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NARTH and Liberty Counsel Pledge To Fight California Ex-Gay Therapy Ban In Court

Jim Burroway

July 5th, 2012

With the California Assembly poised to consider S.B. 1172, which would bar licensed therapists in California from offering therapies identified as Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) to minors, the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and Liberty Counsel pledged in an email blast to NARTH supporters to seek to have the law blocked in court if it becomes law:

NARTH to officially work with Liberty Council to pursue an injunction and all other necessary court action against SB 1172
While we are doing everything possible to defeat SB 1172 in the California Assembly NARTH is also working with Liberty Council to stop this destructive legislation if it is passed and signed into law by the Governor. As we have said from the beginning, NARTH will continue to oppose these efforts to limit client rights by taking whatever action is legally open to us as an organization. 

The proposed legislation has been scaled back since it was first introduced in the Senate in April. The provisions requiring that adult clients seeking SOCE sign a mandated informed consent statement has been dropped, along with provisions allowing SOCE clients to sue their therapists if they feel they were harmed by such therapies. The Senate approved S.B. 1172 on a 23-13 vote in May. Because the proposed law would only apply to licensed therapists, religious ex-gay ministries are exempt. In  a statement on SOCE issued in June, Exodus International declined to oppose the bill.

Comments

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Ben In Oakland
July 5th, 2012 | LINK

Thisd could be a really good thing, like the Prop. 8 trials. They’re going to have to defend themselves in court.

TomTallis
July 5th, 2012 | LINK

Liberty Counsel is about as inept as it gets, so this should be entertaining.

Priya Lynn
July 5th, 2012 | LINK

I’m really disappointed that they watered down the bill.

Richard Rush
July 5th, 2012 | LINK

Wouldn’t this be a lot like a bunch of child molesters petitioning the courts to overturn the ban on adult sex with minors? Both SOCE on minors and adult sex with minors inflict tremendous harm, and yet one is a felony crime, and the other is not only still legal, but is promoted by many as necessary for maintaining high moral standards.

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

There does not appear to be sufficient evidence to claim that SOCE causes harm in patients. There are conflicting reports. Let’s not play their game and ignore the science to advance our cause.

I continue to believe that this is a bad bill, not only in that it denies access to any therapy that many youth will ever even consider, but because it is based on the ABSURD notion that the fools in the California legislature (who seem to lack the mathematic skills necessary to craft a non-fictional budget) somehow know more than the mental health professionals.

But I agree that the circus which Liberty would bring to the courts would be immensely amusing.

Priya Lynn
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, the people providing SOCE aren’t mental health professionals. No one concerned with their clients’ mental health would be involved in this scam. The Shidloe and Schroeder study showed harm is a very common outcome of this mind-f**k and all major mental health organizations are in agreement that SOCE can be harmful.

The vast majority of youth who receive this “therapy” don’t want it and are forced into it by their parents. Your argument that they then get counseling for other issues which helps them doesn’t hold any water as such other counseling is readily available elsewhere and this bill doesn’t prevent them from receiving it. The American Psychiatric Association says those gays who positively accept their orientation are happier and better adjusted than those who do not. Please stop dividing your loyalties and giving support to that which is never helpful and has great potential for harm.

Priya Lynn
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

I forgot to add that while there is research showing SOCE efforts are often harmful, there is NO research backing up Timothy’s claim that collateral good comes out of this psychological abuse. Don’t suggest we are ignoring the research about harm and then ask us to believe your unsupported assertion that there is collateral good associated with this. Your anecdotes are not research.

Timothy (TRiG)
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

I do agree with Timothy Kincaid, though, that it’s somewhat unsettling for the legislature to rule directly on what therapies are and are not allowed. I think it would be preferable for them to clamp down on unlicensed therapists altogether. Not entirely sure how practical that would be, or what unintended consequences it might have.

TRiG.

Regan DuCasse
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

I’ve brought up the Clark doll study before. It was a rare kind of research that determined the harms of systemic bigotry and discrimination on young black children.

I’ve mentioned that no one seems to have done similar research on young gay people. How religious beliefs and standards have created conflict in families between hetero parents and their gay children.
And when it comes to socio/political influence on gay lives, to what extent has NARTH and LC’s form of information is being used to influence negative civil policy.

