“Pray away the gay” therapy banned for kids in CA

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The religious right has promoted the lie for years that homosexuality (or heterosexuality, for that matter) is a “choice.” And while it may be a choice for some people as to which attraction they act on (meaning, if you already are attracted to both men and women, you can choose which flavor you pick for the evening), it’s not a choice for people who only like one flavor.

Along with their “choice” theory, the religious right has also promoted the notion that “thousands” (the number hasn’t gone up in over a decade) of gays have “left the lifestyle” through prayer and therapy. The therapy involves men doing manly things, in addition to lots of prayer.

The notion that anyone can change their sexual orientation has been roundly debunked by all the legitimate scientific organizations, but religious right hate groups don’t worry about the truth.  They’re in the business to lie for the Lord, whatever it takes (including lying about the fact that some of them are even in it “for the Lord”).

Of course, the irony is that even the top “ex-gay” leaders have now admitted that they can’t change anyone’s sexual orientation. But that doesn’t stop the religious right hate groups from claiming it, and doing it to everyone, including young children.

Well, not anymore – at least in California.  The child abuse finally stops.


On Saturday California Governor Jerry Brown signed a historic bill that will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) minors from “reparative” therapies administered by mental health professionals aimed at altering sexual orientation or gender identities and expressions.

Senate Bill 1172, which the National Center for Lesbian Rights notes was co-sponsored by the NCLR, Equality California, Gaylesta, Courage Campaign, Lambda Legal, and Mental Health America of Northern California, and supported by dozens of organizations, is the first law of its kind in the United States and will become effective on January 1, 2013.

“Conversion” or “reparative” therapies, which can include a wide variety of techniques from counseling to shock therapy to — in extreme cases — exorcism, have long been used in an attempt to “cure” individuals of their homosexual and transgender orientations and identities. However, in recent years even those who once championed the idea that someone can convert to heterosexuality have admitted that viewpoint is flawed.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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2 Responses to ““Pray away the gay” therapy banned for kids in CA”

  1. Jason Cheung says:

    It probably could. First Amendment mainly applies to non-harmful speech, which a therapist’s advice could be considered either “harmful” or “not speech.” If free exercise of religion is the line of attack, California courts have held that parent’s do not have a right to endanger their children through action or ommission, even for religious reasons. http://lawblog.legalmatch.com/2012/12/06/

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