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Calif. To Prevent Minors from ’Ex-Gay’ Therapies

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Apr 27, 2012
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A California Senate committee recently advanced a bill that would protect citizens from having to undergo controversial "ex-gay" therapy, Think Progress reported.

The legislation does not directly outlaw "ex-gay" therapy (also known as conversion therapy) but states that anyone under the age of 18 is prohibited from receiving "sexual orientation change efforts." The law also requires patients to sign an "informed consent form," which has a disclaimer.

"Having a lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientation is not a mental disorder. There is no scientific evidence that any types of therapies are effective in changing a person’s sexual orientation," the disclaimer reads. "Sexual orientation change efforts can be harmful. The risks include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior.

Medical and mental health associations that oppose the use of sexual orientation change efforts include the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy."

In March the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a civil rights group based in Montgomery, Ala., reported that the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a leading organization that offers conversion therapy, is the "preeminent source of what many regard as junk science for the religious right."

The "ex-gay" movement received another huge blow last month when Robert Spitzer, a psychiatrist who published a controversial study in 2001 that claimed gays could become straight, retracted his findings.

"In retrospect, I have to admit I think the critiques are largely correct," Spitzer said. "The findings can be considered evidence for what those who have undergone ex-gay therapy say about it, but nothing more."

He went on to say that conversion therapy "can be quite harmful." He asked writer Gabriel Arana of the American Prospect to publish an official retraction of his study, "so I don’t have to worry about it anymore."

Comments

  • LoveOverThis, 2012-04-27 12:56:17

    Yes! This is a fantastic bill!


  • Imbibe, 2012-04-27 17:57:50

    While I agree with what this bill is trying to do. This could a 1st amendment violation and parental rights.


  • ashkewoof, 2012-04-28 00:37:58

    Anon: parents do not have a right to abuse a child. We lock up parents who abuse children. Read all credible science and the medical recommendations. This quack faux science pushing this treatment has great potential to harm children. This is a huge step forward for the health, integrity and rights of all children.


  • Anonymous, 2012-04-28 04:10:09

    I totally agree that so called ex gay therapy is bull, so many young people have lost their will to live as well as their potetual to be who they really feel they are. It isnt only about kids, teens, or even adults it really makes all feel less than and destroys their character of who and what they could have accomplished in their lives. People really do not understand what some words can actually do to children who only want to grow up and be someone with great potentual but, when you take their individualiy away then you take their thrive, heart and soul and shatter it like a broken mirrow into billions of tiny pieces that will never be able to pick those pieces and place them exactly back together, somethingwill from that point will always be missing or even worse they take and throw all the greatness away by suicide. When these people do those things to others yhey need to be the ones who pay for ending that indivduals life. Sry if some is misspelledbut, life is never worth taking a childs personality and changing it to what someone else wants it to be. What if it was your child that you raise and love what would the damage thats done effect you by affecting them. Think about it. Next time you say anything remembera child is someplacelistening to what is said and the tounge is the most hurtful weapon on this Universe. Think before you speak, it maybe someone you love with all your heart that you destroy the very most. Karma always has a way to come right back and hit you harder than anything else ever will.


  • ashkewoof, 2012-05-11 22:03:27

    Freeman Mike, you post brainwash babble and expect it to be taken seriously. You post a Trollish boilerplate meme on a gay news site and then use the old, I dare you to publish this letter. Well it got published, but your a troll at best. In the words of Gandalf, "Go back to the shadows." We have this thing called science and reason which trumps belief and superstition where human rights and values are concerned. So lets get some things "straight." The world is not flat and it is not the center of the universe. Maybe you eat shell fish, maybe you don’t. If however I see you stoning disobedient children to death I will stop you and have you arrested, your bible and beliefs be damned. Children deserve to be protected from creeps who are brainwashed to ignore the humanity, dignity and love that stands before them. Even one of the chief authors and proponents of so called reparative therapy Dr. Spitzer has recanted his research, proclaimed it to be invalid and has asked for the forgiveness of all the GLBT lives he has helped to ruin. Stand in opposition to human dignity, equality and love and you will be on the wrong side of history.