The Clark study was instrumental in overturning Brown vs. the Board of Ed.
A precedent and proof of how segregating children in their formative years with negative messaging about a feature of their lives over which they have no control, does do serious harm to their understanding and self image about themselves.

NARTH prefers to argue that gay people DO have control over their sexual orientation, and have alternatives to being a gay person.
None of which can protect a person from pathologies or paraphilias because none of these are exclusive based on orientation.
In other words, there IS no moral standard that can be applied to gay people exclusively because this moral standard isn’t applied equally.

NARTH’s approach is separate and unequal in other words. In fact, most studies with which LC uses to define gay people, haven’t compared equal case subjects.
NARTH participates in SUPPORT of damaging discriminatory and bigoted policies, therefore their purpose to maintain such therapy is a means of fomenting their own need FOR such therapy.

The psychiatric and psychological establishment can’t help create the pathologies they are supposed to treat.

It would finally be interesting to see how gay young people fare in a more accepting and less bigoted and discriminatory society, the same way the positive outcomes of less racism and sexism has helped people of color and females in our society.
Who also were subject to religious based political and civil discrimination too.

THAT is what I’d go to court with, and eventually, I’d wonder if NARTH and LC would beg off testimony and claim ‘death threats from militant homosexuals’ once they realized they had no case and no evidence that would stand up in a court of law.

Jarred
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

(who seem to lack the mathematic skills necessary to craft a non-fictional budget)

And what does California’s lawmakers’ ability (or lack thereof) to generate a working budget have to do with this legislation. That parenthetical strikes me as an unnecessary and irrelevant dig.

Charles
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Priya and Timothy, I am a bit confused. Does this bill put any restrictions on gay teenagers getting needed actual mental health treatment in order to cope with mental health problems that might result from them being homosexual? It is not uncommon for gay teenagers to have trouble dealing with their sexual orientation.

Priya Lynn
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Charles said “Priya and Timothy, I am a bit confused. Does this bill put any restrictions on gay teenagers getting needed actual mental health treatment in order to cope with mental health problems that might result from them being homosexual?”.

No. It deals only with efforts to change sexual orientation. If a teenager wants to get counseling to become more comfortable with his or her sexual orientation, or counseling to be celibate because of their religious beliefs they can do so although I think it may require their parents’ consent.

Richard Rush
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Charles said, “It is not uncommon for gay teenagers to have trouble dealing with their sexual orientation.”

The only reason they may have trouble dealing with their sexual orientation is because they are made to feel inferior by the alliance of bigoted parents, churches, and others in society who enable and support the sleazy “therapists” peddling Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE).

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

The Shidloe and Schroeder study was not performed in a way so as to demonstrate that this form of therapy caused harm in any sort of representative way, but rather that some people reported harm. They advertised for people who believed themselves harmed. Much like the Spitzer study, they got what they went in looking for, but that really doesn’t mean that it is indicative of the therapy or even that it happened (though I think it likely that some were harmed).

There is zero evidence that the vast majority of youth who receive this “therapy” don’t want it and are forced into it by their parents. That is just made up.

Priya Lynn’s strawmen about my “claims” are boring. Not unusual, not atypical, but at this point just boring.

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Does this bill put any restrictions on gay teenagers getting needed actual mental health treatment in order to cope with mental health problems that might result from them being homosexual? It is not uncommon for gay teenagers to have trouble dealing with their sexual orientation.

Charles, it limits what that therapy can consist of and what can be said by therapists. It is opposed by the California Psychological Psychiatric Association as going to far. I agree. [edited for correction]

It is not at all uncommon for gay teenagers to have trouble dealing with their sexual orientation. In fact, among gay teenagers within conservative Christian communities, I suspect it is virtually without exception.

My concern is this: conservative gay teens are not going to go to gay affirmative therapists. They genuinely do not trust them and want nothing to do with them.

Yes, those who do go to SOCE therapists are going to be fed a pile of nonsense. But they also are going to get counseling on basic self-worth and suicide and have someone who has had education and training to talk to.

They aren’t going to become straight.

But they will have access to therapy. If you ban the only therapist they will go to, then they will get none.

