California bans the pay-the-gay-away psychological torture of LGBT youth known as “reparative therapy”

    As you may recall, former Ypsilantian Josh Steichman told us earlier this summer that he was working on a campaign to see the so-called reparative therapy of minors outlawed in California. Well, this weekend, Josh and the rest of the Equality California team were successful. California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law legislation that would prohibit therapists from attempting to change the sexual orientation of individuals under 18 years of age. Well, I caught up with Josh to congratulate him, and, in the process, ended up asking a few questions. Here’s our exchange.

    MARK: What’s reparative therapy?

    JOSH: Sometimes also called “conversion therapy,” it’s what the other side calls efforts to turn lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender kids straight. It can involve anything from talk therapy to aversion therapy — where kids are shown gay porn and given drugs to make them vomit. In any case, it doesn’t work and does lasting damage.

    MARK: How big of an industry are we talking about? Do we even know?

    JOSH: No, we don’t. Which is frustrating. Absolutely no one keeps accurate numbers on this. Therapists don’t have to register what kind of therapy they offer, and the big trade association for these guys pretty much just makes shit up.

    MARK: And what just happened in California?

    JOSH: The Governor just signed SB 1172, which bans this stuff for minors.

    MARK: What does the legislation say? Are these companies just not able to operate in California now, or do they have to stop advertising in California as well?

    JOSH: So, what the legislation does — if you don’t mind me getting a little inside baseball — is that it makes it officially unethical for therapists to engage in this practice. That means two things: One, they’re open to tort claims against them if they try this junk after January 1. And, two, it means that any of them who are caught doing this can have their licenses revoked by the state governing board.

    MARK: As an entrepreneur, I’m wondering if there might be an opportunity here for Michigan, now that these services can’t be provided in California. Ypsi’s water tower, I’m thinking, would be a great place for an intake center.

    JOSH: If you’re looking to intake the water tower, you’d need a lot of lube.

    MARK: On a more serious note, are you coordinating with other regions? Might we see legislation like this in other states that aren’t controlled by the radical right?

    JOSH: So far, Wisconsin and Vermont have contacted us about similar legislation. I’d love to see Michigan pursue it too, but I’m worried that with Rick Snyder and the Republican legislature, Michigan is just too bugfuck nuts to pull something like this off.

    MARK: I should have asked right up front, but what’s the organization you work for, and what was your role in all of this?

    JOSH: I work for Equality California. We sponsored the legislation, worked with Senator Ted Lieu in crafting it, lobbied for it, and did a lot of the communications work with it, including getting over 30,000 postcards in support of it. But I gotta be clear, I’m just speaking for me, not for EQCA — this isn’t an official communique or anything.

    MARK: Wasn’t there a news item in the Republican primary about Michele Bachmann having an interest in reparative therapy?

    JOSH: Her husband, Marcus Bachmann, runs some clinics in Minnesota that do this stuff.

    MARK: Have you personally met with any of these people? Have you sent folks in under cover? Do you have analogies that might illustrate just how crazy/evil/delusional the people are who run these facilities?

    JOSH: I’ve met with people on both sides, including proponents and the quacks that are offering this stuff, as well as the victims and ex-patients.

    With the proponents, they come in basically two styles, which I’ll reduce to “hot crazy” and “cold crazy” here. The hot crazies are usually fueled by a Biblical understanding that allows them to embrace cognitive dissonance, and they just aren’t going to be convinced by any science or logic or clear thinking. Occasionally, you can reach out and get one of these people thinking about the depression, anxiety and huge suicide rate that the victims have, but, generally speaking, they’re not going to be convinced by one of the damned. The other ones, the cold crazies, are the ones that tell me that, in the ’70s, UCLA did a study where they didn’t provide any maternal affection to half of a batch of infants, and, of those infants, most died, but the ones that lived turned gay. That “proves” that it’s not innate, etc. I guess the difference is that hot crazies don’t care about facts, and cold crazies just make up facts. My favorite one was this guy who actually believed there were secret underground labs all over America, and that gays are the result of a coordinated cloning program. He was totally incredulous when I told him \that I hadn’t heard of this. Like, obviously I just hadn’t been reading the right newspapers.

