“Gay Conversion Therapy” Coming Under Legal Fire

Rob Wipond
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Despite resistance from the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality and the American Association of Christian Counselors, a federal appeals court upheld New Jersey’s 2013 legal ban on practicing “Gay Conversion Therapy” on minors, reported Bloomberg earlier this month. Now Identities.Mic has reported on what the decision means for the other 48 states where the controversial “therapeutic practice” of trying to turn gay children straight is still legal.

The Court in the New Jersey case rejected a free speech defense for Gay Conversion Therapy, reported Bloomberg, and stated that the government had the right to limit “professional speech” in order to protect citizens “from harmful or ineffective professional services.”

“The news: It’s 2014, and gay conversion therapy is still a real thing — although the legal tides are slowly but surely changing,” wrote Eileen Shim in Identities.Mic. She quoted Samantha Ames, a staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, saying that there’s going to be “an explosion of these bills in January” aimed at ending Gay Conversion Therapy in other states. “Even if you’re not paying attention, you’re going to see another story every day about somebody else introducing a bill.”

New Jersey Ban on Gay-Conversion Therapy Upheld on Appeal (Bloomberg, September 11, 2014)

A Dangerous Anti-Gay Practice Is Still Legal in 48 States — But Not For Long (Identities.Mic, September 19, 2014)

3 COMMENTS

  1. The real travesty is that there are “therapies” endorsed by government in the first place.

    So gay conversion therapy is bad, even for consenting adults who want to change their sexual orientation, but CBT -which is nothing but brainwashing- is good?

    To me the whole notion of government sanctioned “therapies” or “psychologists/psychiatrists” is a violation of the establishment/free exercise clauses of the first amendment. That should be our focus, not which of these “therapies” is good and which one is bad.

    As Thomas Szasz said when he was asked whether he felt that dropping homosexuality from the DSM meant progress he said that actually no, now homosexuality is not a “mental illness” but almost everything else is: tobacco addiction, caffeine addiction, eating too much, having too much sex, etc.

    Legal battles about “gay conversion therapy” are a distraction. We fall into the trap psychiatry loves. They win, we lose.

  2. Let’s take a moment to celebrate that the evil people of NARTH are being stamped out by the Government under the wise guidance of the APA!

    Those evil NARTH people… can you believe that they say things like the key to healing emotional distress experienced by people with same-sex attraction is listening to their stories and making sense of their traumatic experiences of abuse and/or neglect. Crazy! Clearly gay people have to embrace that they were born different, with some kind of.. er… genetic or hormonal difference… a… chemical variance (imbalance?). It matters not that after decades of research no evidence of this physiological difference has been found – only people with homophobic agendas care about such small details! But to suggest that the diffrences in gay people could have their origins in systematic emotional neglect or trauma in their developmental years – that is just crazy! Such nonsense has no place in an enlightened society such as ours! It’s all in the genes! Or the hormones! Or a virus! Now that’s what I call proper scientific stuff.

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