congressman simply because he is gay. Big difference. And that’s all that part of the bill means. Feel free to quote that full portion of the bill’s actual language that places a ban “on anything whatsoever” that might negatively reflect on gay people.

And contrary to your claim, the ex-gay therapy bill would not “remove all therapy for some individuals.” As others have already pointed out, the bill would only apply to licensed mental health professionals. There are plenty of unlicensed “therapists” out there — some of whom operate specifically under the auspices of religious organizations — who operate completely legally without such a designation. The proposed law does nothing to stop them.

cd
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

If people don’t like this law, the burden of going out of state it imposes is not very large. It seems most people participate these things in states other than where their family resides, often those with relatively lax consumer protections and minimal other regulation.

The upside is that a major state declares this stuff to be quackery.

That being said, I suspect it will only be two or three decades until this law, if enacted, will be archaic. So it might be wise to require reauthorization of it every 25 years or so.

iDavid
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy,

I understand your point of view, I really do. The most avid American wants equal rights across the board. But I’d like to say that this sort of religious teaching on homosexuality is nothing short of sorcery, in which suicide depression homelessness and the breakup of families are attached.
If you knew of a witches coven in the woods that was teaching negative spells to it’s deciples to cast on people in the close by villages, causing them harm, would you also put that in the same All American category of being ok because it’s a “religious belief?” Or if you had a 16 year old gay son who hated being gay and demanded you let him go to church and have exorcists use reparative demon therapy on him, would you allow it?
Where do you draw the line in protecting people from harm that includes atrocities of which are happening all the time?
Christianity has strong cultish oriented pathological aspects to it. Do we just stand by and watch people harm each other, because “it’s the American thing to do?”
Instead of harmonizing with someone who wants to change their sexual orientation, should not we as responsible Americans be asking, “why?” And if it’s a spell that has been cast, help the person out of it? That would seem more like “the Christian” thing to do, though that term is as deadly as it is loving.
It seems this legislation, though not a smoking gun by any means as you have pointed out, still sends a VERY strong positive message across our country that I think needs to be heard i.e. “don’t try and change gay people, they are born gay and to even think of trying to “repair” it is harmful.”
Just that message could save a life.

StraightGrandmother
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, let’s just remove those warning labels from cigarette packs then. Let’s roll back the laws that prevent cigarette companies from advertising on television. Cigarettes are still sold, but the consumer is warned, and cigarettes are not sold to children under the age of 18.

liquid
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

cross-posting to the answer i gave to yesterday’s question, as i fell it is also pertinent to this discussion: http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2012/04/25/43798#comment-122222

Norm!
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

While I support this bill’s intention of protecting people from bad therapy, I do have concerns about legislating specific therapies. If CA passes this law, I can imagine a Red state passing a law protecting gay-change therapy turning therapy into a political issue.

I’m also concerned about the informed consent provision. While it’s great to warn clients, wouldn’t such a provision absolve therapists from any responsibility?

Ultimately, this law will probably not have much impact. Most ex-gay ‘counselors’ are not professionally licenses and are religiously-exempt from government regulation. More importantly, most ex-gay clients will likely ignore heavy-handed warnings from the secular government.

I signed some type of disclaimer with the ex-gay ministry I received counseling from. As a conservative Christian who believed he was living in a ‘fallen world’, I certainly would not have been dissuaded by a warning from the god-less gummit.

“What about the children?!?” :)

The government does have the responsibility of protecting minors from harmful therapy. This bill is a good idea if it was limited to minors.

Reed
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy:

Nice to see you back in full-cry contrarian mode. It restored order to my tiny little corner of the universe.

And although I’m more than a month early, here’s wishing you a happy Harvey Milk Day.

