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Legislation needed to stop coercive “conversion therapy”?

Nine months ago, when writing about “conversion therapy,” I expressed my doubts about the effectiveness of this treatment, designed to “cure” people like us of our longings for same-sex intimacy and affection.

Despite those doubts, I believe, as I then wrote that, in a free society, “Christian groups have every right to set up . . . companies [offering such therapy, provided they do not coerce anyone to enter treatment.”  Even though in a subsequent post, I expressed the intention to address the issue of “coercion“, I have yet to do so.  Given that  many of those “coerced” to enter such treatment are minors, the issue is not as simple as it might first appear; should the state intervene to prevent this coercion, it would then be acting in loco parentis.

As a reader said when we were discussing the issue on Facebook, “It does get hairy for minors.”  On the one hand, I very much want to prevent any teen from experiencing some of the extreme treatments in such programs.  On the other, I fear the slippery slope created by any legislation removing parents’ rights to raise their own children.  Will the state then try to prevent parents from home-schooling their children or learning to hunt?

At the LA Weekly, Patrick McDonald writes about a bill pending before the California legislature to allow teens to opt out of therapies their parents choose;

Written by California State Senator Ted Lieu and sponsored by the gay rights group Equality California, Senate Bill 1172 would force psychotherapists to tell gay patients about the mental and physical harms of undertaking any so-called “gay therapies.” Therapists would also need the consent of a patient before moving forward with their dangerous work.

Most importantly, the bill seeks to stop all gay therapies of minors, regardless of the wishes of his or her parents. So you have to be at least 18 years old and sign off on treatment before a whacked-out therapist can do anything to you.

He goes on to detail some of the treatments to which young people have been subject.  The text of the legislation is here.   (more…)

Watcher of Weasels — Weekly Winners

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:05 am - April 27, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

This week, Joshuapundit took home the laurel for his post, Yom Hashoah – Reflections On The Holocaust, “a look at how those people who came into contact with it tried to process it, what’s been remembered, why many people would like to forget all about it and what that all means in today’s context.

The non-Council winner was Raymond Ibrahim’s How the Media Whitewashes Muslim Persecution of Christians.  The remaining Council winners include: (more…)

Obama: better to be cool than accomplished?

Yesterday, Ann Althouse, reminding us that his predecessor gave up golf when he was chief executive, wondered as the president’s latest effort to appear cool:

Does a slow jam with Jimmy Fallon send the wrong message? Or do we not think about the mom whose son may have recently died anymore? (Obama has no Cindy Sheehan dogging hounding him bothering him… at least not that we see in the news.)

Why is Obama immune from the criticism that normally befalls a President? Back in 2008, running for President, Obama pushed back the press one time with “Why is it that I can’t just enjoy my waffle?”

It’s like that was a really hard question — why is it that he can’t just enjoy his waffle… and his multiple vacations and his golf and his rock concerts in the White House and his slow jam with Jimmy Fallon?

The answer is: Because you have a job. You applied for it. We hired you. Make us believe you’re doing it.

Via Instapundit.  Seems he’s more interested in the perks of office than its responsibilities.

It’s not just that we’re still at war, it’s also that the nation has big problems, many exacerbated by the president’s policies in his first three years in office.  Our debt is skyrocketing, entitlements face insolvency and the president has neither pushed his fellow partisans in the Senate to vote on his budget nor put forward solutions to reform Social Security or Medicare.

Perhaps, his attempt to be “cool” is part of his campaign strategy.  In Commentary, Peter Wehner observed that:

Given his inability and unwillingness to run on his record, the Obama strategy appears to rest on achieving three things: (1) energizing the turnout of his base (minorities, young voters and liberals); (more…)