There are two basic arguments in support of this bill:

1. It doesn’t ban pastors from counseling it only bans trained, educated, licensed therapists from counseling.

My response is, “yes, exactly!” They will still get untrained, unlicensed, uneducated counsel. That’s all they will get. I don’t consider that to be a good thing.

2. They’re bad and they cause harm.

My response is, “Then why do the professional agencies oppose this bill?”

And if there is any question as to why I disagree with the prevailing viewpoint, it’s because I’m not looking at this from the perspective of the therapists. Or the law. Or the parents. Or society. Or sleazy churches. Or any of the things we adults are talking about.

I was one of those kids. I’m not guessing and theorizing and battling a culture war. I guess I just get protective of these guys and find it very easy to see myself in their shoes.

And I really hope that those who support this bill will stop and ask themselves if they have considered the people that they claim they are trying to protect. Not decide for them, not insist what they should do, but actually think about what kind of people they are and how this bill will actually effect them. Maybe they have and have come to a different conclusion than me. Sadly I don’t hear a lot of that… I just hear reasons why we should pass this bill – reasons that have nothing to do with gay conservative teens whatsoever.

Charles
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

“The only reason they may have trouble dealing with their sexual orientation is because they are made to feel inferior by the alliance of bigoted parents, churches, and others in society who enable and support the sleazy “therapists” peddling Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE).” – Richard Rush

Richard, I have been there. As I have said more than once on this board, I was born in 1951. I grew up in the dark ages when being homosexual was still deemed a mental illness and I had absolutely no where to turn to for help. Even though times have radically changed, I am sure many gay teenagers are upset and asking themselves, “God, why me?”

Charles
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, if the California Psychological Association is against this bill, that seals it for me. I am against the bill.

Neon Genesis
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

If actual BTB bloggers are going to start defending ex gay therapies as helpful and not harmful at all which is the biggest lie I’ve ever heard as someone who’s nearly committed suicide over it, I’m going to find another blog to get my gay news from.

Priya Lynn
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, including confusion, depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame, social withdrawal, suicidality, substance abuse, stress, disappointment, self-blame, decreased self-esteem and authenticity to others, increased self-hatred, hostility and blame toward parents, feelings of anger and betrayal, loss of friends and potential romantic partners, problems in sexual and emotional intimacy, sexual dysfunction, high-risk sexual behaviors, a feeling of being dehumanized and untrue to self, a loss of faith, and a sense of having wasted time and resources. This is documented by the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation in its 2009 Report of the Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation.

Recognizing that there is no evidence that any type of psychotherapy can change a person’s sexual orientation and that sexual orientation change efforts may cause serious and lasting harms, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the American Academy of Pediatrics uniformly oppose efforts to change the sexual orientation of any individual.

Minors who experience family rejection based on their sexual orientation face especially serious health risks. In one study, lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3.4 times more likely to report having engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection. This is documented by Caitlyn Ryan et al. in their article entitled Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes in White and Latino Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young Adults (2009) 123 Pediatrics 346.

The American Psychological Association , in its 1997 Resolution on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation states: “We oppose portrayals of lesbian, gay and bisexual youth and adults a mentally ill due to their sexual orientation and support the dissemination of accurate information about sexual orientation and mental health and appropriate interventions in order to counteract bias that is based in ignorance of unfounded beliefs about sexual orientation.” The American Psychological Association also convened a Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. The task force conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed journal literature on sexual orientation change efforts. They concluded: “Efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involves some risk of harm, contrary to the claims of sexual orientation change efforts practitioners and advocates.” It should also be noted that the American Psychological Association included an article that investigated and promoted the use of conversion therapies in its June 2002 issue of the Professional Psychology: Research and Practice peer-reviewed journal.

The American Psychiatric Association published a position statement in March of 2000. In it they state: “The American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment such as reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation.”

The American School Counselor Association’s position statement on professional school counselors and LGBT and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth states: “It is not the role of the professional school counselor to attempt to change a student’s sexual orientation/gender identity but instead to provide support to LGBTQ students to promote student achievement and personal well-being. Recognizing that sexual orientation into an illness and does not require treatment, professional school counselors may provide individual student planning or responsive services to LGBTQ student to promote self-acceptance, deal with social acceptance, understand issues related to coming out, including issues that families may face when a student goes through this process and identify appropriate community resources.”.