    But it’s fundamentally the same lack of empathy and understanding that animates eliminationist rhetoric about letting the poor starve, blaming minorities for racism, etc. You get the feeling that it’s sort of necessary for them to never actually engage with people who have gone through this, because their stories are all so heartbreaking. Either that or they’re working really hard on repressing something deep within themselves, as was the case with George Rekers. Rekers was a leading proponent of this stuff, at least until he got caught with a guy from Rentboy.com.

    MARK: Would it be legal if I wanted to start a facility in California to turn people gay now that this law has passed?

    JOSH: Not a licensed one. You could still set yourself up as a lifecoach and make kids sit through Magic Mike, though.

    MARK: I’m just curios… Do you happen to know how, in these programs, they determine whether someone has been “cured”? Do they project images and measure blood flow to one’s naughty bits?

    JOSH: Self-reporting, which is why there aren’t any accurate numbers. All you have to do is pinky swear that you’re totally not gay anymore.

    MARK: Will the people who were taken advantage of by these groups now have legal recourse?

    JOSH: Yeah, though it’s more going forward than for folks who have already dealt with this (prohibition on bills of attainder).

    MARK: What’s the response been from the right?

    JOSH: A lot of strum und drang — they say they’re going to file a bunch of lawsuits, and they’ve got a fair amount of money behind them. But mostly, it’s just going to be turning these into “religious” camps, etc., which the bill doesn’t cover.

    MARK: What does it cost to turn a kid straight?

    JOSH: $20. Same as in town.

    Honestly, I have no idea, and that’s a question I wish I’d asked people when I interviewed them about this.

    MARK: What’s next for Equality CA?

    JOSH: The November election. We’ve got a bunch of candidates we’re supporting, including some really strong LGBT folks out in the Central Valley, which is pretty cool. It’s long been a really conservative area, so winning there would go a long way to set acceptance of LGBT as the new normal for a lot of the state.

    MARK: You mention the guy that got caught with the young man he’d acquired through rentboy.com. Is he the same one that would have the grown gay men that he was treating bend over his knee so that he could spank them? I may be mixing him up with someone else, but, if it’s the same guy, he had a theory about how gay men just needed strong father figures to imprint on. Totally creepy.

    JOSH: That all sounds familiar, but they all kind of have weird father theories since it’s all based on a conservative ’50s gender role thing where you pretend that there were no gay people before hippies ruined America’s men or whatever.

    MARK: Lessons learned in this campaign?

    JOSH: For me, it was a couple things: One, I didn’t know a whole lot about this bullshit until the campaign started. Like, I’d seen “But I’m a Cheerleader” and knew that this stuff went on in the ’50s, and even the ’70s, but it always seemed like, a black and white photo, you know? Finding out it was going on now was like meeting people that believed in phlogiston. Two, how much work this stuff actually takes. And how much of that work is meetings, which I kinda have a constitutional aversion to. I always have something else that I could be working on, and instead we’re on a conference call. But I kinda think of that as a general complaint about pretty much every office job I’ve ever had.

    MARK: You mentioned in an earlier conversation that you were now 6 for 6, referring to other legislation that you’d gotten past. What were the other 5 bills?

    JOSH: Heh. I’ve been running through these so often over the last two weeks. They are AB 1856, to create LGBT cultural competency standards for foster care; AB 1505, which gives veterans discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell back their state benefits; AB 1700, which basically levels the playing field for tax reassessment after a partner’s death (we have Prop 13; it works about the same as Prop A); and SB 1140 which basically makes explicit that marriage is civil and that clergy can’t be punished for not performing marriages they don’t like. We also got a legislative audit through for a bunch of laws we passed last year that have been suffering from spotty implementation.

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      39 Comments

      1. Posted October 2, 2012 at 1:38 am | Permalink

        I didn’t manage the campaign or anything. I just worked on it. I did field work first and now I’m the low man in the coms department.

