Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Jersey Activists Push Legislation to Ban “Anti-Gay” Therapies



I got a request yesterday to join a petition to force New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to sign legislation banning so-called “gay-conversion” therapy. The petitioner told sad stories of children forced by religious parents to enter gay-conversion therapy instead of accepting their gayness.  He further cited the American Psychiatric Association, which a couple of years back prohibited members from investigating, seeking todevelop or offering therapies designed to cure homosexuality. The APA stated "…potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior."

I could not endorse this young man’s petition in support of this legislation because I believe it to be discriminatory and a clear violation of our right to believe as we wish, even though it may be stupid, as Senator Kerry recently pointed out.  I do believe, quite sincerely, that it is discriminatory to create laws that virtually prohibit anyone who is gay from seeking a therapeutic solution that would restore them to heterosexuality.  Why should people who do not wish to be gay be forced to be gay.  Americans seem to have decided in recent years that it is wrong to prevent people from being gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or trans-sexual.  We’ve even had some recent efforts to de-criminalize child pornography and sex with close relatives, minors and farm animals.  Thankfully, we’ve drawn the line on predatory sex - that is sex with someone who cannot or chooses not to participate. I believe the ban on gay-conversion therapy falls under the category of “choosing not to participate”.

The law already protects the gay community’s right to have gay sex.  In some state, gay marriage is even legalized and proclaimed a social equivalent of ordinary hetero-sexual marriage.  The Gay-Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Trans-Sexual (GLBT) movement goes further in its condemnation of all efforts to “fix” any person’s gay orientation.  GLBT activists assert that being gay is "normal" and therefore the only appropriate therapy for gay individuals is to help them "accept their gayness." 

If your religious beliefs embrace the idea the idea that gay sex is sin, then any such law which prohibits even the research into the development of a therapy to alter one’s homosexual orientation or prevents persons from seeking a physical or counseling solution, is blatantly discriminatory against your beliefs.
We are nation that recognizes each individual's right to choose.  If any legislator were to put forward a bill prohibiting any person from being forced to undergo so-called gay conversion therapy that I could support.  If, however, one supports legislation that prohibits even research and development of treatments that would help gay people become hetero-sexual or prevents a therapist from offering such treatments, then I have a real problem with that. 

I don't believe people should be forced to or prohibited from undergoing sexual reassignment surgery, plastic surgery, breast augmentation, breast reduction, penile implants or any other treatment to correct or alter the sexuality of any individual.  You ought to be able to do what you want. As my liberal friends frequently point out, “The government has no business in my bedroom.” 
That includes the bedrooms of those who are gay and wish gender reassignment back to hetero-sexuality.  The anti-gay conversion therapy bill clearly restricts the rights of Americans to choose their sexual orientation.  I thought that was what the GLBT folk were marching for.  Given their support for bills like this, I am forced to conclude that the GLBT Alliance wants the freedom to move from being hetero-sexual to homo, trans or bi-sexuality, but that they actively oppose any efforts to help people move from homo-sexuality to hetero-sexuality. 

Because a discomfort with one’s own homosexuality is generally a feature of religious believers, and that religion is often part of the motivation behind wanting gay-conversion therapy in the first place, then laws which prohibit anyone from doing so or helping someone do so are clearly a violation of the first amendment.  Such laws establish a virtual ‘religious’ belief that if one is gay, one’s only choice is to accept that and get on with your life. We’ll give you a lift to the nearest gay bar.
Were the straight community to pursue creating laws that force heterosexuals not to experiment with gay sex, bi-sexuality, transvestite or trans-gender behaviors, the GLBT community would immediately rise up and accuse us of discrimination. Further we could count on being accused of trying to protect the pool of potential heterosexual partners and keep the numbers as large as possible.  We’d be accused of being predatory.

GLBT activists claim there is no effective treatment for homosexuality.  They are only partially right.  This is because GLBT activists have worked hard to stop the development of any effective treatment. When the APA was pressured by the gay community to drop homosexuality as a “diagnosis” from the APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, hundreds of thousands of gay Americans were instantly cured with the stroke of a pen. Not everyone in the psychiatric community agreed with the idea that homosexuality was not a “disorder”, but those who did not, have since found themselves hounded, pressured and persecuted for daring to do any research into a way to treat or cure homosexual tendencies in their patients.  It matters not to the GLBT activist that the person may not want to be gay.  Their advice to any homosexual person is to get used to it.  Go ahead and be gay. The GBLT believes the topic is closed, settled and finished.  Taking their cue from global warming alarmists, the GBLT community has declared the science “settled” and shouts down anyone who says otherwise as dangerous cranks.

Our freedoms are being eroded on all sides. While I cannot compete with the massive organizational capabilities of the GLBT community on this issue, I certainly will not sign a petition in support of it.  My liberties are already wearing pretty damned thin.  Cannabis supporters want marijuana use to be not just legalized, but normalized.  They’ve won in the issue in two states already. Nudists want to run loose in San Francisco. Ru Paul is a popular celebrity. Reality TV has people eating bugs in prime time – something once reserved for the Jerry Springer show during the afternoon when decent people are taking naps.

So what’s next?

I suspect that farm animals will soon need to start watching their backs.

© 2013  Tom King

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