Priya Lynn
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy said “It isn’t needed. No mental health organization has called for this action. But that is not because of ignorance about the issue or a lack of willingness to address it.”.
Oh, it most certainly is because of a lack of willingness to address it. The mental health organizations have been negligent in their duty to help protect the public good and should have all called for a ban of this “therapy” the moment it appeared. Just because they’ve failed to address it doesn’t mean there is no need and its fortunate that at least some people have stepped forward to do the right thing. This legislation doesn’t do anything inconsistent with the APA or other organizations position on “exgay” “therapy”. They all agree that its ineffective and potentially harmful and all this bill does is ensure that clients are made aware of this before agreeing to “treatment”. As Jim has pointed out even for youth this doesn’t prevent their parents from forcing them into anti-gay “therapy” provided by unlicensed and religious groups, it just prevents reputable therapists from doing something disreputable.

Timothy said “Some may argue that the bad outweighs the good. And in some instances that may be true. But the truth that many forget is that this is the only option for some gay Christian youth. They are not going to have access to an affirmative counselor. They are not going to want access to an affirmative counselor.”.

There is no valid debate that the bad doesn’t outweighs the good. Its telling that you talk about the indirect “good” that comes from this bogus therapy and make no mention of the huge number of people that have been harmed, people like Peterson Toscano, Zack Stark, the many like them and the many who’ve committed suicide because they couldn’t successfully change their orientation and this “therapy” reinforced their fears and self-loathing. You keep talking about youth wanting this “therapy” but any unbiased observer can see that in the vast majority of cases youth are forced into this by their parents. Assuming that your alleged benefits do exist we have to ask ourselves does the presence or absence of this law help the most people and its undeniable that the presence of this law helps the most people. That a minority of youth allegedly want this therapy does not justify allowing it before they have the knowledge and experience to make an informed judgement on whether or not they should procede. We don’t allow youth to purchase alcohol although for some of them alcohol is the only option, they are not going to want to abstain, and there are people willing to sell it to them.

Timothy said “This is an extension of a micromanagement ‘government knows best’ approach…Lieu lists his 2011 Legislative Accomplishments. They consist of a bill to… a bill [to]…a bill to..Whether one thinks that these are all good things or all bad things, it’s pretty clear that Lieu has a consistent approach to individual rights: restrict them.”.

That argument is an adhominem and invalid. Whether you dislike his previous bills has no bearing on whether or not this is a good one. It is also a logical fallacy to imply that its never a good idea to restrict individual rights. I think all of us would agree that it’s a good idea to restrict a child’s right to bring a gun to school or to purchase alcohol, or an adults right to sell a toxic and ineffective cancer “cure”.. It is no different with this bill, its a damn good idea to restrict the “right” to ineffective and potentially harmful treatments that are only offered to help create the idea that gays can and should change and therefore don’t need equal rights.

Timothy said “In the State of California, there are no more bills that can be passed to put gay people on an equal standing. They have passed them all.”.

False and irrelevant even if it was true. Blacks and other minorities aren’t subject to organized and sanctioned coercion to change their race which will harm many and is designed to justify denying them equal rights – gays shouldn’t be either. This bill doesn’t go far enough, it should ban this “therapy” regardless of who is offering it. Just as we don’t allow either licensed doctors or amateurs to provide therapies proven ineffective and harmful there is no secular justification for allowing “exgay” “therapy” and just because the motivation is religious doesn’t change that – no special rights for religionists.

Timothy said “I hear so very much about “the h8ters”. But is it hate that we oppose, or just the target? If it is hate, then why do those who complain about them the most do so in terms or bald unvarnished hatred?”.

Once again you are making statments even you know are not credible. If the h8ters weren’t trying to harm and suppress gay people you know full well few would be opposing them simply because they are religious. The vast majority of gays are christians, it isn’t credible to suggest they oppose the haters for anything other than their anti-gay stance. As to why they are complained about in terms of hatred that’s because a person’s actions are not seperable from who they are as a person. People’s actions spring from who they are as people, one cannot hate a person’s actions and not to a degree hate the person as well, particularly when as is the case with many anti-gays, their anti-gay actions are such a core part of who they are. Take away the anti-gay actions and you’ll take away the necessarily linked hate of the person.