      2. Edward
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 4:57 am | Permalink

        Thanks for you work on this Josh.

        I know Mark was kidding when he suggested that an camp be started to convert straight kids to gay, but it’s a fascinating idea. I can’t even begin to imagine what the Republican response would be to such a thing. I’m tempted to issue a press release and see for myself.

      3. Edward
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 5:07 am | Permalink

        Actually, there is a precedent, and it’s local. I remembered it just as I hit the “post comment” button.

        A few years ago, University of Michigan professor David M. Halperin started offering a class entitled “How to be Gay”. It wasn’t intended to be a how-to course on transitioning from gay to straight, but that’s how it was perceived by religious conservatives, who refused to dig any deeper than the title. Guess what? They weren’t too happy about it.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/08/books/how-to-be-gay-by-david-m-halperin.html?_r=0

      4. Posted October 2, 2012 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        I thought Ozone house was an indoctrination center?

        Good work on this. No doubt the “clinics” will just turn into religious camps, but at least they’ll be called what they are.

      5. anonymous
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        I think this practice is reprehensible. I hate the fact that people are getting wealthy by giving self-hating religious gay and lesbians false hope that they can “be normal” and avoid the fires of hell. With that said, though, I don’t know how I feel about making these things illegal. There are a lot of things that exist in order to take advantage of vulnerable people and give them false hope. The lottery. Homeopathic medicine. Fortune tellers. Plastic surgery. Should we eliminate all of them?

      6. anon
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Let’s not forget that Jesus was quite gay.

      7. KKT
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        We could put all this talk of Jesus being gay to rest easily enough, if the Vatican just accepted that the recently discovered piece of papyrus referencing his wife is authentic. It would seem, though, they want to keep the controversy alive.

        http://www.examiner.com/article/no-wife-for-jesus-vatican-declares-papyrus-a-fake-christians-riot

        (Before you write to me, yes, I realize that married men can be gay.)

      8. Eel
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        I know these place are awful, but the gay sex that takes place in that environment must be fucking intense.

      9. John Galt
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        And I thought that you were an advocate for childhood education? Hypocrite.

      10. EOS
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Jones and Yarhouse

        Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 37; 404-427, 2011

      11. Larry
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Yay, EOS is back!

        Do me a favor and wait just a few minutes before you start responding. I need to plug in my popcorn launcher.

        http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/17/the-popinator-voice-activated-popcorn-launcher/

      12. Mr. Y
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        I was just reading about the Hell House phenomenon, wondering if there was one around here that I could take my kids to. (Please don’t go after them next, Josh.) Here are some of the common elements of a Hell House.

        Typical scenes are:

        +A phoney reenactment of the murder of Cassie Bernall, a teenager victim at the Columbine High School in 1999-APR. She was allegedly asked whether she believed in God, answered yes, and was murdered on the spot. The incident never happened. But the story has taken on a life of its own. She is frequently referred to in conservative Christian magazines, books, and radio programs as a Christian martyr.

        +A person being sacrificed during a Satanic ritual. The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) web site warned of Wiccan rituals and stated “… evidence persists that some Satanists and voodoo groups offer sacrifices — usual animals, but, possibly, human babies” at this time. Satanic Ritual Abuse was a widespread hoax that was commonly believed during the 1980s and early 1990s.

        +Women undergoing very bloody late-term abortions, complete with screaming, lots of blood, and particularly insensitive, uncaring health providers. Some of these scenes have been partly abandoned in recent years in favor of a portrayal of guilt and depression arising from Post Abortion Syndrome.

        +Gays and lesbians being tortured in hell for all eternity because of their same-sex behavior while they were alive on earth.

        +The dangers of “dabbling” in the occult and becoming demon possessed.

        +Personal tragedies arising from pre-marital sex.

        +Disastrous tragedies and loss of life resulting from drunk driving.

        +A man having an argument with his wife and is later seduced by his secretary.

        +Witches pressuring a depressed teen to murder his fellow students.