The American Academy of Pediatrics published an article in the Pediatrics journal in 1993. They state: “Therapy directed at specifically changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation.” e. The American Medical Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs prepared a report in 1994. In it they state: “Aversion therapy (a behavioral or medical intervention which pairs unwanted behavior, in this case, homosexual behavior, with unpleasant sensations or aversive consequences) is no longer recommended for gay men and lesbians. Through psychotherapy, gay men and lesbians can become comfortable with their sexual orientation and understand the societal response to it.”

The National Association of Social Workers prepared a 1997 policy statement in which they state: “Social stigmatization of lesbian, gay and bisexual people is widespread and is a primary motivating factor in leading some people to seek sexual orientation changes. Sexual orientation conversion therapies assume that homosexual orientation is both pathological and freely chosen. No data demonstrates that reparative or conversion therapies are effective, and, in fact, they may be harmful.”

Priya Lynn
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

The California Psychological Association is quite out of touch and out of the mainstream mental health profession when it comes to this bill.

Richard Rush
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Charles said, “Richard, I have been there. As I have said more than once on this board, I was born in 1951. I grew up in the dark ages when being homosexual was still deemed a mental illness and I had absolutely no where to turn to for help.”

Oh, Charles, you’re a youngster. I was born in 1944. Probably due to me being deeply closeted until 1969, I think I was relatively fortunate in that I never felt ashamed (at least not consciously), was never damaged by religion, and never really sought help (although I did have some sessions with a counselor at university which evolved into group sessions, but was never told there was anything wrong with being gay). But during all those years I was scared. Always scared. And that state only receded slowly over the course of many years.

Richard Rush
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

If it’s true that “There does not appear to be sufficient evidence to claim that SOCE causes harm in patients,” then I guess I need to throw everything I believe up in the air. So, now I can say “There does not appear to be sufficient evidence to claim that tornadoes cause harm in housing developments.”

Charles
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Pyria, you make some good points that I need to digest. And, Neon, I do not want anyone to think that I support ex-gay therapy. Timothy, why is the California Psychological Association against this bill? If they do not give a very detailed reasoning why they are against this bill, they should.

Rich Poppen
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid said “[SB 1172] is opposed by the California Psychological Association as going to[o] far.”

This is simply not true, at least at present. The CPA web site lists this among the bills on which the CPA has taken a Neutral position: http://ct3k1.capitoltrack.com/public/publish.aspx?session=11&id=59e31fe2-34cc-45cf-a834-0808a603cc84 .

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Richard,

You are an intelligent man. So I’ll appeal to your sense of logic.

Whether or not we think this causes harm, until such time as there is evidence that SOCE causes harm, should we:

A. Lie, and insist that the science proves that it causes harm and scream down anyone who says otherwise,

B. Note that it may cause harm, but not make claims that are not supported?

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Neon Genesis,

If you read my comments and came away with the impression that “actual BTB bloggers are going to start defending ex gay therapies as helpful and not harmful”, then YES, please get your gay news elsewhere.

Obviously, BTB is too nuanced for your mind to comprehend and you need a newsource that feeds you information in tiny bitefuls without any subtlety or complexity.

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Rich,

Thanks for the correction.

My apologies, it is actually the California Psychiatric Association whose position is “Oppose Unless Amended”

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Charles,

It goes to the recognition that not all therapy is cookie cutter and if there are going to be restrictions they are best made by the organizations that actually do the work, not by politicians. I discuss the idea in more detail here.

But if you really want to get a sense of the debate, look and see if you can find a single comment above – or on any of the threads that we discuss it – that considers the people impacted by this law.

Charles
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Richard, if you were born in 1944, you know what it was like. Everyone’s experiences in life are unique. I grew up in a small southern town that had a large military base. My Father was a physician and my Mother had a college degree. I also had four other siblings. My older brother, he was born in 1948, was sent off to military school because he punched his French teacher in the mouth and called him a queer. My oldest sister had a friend who had an effeminate brother and made the very cutting remark that she could understand why her friend did not like her brother. Simply stated, I never heard a kind word said of someone who was gay until I got off to college in 1969. And, those remarks were few and far between.

