California Bans Therapies to ‘Cure’ Gay Minors

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California has become the first state to ban the use for minors of disputed therapies to “overcome” homosexuality, a step hailed by gay rights groups across the country that say the therapies have caused dangerous emotional harm to gay and lesbian teenagers.


“This bill bans nonscientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide,” Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement on Saturday after he signed the bill into law. “These practices have no basis in science or medicine, and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”

The law, which is to take effect on Jan. 1, states that no “mental health provider” shall provide minors with therapy intended to change their sexual orientation, including efforts to “change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”

The law was sponsored by State Senator Ted W. Lieu and supported by a long list of medical and psychological societies, as well by state and national advocates for gay rights. Also speaking up for the ban were former patients who described emotional scars they said they were left with after being pushed into the therapy by their parents and finding that they could not change their sexual orientation or did not want to.

But some therapists and conservative religious leaders who promote methods that they say can reduce homosexual desire have condemned the new law as a violation of free choice. They say that it will harm young people who want to fight homosexual attractions on religious or other grounds and warn that it will lead more people to seek help from untrained amateurs.

The use of harsh aversion techniques, like electric shock or nausea-inducing drugs, to combat homosexual desires has largely disappeared. But during the last three decades, some psychologists have refined a theory of “reparative therapy,” which ties homosexual desires to emotional wounds in early childhood and, in some cases, to early sexual abuse.

These therapists say that with proper treatment, thousands of patients have succeeded in reducing their homosexual attraction and in enhancing heterosexual desire, though most therapists acknowledge that total “cures” are rare. But their methods have come under growing attack from gays who say the therapy has led to guilt, hopelessness and anger.

Written By: Erik Eckhom
continue to source article at nytimes.com

11 COMMENTS

  1.   They say that it will harm young people who want to fight homosexual
    attractions on religious or other grounds and warn that it will lead
    more people to seek help from untrained amateurs.

    Untrained amateur quackologists!!!

    We’ll be hearing about untrained amateur homoeopaths next!

  2. “These practices have no basis in science or medicine, and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”

    So pray away teh ghey is quackery, maybe they should seriously consider extending the point to …

    pray away teh urinary tract blockage

    http://insession.blogs.cnn.com

    and pray away teh diabetes..

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0

    Or pray away teh pneumonia…

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new

    And the insanity goes on and on..

    http://www.christianpost.com/n

    The only miracle appears to be not in the expected result of whispering to a figment but in the courts starting to take notice.
    The punishment for many of the guilty still only rates as a slap on the wrist….these idiots are committing murder and a society smiles with a benevolent chuckle about scamps and their beliefs and sends them merrily on their way.

    There is still no law that explicitly places the onus of action on the parents to seek medical help for under age children.
    Many evangelical cults still pompously declare to their brain dead followers that prayer supersedes medical intervention.
    Until there is absolute clarity for a parents responsibility children will still suffer and in some cases die in the droves over the coming years.

    But even so this is a good start to ditch the woolly, and in many cases destructive, interpretation of bronze age nonsense!

  3. While I agree that the element of charlatanry would be enough to convict anyone practising “gay cures” as a fraud, I think it’s a mistake to implicitly grant them the premise that homosexuality is a pathology. Snake oil salesmen might peddle their fraudulent wares promising a cure for very real ailments; sellers of cures for homosexuality haven’t even got that crutch to stand on.

  4. I think it’s a mistake to implicitly grant them the premise that homosexuality is a pathology

    I rather think that label was provided by theist ignorance, certainly never heard that claimed from this side of rationality, the theist tend to scrabble & snuffle in a science lexicon to surface with a term they think means something other then what it actually does mean, it is a curse of terminal stupidity designed by them to prop up their rampant bigotry.

  5. I was replying to Roedy, and my point was that there is actually nothing to be treated, unlike with some forms of snake-oil (like homoeopathic medicine) which is sold, fraudulently, as a cure for very real ailments. I don’t care if snake-oil doesn’t cure my fronkey pox or space leprosy, because I couldn’t possibly be suffering from them.