        +A 9/11 ground zero scene.

        http://www.religioustolerance.org/hallo_he.htm

      13. kjc
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        “There are a lot of things that exist in order to take advantage of vulnerable people and give them false hope.”

        doctors

      14. Mr. Y
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        As you’ll recall, the last time EOS tried to talk science……

        http://markmaynard.com/2011/10/youve-just-crossed-over-into-the-queer-zone/#comment-238051

        He got his ass handed to him…….

        http://markmaynard.com/2011/10/youve-just-crossed-over-into-the-queer-zone/#comment-240759

        Repeatedly……

        http://markmaynard.com/2011/10/youve-just-crossed-over-into-the-queer-zone/#comment-242744

      15. anonymous
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        Jones and Yarhouse have been debunked and rather thoroughly debunked at that.

        http://www.exgaywatch.com/wp/2007/11/a-critique-of-jones-and-yarhouses-ex-gays-part-1/

        http://www.exgaywatch.com/wp/2007/11/a-critique-of-jones-and-yarhouses-ex-gays-part-2/

        http://www.exgaywatch.com/wp/2007/11/a-critique-of-jones-and-yarhouses-ex-gays-part-3/

      16. tom
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        EOS-
        I’ll take the bait: that study shows about 40% off gay clergy were unwilling to even continue the study, ‘cuz they are gay. Another 20% chose to give up all sex instead of adopting straight-sex, ‘cuz they are gay. Everybody else self-reported as still gay, bi, or dreaming/wanting gay sex. Those only wishing/dreaming about gay sex were considered “conversions”. And all it took was 6-7 years of therapy.

      17. tom
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Corrections: The participants were necessarily ‘clergy’; just associated with Christian ministry.

      18. Posted October 2, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        EOS has posted a scientific paper. I feel that, as a scientist, I have no option but to respond as one.
        The study follows 72 men and 26 women longitudinally over a 6-7 year period. Each of the participants were over the age of 18 (though the youngest ended up being 21 and the mean age was 37), and each were already members of a religious organization sponsoring the program. Each of the individuals expresses same sex attraction, and also expresses a desire to become only attracted to the opposite sex.
        This, of course, is very important. Every one of the participants is motivated to change a very different state from someone who may not see change. Each one of the participants is invested in a conservative religious community suggesting that each already possess preconceived notions of “right” and “wrong” types of sexual attraction. The study is novel for its use of these individuals and its use of more contemporary methodologies (compared with previous studies), but the results, if we are to interpret this as “curing homosexuality”, are not generalizable to people who do not maintain membership in this type of group and are not motivated to change.
        Using the methodologies to measure sexual attraction, the researchers found that half of the final sample positively moved toward heterosexuality while the other half either did not change or moved their orientation towards embracing a truly gay identity. We can say that this study, using this population, had about a 50% success (failure) rate. To date, there has been no published data on whether the participants who moved towards heterosexual attraction have successfully maintained the same trajectory.
        Despite the elation of the anti-gay contingent, this paper is absolutely not about “curing homosexuality.” The paper asks tests two very specific hypotheses: “(a) sexual orientation change is possible for some; and (b) the attempt to change is, on average, not harmful.” The key word here is “some” and “on average.”
        The study broadly attempts to generalize its results to a wider discussion of sexuality and sexual identity, and argues that the non-punitive nature of this particular program results in little harm to these motivated participants. Again, it is not a paper on “curing” any type of sexual identity.
        Sadly for EOS, there is nothing in the results of this paper that suggests that heterosexuality is a “natural” state of humans. In fact, the results suggest that sexuality is even less ingrained than we previously thought. The researchers appear to wish to counter assumptions of fixed sexualities that guide psychological practice The authors quote Cochran who notes that “Sexual orientation is a multidimensional concept including intercorrelated dimensions of sexual attraction, behavior, and fantasies, as well as emotional, social, and lifestyle preferences . . . .” noting that this “definition reflects a modesty, fluidity, multidimensionality, andopen-endedness that is well-grounded in the complex realities of sexual orientation.” The results in this paper do not discount the assertion of complex and fluid sexualities in the least, but rather offers evidence to support it

        Given this, it is puzzling that EOS, known to be a religious conservative, would post this as it directly contradicts religious teachings of a preordained sexual state of humans.