Rich Poppen
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Well, that’s confusing, isn’t it? (California *Psychological* Association vs. California *Psychiatric* Association.) You’re correct as to the other CPA; had I realized that, I would have included that in my post above.

Since the position is “oppose *unless amended*”, I’d like to find out what amendments would remove the opposition.

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

PL, thanks for the cut and paste.

Fact remains, the mental health community does not support this bill.

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Rich,

It seems that the “neutral” is either a revision or that the State of California has the same confusion that we have. According to the legislative analist:

ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION : The California Psychological Association (CPA), in their opposition to this bill, states that the professional guilds have researched the efficacy and purpose of SOCE and have passed resolutions based on that data and research. They go on to state, “Each profession has a national organization with a prescribed Code of Ethics, as well as state organizations and licensing boards to which they report and weigh in on professional and ethical conduct. The statutory ban on types of therapy is not the right venue and there is very little precedent in state law to make an outright ban on a specific type of therapy.” The CPA believes that this bill micromanages the work of individual therapists. The CPA is willing to support this bill if it removes the outright ban on SOCE for minors and if the informed consent form is simplified.

Priya Lynn
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy said “But if you really want to get a sense of the debate, look and see if you can find a single comment above – or on any of the threads that we discuss it – that considers the people impacted by this law.”.

After all this time you still on occasion manage to amaze me with some of the biased and out of touch statements you make. Every comment I’ve made is about the people impacted by this law – the gays and lesbians conned into such “therapy”. Unlike you, my primary concern is not with the “therapists” seeking to profit from this abuse. The American Pyschiatric association says those gays who positively accept their orientation are happier and better adjusted than those who do not. I’m going to take their word over yours that this abuse has collateral benefits and I strongly suggest all readers do the same. Under no circumstances does anyone benefit from reinforcing the ideas that their orientation is evil, harmful, and will lead to eternal torture.

Jim Burroway
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

According to that same legislative analysis report, the following orgs support the bill

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, California Division California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies
National Association of Social Workers-California Chapter

And with one of the state APAs switching to neutral, it seems that the state’s mental health community has not coalesced around a consensus.

Priya Lynn
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy said “PL, thanks for the cut and paste.”.

The implication of your comment is that because I didn’t right it it isn’t valid. That’s a logical fallacy known as an ad hominem.

Timothy said “Fact remains, the mental health community does not support this bill”.

No, that is not a fact. The California Psychiatric association does not by any stretch of the imagination represent the entirety of the mental health community and it is dishonest of you to claim it does. The vast majority of all mental and physical health organizations are opposed to efforts to change sexual orientation as they have virtually no chance of being successful and may be harmful. I find it deeply disturbing that someone claiming to be supportive of the gay community defends this kind of abuse justified on the basis of religious myths.

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

I would like to see the state and national agencies draw up specific guidelines that offered greater assurance that bogus Marcus Bachmann nonsense is curtailed and that the statements made by these organizations are either substantiable (which they are not) or that it is made very clear that they are simply opinion, guess, and whimsy.

I strongly believe that the legislature is not the right place for this.

And really, is there any doubt that if this passes, within a year some Assemblyman in the state of Tennesee will propose a law banning gay-affirmative therapy to youth?

Let’s not support the encroachment of legislators into yet another area of power.

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

And with one of the state APAs switching to neutral, it seems that the state’s mental health community has not coalesced around a consensus.

And until they do coalesce in support, let’s not jump on board. Especially since the opposition comes from one of the CPAs.

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Jim,

Perhaps we are reading different information, because what I’m reading says:

OPPOSITION : (Verified 5/8/12)
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
California Psychiatric Association
California Psychological Association
Pacific Justice Institute

(which must be the first time ever that PJI was in a list with that group)

Is there an update? Perhaps they removed the things that they (and I) object to.

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Nope, it still has “Under no circumstances shall a patient under 18 years of age undergo sexual orientation change efforts, regardless of the willingness of a patient’s parent, guardian, conservator, or other person to authorize such efforts.”

Ah, the benign and benevolent hand of an all knowing, all seeing God legislature.

