Freedom of Religion Death Watch: California Gay Therapy Edition

In California it is absolutely legal to pay 250 dollars an hour for crystal therapy or to summon the ghosts of your murder victims from the beyond. It is not however legal to tell a depressed teenage boy who has been sexually abused by a man that he needs to return to a normal pattern of life in order to leave the pain behind him.

This is all the more ironic considering Jerry Brown’s links to the Jim Jones cult. Brown seemed to have no issues with their “therapy” and noted gay icon Harvey Milk was a firm supporter of the Communist death cult.

Let’s set aside the whole gay rights debate for a moment. Governor Brown has just signed a bill into law which, randomly, determines that therapists cannot help patients in any way that involves challenging a recent construct of human sexuality.

(b) (1) “Sexual orientation change efforts” means any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.

That means, despite the caveats in the bill, therapists cannot view any “gender expression” or “behavior” in a negative way because the State of California has passed a law determining what attitudes everyone should feel about well… anything.

Codes of professional ethics and legitimate and illegitimate therapies are determined by professional associations, not by state legislatures. For now this leaves out clerics, but such a bill is likely grinding away somewhere in the inner workings that will dictate to priests and rabbis that they are similarly not allowed to provide honest counseling in keeping with their religious beliefs.

Whatever one thinks homosexuality, this bill is yet another draconian effort by the gay rights lobby to override parents and dictate something that they should have no ability to dictate. Assuming that conversion therapy does not work, why not put the statistical information out there and let parents decide for themselves as informed consumers, rather than cracking down on something that clashes with recent liberal ideology?

When you have the evidence, then you don’t need a ban. When you don’t have the evidence, then you do need a ban to keep anyone from talking about it.

  • @GayZionist

    Usually i'm on board with FPM when it comes to Islam and Israel but not this. Having had parents who sent me away to get "fixed" when I was younger I can say from personal experience that it was a traumatizing experience and in no way helpful. This is not about taking away religious liberty. This about preventing parents from pressuring their kids into so-called "therapy" that even the ex-gay organizations are now abandoning as un-workable in favor of abstinence. You can not change who you are attracted to. Period. You can change what you do, but you cannot change who you are attracted to no more than you could choose whether you like chocolate or prefer apples or oranges. You can choose to eat one over the other but if you really prefer one, what really is the point of denying yourself?

    Why not just put statistics out there and let parents choose what to do with their kids? Because most parents, when thinking about their kids, will not think rationally about statistics or what have you and rather will go with whoever is selling the best "solution" to their kid's "problem" whether realistic or not. Organizations selling these "therapies" are not required to give accurate information and are rarely required to have licensed therapists (they just call it something else, like emotional growth). Considering the consequences and the mental scarring from such programs can last a lifetime, I don't believe this is something parents should be able to do.

    Besides. If its not illegal, what's to prevent parents from saying "go there or we cut you off". The kid might *claim* to be there voluntarily, but there is no assurance that such is the case. The only way to make sure there is no coercion at all is to make the practice illegal. If people want to torture themselves after they turn 18, and go to these places with no pressure or coercion — go for it. I won't stop you. But parents trying to shape their kids into a more desirable pet is indeed criminal.

    What to do about kids who are sexually abused? Get them therapy. Legitimate therapy. With a licensed professional. Let them figure out with a professional by themselves whether their "issues" as you might say, are a result of legitimate same sex attraction or confusion as a result of sexual abuse.

    All that being said, i'm not sure this will do a whole lot of good. There is nothing preventing California residents from sending their kids to Utah or even out of the country to get "fixed".

  • @GayZionist

    I wish FPM would keep to Islam and Israel, leaving out divisive issues like this. If the Islamists take over we're all on the end of a crane.

    • southwood

      You are wrong. I commend FPM for addressing this most serious issue. Who are you to say how this problem should be dealt with ? Oh, and just in case you haven't noticed, the "gay" lobby have been curtailing people's freedoms for long enough, so much so that Chik Fil A can't even get permission to operate in places like Chicago because of their beliefs. Homosexuality has been a curse on society. It will always go on but it should be illegal again. Just like jihad preaching it needs to be addressed.

    • Anon

      The topic is government abuse of power. Government dictating to people what their opinions should be and punishing them when they don't comply. We can't criticize this process when it's used on behalf of Islamic supremacists and then sanction it when it's done on behalf of the gay community. You don't want the government telling you what you can and can't say about Islam, right? It's the same thing.

    • southwood

      I would like you to read this article my friend. I believe homosexuality can be part of any person's make up but in some it can be suppressed while others give full rein to it. I myself have always been prone to perverse imaginings but have always fought against this tendency. I consider myself normal heterosexual but homosexual, paedophiliac, sado-masochistic, whatever, perversions of proper sexuality are possible for anyone if they let them overpower them. Thankfully I was brought up by a Christian parent and the knowledge that homosexuality is wrong is part of my moral background and acts as a restraint. Anyway, please have a look at the article. It is from various Christian perspectives. I do not agree with the one or two more liberal (?) perspectives.

  • BS77

    None of the government's business….This is a first amendment issue. Anyone, , patient or a therapist, can tell anyone else whatever they want. Like it. Don't like it. Doesn't matter. If you feel uncomfortable with your therapist, then get another one. Freedom. Liberty. The Constitution.. No Nanny State government bureaucrat can
    tell anyone what they can say or not say…period.

  • Malcolm

    Much as I sympathise with GayZionist's plight, the fact is, the statistics are out there. Try googling "Is Gay to Straight Possible?" by James E Phelan. He quotes well over 100 studies from 1882 to 2006 on several different forms of therapy, and the overall conclusion is that conversion therapy has a success rate of 1 in 3 to 1 in 2.
    Is have also been consistently found that same sex attraction can be simply an adoloscent phase. Thus, a longnitudinal US study showed that 72% of boys and 55% of girls who were same-sex attracted at 16 were opposite-sex attracted at 22. The New Zealand figures were 1/3 and 1/2 respectively. In a Dutch study, half of those who had homosexual attractions as teenagers lost them in later life. These were without the use of therapy. It should be obvious, therefore, that adolescents are the ones who have most to gain from such therapy – and they are the very ones being vicitmised by the Californian law.