      19. Posted October 2, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        EOS has posted a scientific paper. I feel that, as a scientist, I have no option but to respond as one.

        The study follows 72 men and 26 women longitudinally over a 6-7 year period. Each of the participants were over the age of 18 (though the youngest ended up being 21 and the mean age was 37), and each were already members of a religious organization sponsoring the program. Each of the individuals expresses same sex attraction, and also expresses a desire to become only attracted to the opposite sex.

        This, of course, is very important. Every one of the participants is motivated to change a very different state from someone who may not see change. Each one of the participants is invested in a conservative religious community suggesting that each already possess preconceived notions of “right” and “wrong” types of sexual attraction. The study is novel for its use of these individuals and its use of more contemporary methodologies (compared with previous studies), but the results, if we are to interpret this as “curing homosexuality”, are not generalizable to people who do not maintain membership in this type of group and are not motivated to change.

        Using the methodologies to measure sexual attraction, the researchers found that half of the final sample positively moved toward heterosexuality while the other half either did not change or moved their orientation towards embracing a truly gay identity. We can say that this study, using this population, had about a 50% success (failure) rate. To date, there has been no published data on whether the participants who moved towards heterosexual attraction have successfully maintained the same trajectory.

        Despite the elation of the anti-gay contingent, this paper is absolutely not about “curing homosexuality.” The paper asks tests two very specific hypotheses: “(a) sexual orientation change is possible for some; and (b) the attempt to change is, on average, not harmful.” The key word here is “some” and “on average.”

        The study broadly attempts to generalize its results to a wider discussion of sexuality and sexual identity, and argues that the non-punitive nature of this particular program results in little harm to these motivated participants. Again, it is not a paper on “curing” any type of sexual identity.

        Sadly for EOS, there is nothing in the results of this paper that suggests that heterosexuality is a “natural” state of humans. In fact, the results suggest that sexuality is even less ingrained than we previously thought. The researchers appear to wish to counter assumptions of fixed sexualities that guide psychological practice The authors quote Cochran who notes that “Sexual orientation is a multidimensional concept including intercorrelated dimensions of sexual attraction, behavior, and fantasies, as well as emotional, social, and lifestyle preferences . . . .” noting that this “definition reflects a modesty, fluidity, multidimensionality, andopen-endedness that is well-grounded in the complex realities of sexual orientation.” The results in this paper do not discount the assertion of complex and fluid sexualities in the least, but rather offers evidence to support it

        Given this, it is puzzling that EOS, known to be a religious conservative, would post this as it directly contradicts religious teachings of a preordained sexual state of humans.

      20. EOS
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000610

      21. dickwad
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        I’m not a scientist but took it in high school. For the record I think people should be free to do and love what they want in life. To be honest I’m looking for help defending that principle. People talk about what is natural as if it’s okay if it’s natural but not okay if it’s unnatural. If biology is all about reproducing isn’t it unnatural to have sex if you’re not reproducing? I mean if two frogs were mating and they had no hope of reproducing wouldn’t that be considered unproductive? Wouldn’t they be extinct? Isn’t nature about reproduction? Why are humans the only species with reproductive issues like this? Help!

      22. EOS
        Posted October 2, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        Josh stated that reparative therapy doesn’t work IN ANY CASE and does lasting damage. The peer reviewed study I linked to shows that reparative therapy can work and doesn’t cause lasting damage in those in whom it doesn’t work. Peter is just trying to obscure the facts and lead the discussion down rabbit holes. A real scientist wouldn’t present their biased opinions under the guise of acting like a scientist. A scientific response would be to cite experimental evidence that proves reparative therapy is an impossibility. In no way does the paper contradict any Biblical teaching.

        Anonymous – That some gay activists dislike the conclusions of the paper is a no-brainer. Can you provide me with a peer-reviewed scientific article disputing the scientific cocnclusions published in the paper I cited?