Neon Genesis
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Why is Timothy still a contributor to this site? He doesn’t seem to do anything other than rudely bash anyone who disagrees with him while defending organizations and practices that are harmful to the gay community.

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

The 6/25/12 Assembly Hearing lists the following:

REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION :

Support

Equality California (sponsor)
Gaylesta (co-sponsor)
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, California Division
California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies
City of Los Angeles
City of West Hollywood
L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center
National Association of Social Workers-California Chapter
Women’s Therapy Center
Numerous individuals

Opposition

American College of Pediatricians (bogus)
Board of Behavioral Sciences
California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
California Catholic Conference
California Psychiatric Association
California Psychological Association (perhaps subsequently changed to neutral?)
Catholic Medical Association
Church State Council
International Institute for Reorientation Therapies
National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality
Pacific Justice Institute
Parents and Friends of ExGays and Gays
People Can Change
Traditional Values Coalition
Numerous individuals

Charles
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

OK, You folks have me totally frigging confused. I am just going to get on the rest of my life. I think we all want what is best for today’s youth whether they are gay or straight. The problem is how to get to that point.

Timothy Kincaid
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Priya Lynn,

Thank you for your rant about gays and lesbians being “conned” and your obsession with seeing religion in terms only of eternal torture. You illustrated clearly exactly the thinking behind this bill.

But I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t even consider the gay conservative kid, what he believes or what he wants.

You can’t talk about that kid, because you don’t know her. And you don’t really want to get to know her.

Because you don’t care. I do. And that’s the difference between us.

nelson
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Why does this not surprise from these religiously, devoid of human decency and compassion, who carry the name “christian” into the throngs of depravity.
I have prevented at least gay youth from committing suicide because they lost all hope of ever living a happy life and death seemed their only escape. All were under the age of 17. All but one is a Christian. One was only 12.
Some were accepted back into their parents lives and loved. But most were rejected and sent to reparative therapy or their church tried to pray the devil out of them. One parent told her 14 year son, “I hope you go to prison and get raped then kicked him out on the streets.
Sadly, I suppose that for some of these gay-hating homophobes, it will take the death of one of their children to bring then to face the terrible actions and words towards those they birthed into this world.
Nelson aka sloopy312. Retired USAF,

Former Baptist pastor, Seminary/College instructor-Baptist and AG [And yes I remember clearly, have their sermons and teachings describing the Bible as being against integration as a plot of Satan and Communism etc.]

If you read this and disagree ask yourself why a kid of 12 to 16 “chooses” to be gay and kill themself or try to kill themself because they are? Your true sexual orientation was not a choice and neither is theirs.

Palmer
July 6th, 2012 | LINK

Kincaid, you really are an apologist for religion, aren’t you? What about, let’s say, snake-handlers? If the child wants to handle a rattlesnake, his/her parents want the child to handle a rattlesnake, why then, it MUST be okay for said child to handle a poisonous snake, isn’t it?

We KNOW coercive psycho-therapy is damaging, but hell, wrap it up in “the name of God” and to hell with the consequences!

This law DOES NOT stop parents from harming their kids with threats of hell and damnation, it just doesn’t allow LICENSED practitioners to do it. SO WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM?

Neon Genesis
July 7th, 2012 | LINK

Furthermore, Timothy is being misleading by suggesting the CPA is opposed to the entire bill. Rather, the CPA is only seeking amendments to the bill, not the overthrow of the bill itself.

Charles
July 7th, 2012 | LINK

Ouch, that thread was one heated discussion. Has everyone calmed down, yet? This legislation is only battle which is going to remain a long, long war.

Richard Rush
July 7th, 2012 | LINK

I admit I haven’t studied the details of this bill. But on the face of it, my only objection is that the ban would not apply to religion-based SOCE. How sick and twisted is a society that looks one way, sees a practice that produces obvious evidence of harm, then bans it, and then looks the other way, sees the same practice producing the same harm, but allows and protects it because it is conducted based on sincerely held superstitious beliefs which means that special rights and immunities kick in?