  • Freeman Mike, 2012-05-12 00:48:12

    Ashkewoof, Your response is so dogmatic. It sounds like you cut and pasted propaganda from any gay rights magazine across America. You say that we have science and reason. Why don’t you try using some of it instead of your cruel name calling that you used in your response? You only proved my point of how violent and angry the radical gay movement is. How hypocritical to accuse Christians of hatred and name calling .Read your response over and see who is guilty of the hatred and name calling! You don’t have to use your sweet innocent poor persecuted gay propaganda with me. I was in the gay world for many years (thank God I am now free from the perversion) The only thing I got was AIDS given to me by those who only wanted to use me for their own pleasure. That is the real gay world not the propaganda image that you portray in your fictitious publications. I was in the gay community for many years and I know exactly what it is about. Don’t lecture me on human dignity, equality and love, the gay lifestyle is none of those. The gay lifestyle is obsessed with those who look good until they get older and then you throw them away like so much trash. I think you know that this is the real truth about the gay lifestyle deep down in your heart. There are plenty of researchers and therapists who disagree with Dr. Spitzer. He has the right to recant his research but that doesn’t mean he is right. You are right about the world not being flat. The book of Isaiah (40:22) in the bible’s Old Testament declared that the earth was a sphere thousands of years before it was confirmed. Way before the time of Columbus when people thought the earth was flat. The Old Testament prohibited the eating of shellfish as a dietary law. It was God’s protection to prevent people from getting sick from the parasites involved. In the New Testament all foods were declared clean to eat. The prohibition against the abomination of homosexuality was declared in several places in the Old Testament and the New Testament reaffirmed that the prohibition should continue. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Homosexuality was a moral law and prohibition against eating shellfish was a dietary law. In the Old Testament death was the penalty for several sins including the abomination of homosexual acts.. In the new covenant those death penalties have been abolished. Christians have not and do not put homosexuals to death. This is unlike those who lust after each other with no care about the spread of AIDS. Neither do we treat homosexuals badly. True Christians love all people despite their sin. We are all sinners!! We do however call sin exactly what it is and like I said in my last post nothing will ever change that for true believers. Also like I said in my last post, if you are happy in the gay lifestyle, I nor any other true Christians are about to stop you. You are the one trying to stop us from helping those who come to us who are unhappy living in the gay lifestyle. All Americans have the same rights weather they are gay or not which is the way it should be but don’t expect us to support measures which redefine marriage and give special rights to those who practice a lifestyle that we believe is against God’s law. I welcome a dialogue with you if you present clear arguments that are factual or make any kind of reasonable, logical point. If name calling and memorized political dogma is all you have to offer please don’t bother.


  • ashkewoof, 2012-05-12 01:38:55

    Freeman, You are trolling on here. Your belief in a book written by man and the rantings of a tax collector who never even met Jesus does not trump reality. You have gone through some rough times and rather than embrace light, you embrace the bigotry and intolerance that has enslaved your mind to a dogma that becomes increasingly indefensible by the day. You quote bible scripture that cherry picks what you want to make your argument while dismissing or ignoring any that you find inconvenient to try and make your weak points. You ignore human suffering, human dignity and most importantly love because you were hurt and you think all the gay people were the same as you once were. Not all Americans have the same rights and if you understood that you wouldn’t make such sweepingly inaccurate statements. I don’t think you really want dialog because you have no interest in seeing beyond that which you have placed your faith in. Coming from a background of faith, I have walked miles in those shoes and I see both sides. A book written with concepts we now know to be untrue thanks to science is obviously not infallible and is obviously NOT the perfect word of god. It is the work of man and people who try to use the bible to divide us or convince us that outdated concepts and views of the universe and world we live in are doing tremendous damage to the fabric of society. Your words are riddled with right wing talking points. You speak of gay people redefining marriage without recognizing that marriage have been changing and being redefined since the dawn of time. It is no longer a chattel or property arrangement and while some societies don’t allow for plural marriage, there are still many countries in this world who use their own religion and holy books to justify marriage to multiple people. Marriage has never been what the current right wing wants us to believe it is. Same sex love has been with us since the dawn of time and is represented throughout the natural world among numerous species. You believe in something. Fine, but if you want to hang your beliefs out there and proselytize expect them to come under scrutiny and if they are disproved or use quack science to make their point, expect to have them blasted for the phony fabrications they are. Maybe you have found something that works for you. Christians do not love all people and hate the sin. This is a form of mental gymnastics that allows people to discriminate against people while professing to love them. This is not love, it is not tolerance and it is not acceptance.