Priya Lynn
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

Andrew, very impressive comment, well thought out and spot on.

Straightgrandmother. Thankyou for filling out more of what the APA report says. I wish I had read your comment before I made mine.

Gerald, thankyou for your thorough explanation on the gay history bill. You helped me to understand it much better.

justme
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

The cluelessness of this post is as breathtaking as it is not in the least surprising, at least what I skimmed of it.

BTB publishes way too many of these irresponsible posts. It is is to this site’s detriment.

Jim Burroway, you do excellent work — why do you let it be tarnished with the recurrence of such flat-out sophomoric drivel?

Timothy Kincaid
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

Gerald: you can read my thought about the bill requiring that “Instruction in social sciences shall include the early history of California and a study of the role and contributions of … lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, … to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America, with particular emphasis on portraying the role of these groups in contemporary society” here.

Reed: thank you. I plan on celebrating Harvey Milk Day in exactly the same manner as every other Californian, gay or straight: by not even noting its existence and giving it no consideration whatsoever.

I suspect it will get a bit less attention than Cesar Chavez Day. Ya know, Cesar Chavez Day. What? You didn’t celebrate? It was just last month. Surely you did something? No?

Oh well, Cinco de Mayo is coming up. Now that, we Californians all celebrate!

justme: please let us know where it is that you blog so that we may read your astute thoughts. I am certain that they will be full of clues and not at all breathtaking.

andrewdb
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy –

Bravo and thank you.

I share your concern about a strong, muscular government “doing the right thing.” Sometimes the “wrong” side wins an election and that strong government is directed by folks with a very different approach than mine. As I kept telling my conservative friends – don’t give Goerge Bush authority you don’t want President Hillary Clinton (well, it turned out to be President Obama) to have. It works the opposite direction too.

Freedom and liberty come from having the minimum government necessary.

Your FDA example from the earlier string is spot on. I would much rather have them rule on stuff that is “unsafe” than require potentially life saving drugs to be “effective.”

Timothy Kincaid
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

andrewdb – thanks.

iDavid – I support the freedom of people to practice Wicca. I’m not pro-Christianity or pro-conventional-religion. I’m pro-freedom.

StraightGrandmother
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

I will be delighted if this bill passes because it will crimp that [insert vulgarity here] Nicolosi of poaching young tender youth. We know, because of people who have survived Nicolosi, that he “treats” youth.

Not more than 2 weeks ago he gave a radio interview to Catholic Radio and said he has 138 clients for 7 “therapists” That ain’t much, if every client has a session every week those “therapists” are only working 20 hours a week. If the clients have a session every 2 weeks then that is even fewer hours than 20 per week. We know some of these 138 are youth, so this bill will severely harm his business and I am ALL FOR THAT!

StraightGrandmother
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

Priya Lynn- YOU are on a roll and I agree with you 1,000%

Priya Lynn
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

Thanks StraightGrandmother : )

Timothy Kincaid
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

I will be delighted if this bill passes because it will crimp that [insert vulgarity here] Nicolosi …

This is exactly what this bill is about.

Michael Bussee
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

I support this proposed legislation. I think consumers have every right to know that a particular “treatment” has no scientific basis and may cause harm. That doesn’t prevent them from trying it anyway — it just gives them information to make better choices.

Chris McCoy
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy,

Do you belive that the State of California has a Constitutional right to license and regulate the practice of medicine within its borders?

Gerald
April 27th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy: Apparently both you and Thomas Sowell have reading comprehension problems. The very parts of the “gay history” law you quote in that previous article contradict Sowell’s and your apparent claim that the teaching of early California history has to include “gay history”. It does no such thing. Indeed, the specific clause in the very sentence that includes LGBT refers to including it as part of a study of contemporary issues, not early California history. That would place it more correctly in 11th or 12th grade, not 4th grade.