SOCE does not exist in a vacuum. It’s a key element in the relentless campaign to assure that gay people “know their place” by feeling inferior, ashamed, ostracized, and lonely, and will thus desperately seek a change that will never happen. It’s a win/win for the campaigners: They get to feel superior, righteous, and powerful, while enjoying the peace of mind that comes with “knowing” that change is not only possible, but that it’s the fault of the gay person if it’s not achieved.

Regan DuCasse
July 7th, 2012 | LINK

@Richard Rush: which is why I made my statement.

Other forms of therapy are not so connected to political action based SOLELY on this single feature of sexuality.
Clinical approaches require accurate and confirmed diagnosis in order to optimize success.
Attacking homosexuality is a wrongful diagnosis to begin with. Therefore, NARTH’s therapy would be wrongful to use,RISKING negative outcomes.

Again, they are helping to create the pathology they profit from. What other profession is allowed to do that legally and ethically?
So why should ex gay therapy get a pass at all?

Timothy Kincaid
July 7th, 2012 | LINK

Palmer,

My problem is very clearly explained. Incidentally, it has nothing to do with snake handlers. And while “We” may KNOW all sorts of things, the APA task force did not agree with what “We” KNOW.

Damn, does that make me an apologist for the American Psychological Association? Oh drats!

Palmer
July 7th, 2012 | LINK

Kincaid, you only brought up the APA after your screeds about parental rights to inflict their religious morals on their children.

And yes, “WE” (love the scare quotes) do know exactly how destructive trying to change a person’s sexuality is.

Charles
July 7th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy, I hope you are holding up well, under all these attacks. Have a good weekend.

BrianQTD
July 8th, 2012 | LINK

I perhaps disagree with Kincaid 90% of the time. But he does have a point that warrants a response. I could say a lot of things about the LGBT movement and its inability to formulate compelling arguments for the public square, which is demonstrated by this message board, but I’ll save that rant for another day.

I think Kincaid is arguing that the harms supposedly caused by reparative therapy (I think they do exist, but more on that later) do not warrant this level of legislative interference in the mental health profession. Especially since the mental health profession seems to be divided on how helpful the law will be as it is written. It’s a good argument.

Parents do a lot of perfectly legal things that cause children long-term harm. For example, forcing children to pursue a life that meets parents expectations and goals instead of allowing a child to pursue his or her own goals is very often harmful. Constantly putting down a child and destroying their self esteem on a regular basis is extremely harmful, but sadly common in households. But should there be LAWS passed against such parental practices? And what good would these laws do?

What kind of precedent would it set? Faith healing is perfectly legal as well. That’s quackery too. Faith healing makes me sick and think there’s a special spot in hell for charlatans who use it to scam people (not all faith healers are scammers, they actually falsely believe in their powers, but some certainly are deliberately deceiving people).

But if you start to ban faith healing, what other doctrines and religious practices are we going to ban? Perhaps we should also ban churches that preach the personally transformative power of prayer, since science hasn’t proven the existence of a Holy Spirit, and to promote such things is just quackery.

Kincaid claims that the studies do not show conclusively that there is harm in reparative therapy. I actually disagree. The Shidloe and Schroeder study did not claim that reparative therapy WILL cause harm, but that it CAN cause harm. Which is true, because the study documented the kinds of harm that it can cause. But do these harms warrant an entire body of law that inserts the State Legislature into the mental health profession? Wouldn’t it be better for the mental health profession to debate the topic and then set ethical standards?

And Kincaid also points out, rightly, that many children are not necessarily kicking and screaming not to go to these therapies. They, too, may accept the argument that they are sinful. Not all Christian teens are Zack from the LIA debacle.

Now we can talk about parental pressure, social pressure, homophobia in society, etc. But these are SOCIAL and POLITICAL questions that may not necessarily be solved or adequately dealt with by this bill.

Kincaid (I know I’m speaking for him when he can speak for himself)possibly believes that it would be better to deal with these problems through education, activism and public campaigns against reparative therapy instead of a law, which is a specific way of dealing with the problem.

Let me also add that I am often appalled at the dearth of affirmative pastoral counseling resources for LGBT teens and newly coming out LGBTs. We don’t just need SECULAR counselors, we need PASTORAL COUNSELING as well. But usually the needs of religious gays are on the backburner of LGBT politics.

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