  • Freeman Mike, 2012-05-12 03:43:30

    I respect your right to believe as you do. It is best like you say that we do not dialog because you will NEVER change mine or millions of other Christian’s minds. We have experienced a real relationship with Jesus Christ. You can label that as anything you want but my personal experience is my own and you can never touch that. He has completely changed me and I am no longer a homosexual and have no desire to be. There is a way that seems right unto a man but in the end it brings death. (Proverbs 14:12). Your previous post at 11:03 pm shows me that you criticize a book that you really do not know anything about. I completely trust the Bible because I know and am deeply in Love with its author. Your opinion that the Bible is not the word of God is just that, YOUR OPINION! It’s obvious to me that you have not studied the bible to really know what it is, so you really haven’t walked enough miles in those shoes. I spent most of my life in the gay lifestyle so I know what every aspect of it is about and I would never ever return to that perverse lifestyle for it would be just like a dog returning to its vomit. (Proverbs 26:11). Be assured whether you like it or not you will be on my prayer list .I want to let you know that the last response you sent was well respected because you were able to tone down your cruel name calling and focus on your arguments however wrong they may be. Godspeed.


  • Freeman Mike, 2012-05-15 02:42:25

    After the post on 4-28-12 at 4:10 I posted a comment which I notice has somehow disappeared from the free press. I will repost this response at this time. At the time that the APA removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders in 1973,a large minority of 40% of the psychologists involved in the 10,000 person membership disagreed with the decision to normalize homosexuality. The historically violent gay lobbyists picketed the convention and threatened the membership year after year until the APA relented to their political demands .Even pro - gay psychologist, Dr. Ronald Bayer admitted it was a decision not scientific, but political, Page 3,4 of his book. The violent gay lobby has threatened and bullied their way into acceptance. It never ceases to amaze me how the gay lobby tries to demonize the reparative and ex gay movement like if we are pulling people off the street and forcing them to try to be straight. All of people who are involved in the therapy are those who come for help and are not happy with the feelings that they have and deep inside know that homosexuality is really a perversion. These are the ones who are helped if they are really interested in changing. It is their right to do so and it is the right of parents to bring their kids for help when they discover a disorder in them towards the perversion. The unconstitutional California law will eventually be shot down by the courts. The violent gay lobby comes after us because if it is true that people can change it puts the ball in their court to decide if they want to change. It is so much easier to say change is not possible so they can dodge the issue. If you are comfortable being gay and are happy then have at it. This is America. Gay activists should know better than anyone else that it is wrong to attack anyone in America for their beliefs. Your article says that Focus on the Family and NARTH create an environment in which discrimination and prejudice can flourish. NARTH and Focus on the Family are Christian organizations who take a stand on what the bible clearly teaches. The bible teaches that prejudice and discrimination are wrong but it also clearly teaches that homosexuality is a sin. I dare you to produce even one violent act that has been perpetrated by Focus on the Family or NARTH. The radical groups such as ACT UP along with all of the other violent gay groups are constantly threatening and slandering those who are offering choice to those who are unhappy with the gay lifestyle. The very beginning of the gay movement at Stonewall was a violent protest where police were attacked with bottles and fire bombs. This tradition of violence and intimidation continues today. I will really be surprised if my comments will be posted on your website which is ok because it will confirm in my heart that the gay lobby can’t handle the truth. As long as there are committed believers in Jesus Christ who believe the bible is the word of God there will be millions and millions who cannot accept the perversion of Homosexuality. Jesus said that all of the powers of Hell will not prevail against his church. Many more powerful people such as Mao and Stalin and many others through history have tried but failed. The political gay movement will fail as well no matter how many laws they bully their way into creating


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