Friday 17th August 2018

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Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction? Tough Luck, Says California Bill

April 16, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By MIKE MANNO

OK, we’ve crossed this politically correct line once before. California (where else?), New Jersey, and a few other states have banned sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) — sometimes called reparative or conversion therapy — for minors. Reparative therapy is a therapeutic technique used to change one’s sexual orientation from a same-sex attraction to a heterosexual one.
The last time I delved into this issue was in the May 25, 2017 edition of The Wanderer (“Gender Confusion Prevails in the Courts”) wherein I reported that the U.S. Supreme Court had declined to hear an appeal from the Ninth Circuit’s decision that banning SOCE for minors was legal.
Back in May I described the law thus: “[If a] minor is dealing with unwanted same-sex attraction, the therapist is prohibited from addressing that issue, except to affirm the child’s ‘gayness’ even if the child himself wants help to suppress those feelings.”
Well, the California legislature is at it again. Fresh from its “victory” for minors, it is now considering a bill that would seek to ban reparative therapy for anyone, regardless of whether or not the patient wants that type of therapy. If that is all the legislature wanted to do it could have simply amended the law to include adults. But its purpose is more nefarious and seeks a wider target. The bill (AB 2943) labels SOCE a fraudulent practice, puts it into the state’s consumer protection statute, and applies the ban to any advertisement or promotion for conversion therapy, whether oral or written, as fraud.
“[T]his bill applies to everyone, all licensed counselors, end even people selling books on therapy,” Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, said.
Dacus warns that the bill is so broad that it would apply even to promotions for conferences where former homosexuals give testimony about their conversion. Thus their stories would be considered false and misleading and subject to penalty.
The bill, which has no religious exemption, “finds” that reparative therapy is harmful because “contemporary science recognizes that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is part of the natural spectrum of human identity and is not a disease, disorder, or illness.”
And further that “the potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior, since therapist alignment with societal prejudices against homosexuality may reinforce self-hatred already experienced by the patient.”
In effect the state is going to tell anyone with an unwanted same-sex attraction that the state has decided that — based on some faulty science — it is better for you to stay trapped in a lifelong sexual conflict than to seek help through reparative therapy.
The whole case against reparative therapy is based on “politically correct” science which “recognizes that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is part of the natural spectrum of human identity.” The basis promoted by the LGBT lobby is that homosexuality is an immutable characteristic, such as race or skin color that cannot be changed. The bill lists organizations that concur in its findings, including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs, and the American School Counselor Association, among others.
However, immutability of sexual orientation is simply not factual, as pointed out by Robert R. Reilly in his book, Making Gay Okay (Ignatius Press: 2014). In the book he presents the fascinating history of how LGBT activists pressured and lobbied the American Psychological Association to make the change to mutability by abandoning true science in favor of science as an “ideology” wherein man “through the exercise of his will by the instrument of science . . . makes all things new according to his desires. . . . This is a science as ideology, as the construction of a false reality.”
Countering the LGBT claims of immutability, Reilly writes, “Extraordinarily, Dr. Robert Spitzer, who was largely responsible for removing homosexuality as a disorder from the DSM [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] in 1973, did his own study of two hundred subjects on whether homosexuality is mutable and concluded that it is:
“‘There is evidence that change in sexual orientation following some form of reparative therapy does occur in some gay men and lesbians. . . . The gay activists have taken the viewpoint that, from a political strategic point of view, they do better if they can convince society at large that once you are homosexual, you can never change, and I can appreciate it that that helps them politically, and I am sympathetic towards their political goals, but I think it’s just not true’.”
Reilly quotes several recognized studies that acknowledge that homosexuality is not an immutable factor and can often be overcome by proper therapy.
In addition to Dr. Spitzer, Reilly notes, among other studies, Overcoming Homosexuality, a 1980 book by Dr. Robert Kronemeyer: “For those homosexuals who are unhappy with their life and find effective therapy, it is ‘curable’.”
Dr. Edmund Bergler, in Homosexuality: Disease or Way of Life? (MacMillan, 1962), wrote: “The homosexual’s real enemy is…his ignorance of the possibility that he can be helped.”
Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, in testimony before the Massachusetts Senate said, “A review of the research over many years demonstrates a consistent 30-52 percent success rate in the treatment of unwanted homosexual attraction. Masters and Johnson reported a 65 percent success rate after a five-year follow-up. Other professionals report success rates ranging from 30 percent to 70 percent.”
Additionally, Focus on the Family has also done its own study into the matter and has made its own findings and cited its sources.
“In 2007, the American Psychological Association set up a task force, composed exclusively of gay-identified activists and apologists, to study the issue. No practitioners of SOCE or experts on change from homosexuality were included in the task force. The group also threw out myriad accounts and reports of change from homosexuality and of help from SOCE, while at the same time using anecdotal statements of harm.
“Despite this stacked deck, the task force could not conclude in its 2009 report that SOCE was ineffective or inherently harmful. Nor did the group call for a ban on SOCE. They simply said more research was needed and cautioned therapists about their work.”
Focus on the Family cited numerous studies which confirmed that a change away from homosexual orientation is possible, including a 2007 study by Doctors Stanton L. Jones and Mark A. Yarhouse, Ex Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation (InterVarsity Press) in which 67 percent of those participating reported a change in orientation through counseling, Scripture, prayer, and group discussions.
Nor are there any reported studies on the actual harm presented by reparative therapy.
So where is all of this going? In this cultural wasteland, probably to a legislature near you. We’ve seen it before, and I’ve warned about it before. Our culture is under attack by practitioners of the Secular Gospel of Political Correctness. What a patient group these practitioners are: They take baby steps, first ban this from kids, and then label it fraudulent. Once there were religious and conscience exceptions, now, religion and conscience are trumped by this new gospel.
Once we were asked to simply tolerate others’ alternate lifestyles. That we did, and to a point it was right to do so. Now, well, look where we are: It’s no longer tolerance, but much more that is asked of society. You see, it always starts small, but grows to engulf anything standing in its way, like a small flame that sets the forest afire.
These things will continue to spread and will challenge us. And how we meet that challenge will determine our legacy to posterity.

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