      23. Posted October 2, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        “Peter is just trying to obscure the facts and lead the discussion down rabbit holes.”

        No, I took the time to read the paper. I’m not sure you did.

        Everything I presented was in the paper with the exception of my assumption that you might assume a natural state of sexual being vs. a deviant state of sexual being.

      24. Posted October 2, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

        “A scientific response would be to cite experimental evidence that proves reparative therapy is an impossibility.”

        This is entertaining. No, that would not be the scientific response.

        The scientific response would be to read the paper, as I did.

        I do not question the results. The data are what they are, given this particular group of people in this particular setting. The goals of the paper, however, are very different from what you seem to intend, though.

      25. q
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 6:34 am | Permalink

        http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/19/health/dr-robert-l-spitzer-noted-psychiatrist-apologizes-for-study-on-gay-cure.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      26. Thom Elliott
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 6:50 am | Permalink

        When science is used to utterly destroy cherished beliefs like Creationism, well then its just a theory, or its liberal media bias, or its atheists run amok in our schools etc, but when they can illegitimately apply it to some kind of sick social engineering that seeks to alter people’s natural personality apperatus by Clockwork Orange style conditioning, which they themselves would never under any circumstances submit to themselves, then science is the hallmark of credibility, the only standard with which to judge. EOS, this is sick man, give up this argument, let homosexuals just be hellbound sinners, don’t seek to psychologically torture them out of their relatively normal set of behaviours. You wouldn’t suggest this be done to the huge amounts of deranged heterosexuals, like pornography addicts, or bdsm, or adulterers, would you? Why just gays?

      27. tom mast
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        EOS-
        Josh was talking about children. The paper you cited originally studied adults.

        And, if you want read a bunch of papers and decide for yourself how the data look, then start with pages 26-43:
        http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/therapeutic-response.pdf

        Then read the studies sited on page 42.

        So your paper is the best one out there. Let me restate it as this: at best 6-7 years of therapy can get about 9% of devout homosexuals to only think about, but not act on, gay sex.

        Any drug, or other treatment, that only works on 9% of the most curable patients/cases is snake oil.

        Also, the Regenerus paper is flawed as well.
        http://chronicle.com/blogs/percolator/controversial-gay-parenting-study-is-severely-flawed-journals-audit-finds/30255

        Basically, the paper compares stable hetero couples and children whos parents were known (by the children) to be having affairs. What a concept! Children from non-committed partner families have a higher probability of having ‘issues’.

      28. js
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        A scientific response would be to cite experimental evidence that proves reparative therapy is an impossibility.

        Actually, no, that’s not how science works.

        However, we can say that there is absolutely zero credible evidence that any kind of psychological straightwashing works, and that there’s ample evidence of the harm it does.

        Even the biggest spiritual ex-gay organization, Exodus International, has stepped away from claims that straightwashing works. It’s a shame that your ignorance is more important to you than the health of kids, but hey, you’re entitled to your own opinion. You’re just not entitled to your own facts.

      29. js
        Posted October 3, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        One video that I’d share is Alex’s experience with the psychological abuse under the guise of turning him straight. He’s a little off-message, but it was a pretty powerful interview.

      30. Posted October 3, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        For the record, I think that the paper EOS posted is a decent paper.

        Given the nature of the sample, the results are hardly generalizable to the greater population. There is nothing in the paper that would suggest that the methods would be successful, nor withouth harm when applied to non religious and resistant persons.

        The authors, though, have pretty well answered the questions they set out to answer (is sexuality fixed or malleable).

        Most salient, the paper does not assume that same sex attraction is a disorder to be cured. It is this point that prevents it from being successfully appropriated by anti-gay activists.

        But we can count on people not actually reading or understanding the paper.

      31. EOS
        Posted October 4, 2012 at 5:21 am | Permalink

        The point is that if people want to change their behavior, therapy can help. There’s no message of hate and there is no claim that a person’s behavior is changed against their will. But Josh’s claim that it doesn’t work and should be outlawed is wrong. And Gov. Brown’s claim that this therapy has no basis in science is flat out wrong. I didn’t make a single statement nor imply anything about the goals of the paper, just cited a published peer-reviewed scientific paper that disputed many of the claims made in the original post.

