Tuesday, March 01, 2016

SCOTUS again kicks fraudulent 'ex-gay' therapy to the curb

The religious right isn't happy with the Supreme Court today. According to the Human Rights Campaign:

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court again refused to hear a challenge to New Jersey’s law protecting LGBTQ youth from the fraudulent and dangerous practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” Republican Governor Chris Christie signed this important legislation into law in August of 2013. The Court’s action leaves in place the decision of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upholding the law’s constitutionality. Last May, the Supreme Court declined to review a separate challenge to the same law, and in June of 2014, the Court refused to hear similar challenges to California’s law protecting youth from “conversion therapy.” California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon and the District of Columbia have all passed laws protecting LGBTQ minors from  “conversion therapy,” and more than 20 states have introduced similar legislation this year. Following an executive action from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, New York is also adopting regulations to protect youth from “conversion therapy.”

 . . . “Conversion therapy,” sometimes referred to as “sexual orientation change efforts” or “reparative therapy,” are practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. These practices are based on the false premise that being LGBTQ is a mental illness that needs to be cured, a theory that has been rejected by every major medical and mental health organization for decades. There is no credible evidence that “conversion therapy” can change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. To the contrary, research has clearly shown that these practices pose devastating health risks for LGBTQ young people. Use of these dangerous practices lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, homelessness, and even suicidal behavior, which is why they are universally criticized by the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and American Medical Association.

Naturally, members of the religious right have tried to spin this defeat into a bad one for families instead of a defeat of homophobia. American Family Association's One News Now posted an "article" containing only one person quoted, Liberty Counsel head Matt Staver.

Of course the article couldn't name any medical bodies who favor ex-gay therapy because there aren't any. Nor does it contain any statistics about how many folks have been successfully through "ex-gay" therapy. But it did contain hilarious handwringing moments such as this from Staver:

For now, Staver explains, people will just have to wait for the next case to come up. "But in the meantime, parents and their children in New Jersey will not be able to seek the kind of counsel that has been life-changing and frankly life-saving for them, which is a tragedy of incalculable consequences," he tells OneNewsNow.

Staver didn't go into detail regarding what "tragedy of incalculable consequences" he is talking about. My guess is that his vague reference is something to be picked up by those who support him, i.e. the false belief that homosexuality is supposedly a "deadly and dangerous lifestyle" 

It's so "convenient" that neither Staver nor One News Now mention folks who have been damaged by "reparative therapy," such as these wonderful people who are now embracing their God-given sexual orientation:

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