As to the “might negatively reflect” clause, you and Sowell apparently don’t comprehend the meaning of the phrases “on the basis of” or “because of”. These phrases have specific legal meanings that have already been adjudicated, and simply mean that a teacher or book cannot negatively reflect on someone or some group simply “on the basis of” or “because of” their race, or gender, or sexual orientation, etc. I’m sorry that this simple and straightforward concept is so difficult for you to grasp, but you’ve really got to stop relying on it as evidence for your other claims if you can’t properly use it to support others.

Andrewb
April 28th, 2012 | LINK

Tim, obviously I disagree vigorously with you.

But I’m also joining Reed in celebrating your contrarian spirit.

Never stop challenging everyone here to at least stop and explain their opinions and review their rationalizations.

I may disagree with someone I respect, but I can’t respect someone who isn’t at least being reflective. Parrots suck.

Here’s to being no one’s parrot.

Cheers!

Eastside Jim
April 28th, 2012 | LINK

Most states have laws preventing minors from making decisions that are potentially harmful. Most people would say that the gov’t is doing the right thing preventing minors from buying tobacco and alcohol among other things.

I don’t see any difference with those laws and this law for minors.

If you select this therapy, and are of age, then it should be researched/studied but not prohibited.

iDavid
April 28th, 2012 | LINK

Ah, the “freedom” to harm. That sounds like the luxury Christians have by not being sued for mental/emotional sexually abusive atrocities (i.e. Exodus) perpetrated on our youth. Thank god at least govt has the balls to step in at least partially.
I of course respect your right of insight Timothy, but I would certainly be happy w both of us at the poles w coffee in hand waiting to see who wins. Somehow I think you would be buying the coffee. But then, I’m just another opinion. LoL

Rachel
April 29th, 2012 | LINK

Apologies in advance for the flippant comment, but I think the real shocker about this story is that a legislature is engaging in evidence-based law-making. WTF IS GOING ON?

chiMaxx
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

Timothy:

The laws in every state heavily restrict what can be done to or with a minor. In California, it is illegal to perform a body piercing on a minor (excepting ears) except in the presence of or with the *notarized* permission of a parent, and it is illegal to tattoo a person under 18 even with a parent’s permission (Cal. Penal Code §653). How is this law substantially different from the tattooing law? There is evidence that doing something to minors is harmful to them and so the state prohibits it for minors but allows adults to choose as they will.

Rob Tisinai
May 2nd, 2012 | LINK

justme: Perhaps the reason Jim allows Timothy to publish what he likes is that Timothy has a strong history of insightful and well-analyzed posts that involve careful thought, extensive research, and a great investment of well-spent time, and Jim knows that such work would disappear if he abandoned the principle of free inquiry in favor of enforcing some sort of party line.

Priya Lynn
May 2nd, 2012 | LINK

Straightgrandmother said “I will be delighted if this bill passes because it will crimp that [insert vulgarity here] Nicolosi of poaching young tender youth.”.

Timothy said “I will be delighted if this bill passes because it will crimp that [insert vulgarity here] Nicolosi…

This is exactly what this bill is about.”

No, Timothy, that is not exactly what this bill is about. You dishonestly truncated Straightgrandmother’s comment to create the false impression that for her it was about attacking Nicolosi rather than what she really said which was that it was about keeping Nicolosi from harming youth.

Jim Burroway
May 3rd, 2012 | LINK

I would also add that another reason to Rob’s comment about why I allow Timothy to publish what he likes. In addition to what Rob said, it is also because when the day comes that this blog becomes an echo chamber of just my thoughts and opinions is the day it become too boring for me to continue keeping it going.

If people never want to be confronted with a thought that they don’t agree with, then this blog is not for them. Nor is it for me.

Donny D.
May 5th, 2012 | LINK

On May 1, Timothy posted this it:
http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2012/05/01/43984
announcing that he’s taking a break due to the “very personal in nature and very hurtful” criticism aimed at him lately.

Comments are off in that post, but Timothy, I can only hope that you treat yourself well and come back if and when you’re ready, and not before.

I’m tired of the intolerance in our community, including the political intolerance.

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