    To paraphrase, it’s as though the snake-oil peddler is first creating an ailment (in this case by designating homosexuality) and then trying to sell a cure for it. It’s a fiction from start to finish, rather than a fictional answer to a real problem. 

    I agree that there is no rational argument for designating homosexuality as a pathology, I just thought that Roedy might have been inadvertently giving these cruel people more credence than they deserve (which is none).

  6. No indeed quite right.
    I really cannot get over the  obvious irony in that the scammer genealogical roots of the fundagelicals tends to move them to harangue, proselytize  and lie with the same delivery of speel to the gathered sheeple about the efficacy of their tawdry wares in much the same way as, bogus and shonky if not outright tacky,  goods were shifted over 200 yrs ago in the border towns out west…very lucrative.So yeah ‘snake-oil’ suits their style and substance for sure.And just as helpful, what with the inevitable side affects of terminal brain death.Is it with some inexplicable sense of unrequited nostalgia that folks are so easily parted with their cash when they frequent these revival flim flam shows?

  7.  

    Jabarkis

    To paraphrase, it’s as though the snake-oil peddler is first creating
    an ailment (in this case by designating homosexuality) and then trying
    to sell a cure for it. It’s a fiction from start to finish, rather than a
    fictional answer to a real problem.

    A tried and tested pattern – a bit like Adam & Eve’s original sin, and the need to pay churches to intercede and mitigate this on behalf of their subscribers, while the gullible smugly anticipate those atheists burning in Hell: -  as sheeples part with their mental reasoning abilities & their money.

  8. I used be very active in doing lectures (mostly Q&A) about gay lib.  This question of a cure would come up all them time.  My basic answer is “You can’t cure homosexuality, because you are not sick in the first place.”

    My friend Keith Rotzi once put it this way when we were doing a phone in show,  “I know of only four people who cured themselves of homosexuality. They all committed suicide.”

    However, there is also the question “Could you if you wanted to change your sexual orientation?” This is like a leftie asking about the possibility of some process that would make him right handed. He has has every right to want to make such a change, even if I see no point in it.

    The implication behind this question is that being gay is like getting a nose ring or a large tattoo just to annoy your parents. It is just an affectation you could stop at any time.

    The answer is no.   Gay teens all the time commit suicide after desperately trying to change themselves to conform to parental expectations.  If there were a way, everyone would know it. 

    You can of course become celibate, and with varying degrees of white knuckling reduce the amount of sex you have.  But your orientation and drive are unchanged. 

    The crookedness comes in when Christian healers talk a gay person into relative celibacy (say once a month), get married to a female, then they declare him cured. Almost nothing has changed except he has set up some poor woman for great emotional distress.  Women tend to get far more upset when their husband commits adultery with a man than with a woman. It reflects on their own desirability if he would prefer some hairy man to her. This same thing plays out when gay/bi men suddenly come out to their wives, and they did not see it coming.  I used to be involved trying to put these shattered women back together.

    I read four books on the “curing” process give to me by Terry Winter a televangelist. The books  were all completely candid about this fraud.

    The claim of a “cure” is not only a  lie, it as a malicious lie that tricks people into suicide.  Teens on hearing this lie, blame themselves for not being able to will themselves straight, and kill themselves.  This is why it is so important for young gays to have peer social support, to help dispel some of this craziness.  To the Christians, this is a Good Thing™, one more teenage sinner dispatched to hell. Christians like the status quo and are extremely opposed to gay teens getting peer counseling or social support. They would sooner teens committed suicide than learned to cope with being gay.

    I had a plan to drown myself in Deeks Lake, by lowering myself off a raft weighted with rocks, on my 21st birthday if I had not figured out how to make myself straight by then.  I was still a virgin and had never even talked to a fellow gay.  Thankfully my hormones rescued me from my folly as my birthday approached. My mom was extremely anti-gay, believing all manner of utter nonsense about gays, though not religious. My coming out was largely about learning almost everything I had been told about gays was untrue. I resolved to set the record straight.

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