      32. Thom Elliott
        Posted October 4, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink

        Homosexuality isn’t a disorder that requires therapy on its own, its like calling a person’s accent a speech disorder. There are many self loathing gays, but that I would hazard to guess was a result of a society that legislates against them specifically, denounces them in the strongest terms from frothy mouthed preachers, and the tragic lack of parental acceptance for what is within the normal range of human behaviours. Therapy can indeed help people to alter their behaviours, but injecting you with drugs to make you vomit while you are forced to watch pornography isn’t therapy, that is behaviour modification by conditioning. That isn’t ‘theraputic’, it wouldn’t help you towards a more unified personality, to forgive yourself or to move on from horrific expirences, but would actually be actively traumatic. You would need therapy after you conciousness was violated in this way, there is a reason this is done on gays, but not straights, and its hate.

      33. EOS
        Posted October 4, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        “Injecting you with drugs to make you vomit while you are forced to watch pornography isn’t therapy.” Yes, I completely agree with that statement. No one is advocating that practice. The study involved Bible-based counseling, which worked for some. There are thousands of people each year who seek help to avoid same-sex behaviors. It’s their choice to seek therapy to help them and it’s not right to destroy all hope for them by telling them it is impossible to change. Those who lose hope are at the greatest risk for suicide.

      34. Posted October 4, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        I don’t think that the methods used by the Exodus group can be called clinical at all (note that they did not use punitive methods), particularly since there is no evidence that the methods work on people who aren’t affiliated with and invested in the group.

        As a method of reaching religiously informed goals, it is acceptable and should be called such. Many people find solace and contentment through religion but we would never, ever call anything about religion clinical treatment, though clinicians might suggest to certain patients that they join a church.

        I’m not familiar with what specific restrictions California has put into place, though I am sure that it is mostly a matter of semantics.

        The big problem is that same sex attraction is not a disorder.

        Yes, it may be traumatizing to some individuals, but understand WHY it is traumatizing. The trauma comes from hateful individuals sending messages that being attracted to people of the same sex is wrong, disgusting and sinful. They risk being marginalized in the their jobs, schools and churches for the awful crime of expressing desires that hurt no one at all. Personally, I think this is the greater crime.

        It’s nobody’s business.

      35. Posted October 4, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        Bible based counseling is not clinical. It’s religious. Thus, it should be called as such. Anything else would be misleading.

      36. EOS
        Posted October 4, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Some people counsel informally, but there are a huge number of Licensed, Biblical-based counselors. Unwanted same-sex attraction is a treatable condition helped by a large number of professional counselors. Christians consider it to be a form of fornication. For thousands of years, the Christian religion has considered all sex outside of marriage to be sin. There’s no exception for homosexuality and calling a behavior sin doesn’t appear to traumatize the large numbers of heterosexual sinners.

      37. EOS
        Posted October 4, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        It’s really no different than people who seek counseling to help them overcome their porn addictions. No one believes that treatment will eliminate all sexual thoughts, but they hope that their addiction can be controlled so that it doesn’t prevent them from enjoying a normal life.

      38. Posted October 4, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        Same sex attraction is nothing like porn addiction.

      39. Meta
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Meanwhile, in Minnesota:

        An ordained counsellor dedicated to ‘freeing’ people from homosexuality has been arrested on charges of molesting two young men over a period of two years.

        Rev. Ryan J. Muelhauser, senior pastor at Lakeside Christian Church, has been arrested for eight felony counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, the Isanti-Chisago County Star reports.

        Muelhauser was connected with OutPost Ministry; an anti-gay ministry that proclaims on its website:

        “The Father’s great desire for those struggling with same-sex attractions and other sexual and relational brokenness motivated Him to send His one and only Son Jesus to be the Way out of slavery to sin.”>/i>

        Read more:
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/08/rev-ryan-j-muelhauser-molestation-_n_2094609.html

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