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On long discussions and gay-related policy news

Jeff’s brief post on Friday linking to a piece in The Onion has generated one of the longer discussion threads here in recent months at GayPatriot.  At the risk of mischaracterizing or oversimplifying it, much of the discussion has centered around the policy goals of gay activists of various stripes, as well as whether or not, criticizing or finding fault with some of those goals means one sympathizes with the aims of various anti-gay activists.

I think it is well-known to most regular readers that several of the contributors at GayPatriot, for instance, are either ambivalent or agnostic about the policy questions regarding same-sex marriage.  I, for one, feel that the courts are the wrong place for the argument over so-called “marriage equality” to proceed and that it is better taken up through the legislative process.  Likewise, I don’t feel that one needs to call it marriage if doing so antagonizes a significant portion of the populace who feel that marriage has a traditional meaning which they would rather not modify.  I’ve said before and I’ll say again that what we’re really talking about when we talk about same-sex marriage is a matter of  1). how the state recognizes a contractual relationship between two individuals, and 2). whether or not it has any business granting special privileges to those in a “traditional marriage” which it does not grant to others.  I’d argue that a debate that focused on the desirability of certain policy choices would be much more productive and much more worthwhile than one centered on emotional claims about “rights” and “equality.”  I’d also say that a more dispassionate debate about the implications of policy is more in keeping with both conservative and libertarian principles.

My aim today, though, is not to revisit that debate or to consider the implications of the recent Supreme Court decisions on those issues (though I’m still planning to do so in a future post), but to bring up some of the questions raised by the fact that today New Jersey became the second state (after California) to ban “conversion therapy” for gay youths.  My personal view on the issue is that “conversion therapy” doesn’t work in most cases and, to the extent that it is practiced, it should really only be viewed as an option for adults who choose to willingly commit to it.  In other words, New Jersey’s ban is in accord with my personal view on the matter, and yet, for philosophical reasons, I’m still bothered by some aspects of the legislation.

Neo-neocon expresses reservations similar to mine when she writes:

It is no use pretending that therapy—and the licensing of therapists by the state—is not at least partly a political endeavor subject to political fashion rather than a science. Nor should therapists be completely unrestricted. For example, therapists are already prohibited from sexual contact with patients—even willing patients, even adult patients—because it is considered inherently exploitative. But the most harmful practices that could be used by conversion therapists (for example, electric shock) could be banned without banning the entire enterprise. And as the articles point out, mainstream therapy organizations have already condemned conversion therapy and do not advocate it.

But apparently none of that would be enough for the advocates of this bill; the therapy itself must be defined by the government as inherently and unfailingly abusive (what’s next, taking children away from parents who don’t applaud and celebrate their gayness?) As the nanny state grows, so will these essentially political moves by the government. This bill opens the door for a host of governmental abuses in which the state dictates the enforcement of politically correct thought through the mechanism of so-called therapy, and therapists become the instruments by which the public is indoctrinated in what is currently politically acceptable and what is verboten.

Chilling, indeed.

At the risk of invoking the “slippery-slope” argument, I can’t see a way around the concerns that Neo-neocon expresses.  I’d have preferred to let the market regulate itself without getting the state involved in this way.  Once the state has weighed in on this question, though, where can we expect it to weigh in next, and will it ever stop trying to regulate the way parents raise their children?  I can’t see that it ever will.

It’s an unfortunate reality that many gay kids grow up in homes that are not especially loving, nurturing or supportive.   The state, though, is none of those things, either, no matter what the expressed intentions of lawmakers might be.  Increasing the reach of the state into individual lives should not be a comfort to any of us.

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44 Comments

  1. So, will ‘mental health professionals’ also be banned from counseling teenage trannies as they prepare to have their bodies chemically and surgically mutilated into crude facsimiles of the opposite sex?

    No?

    Oh.

    I guess that’s because choosing to change your sex is trendy and cool; whereas choosing to change your sexual orientation is … not.

    Comment by V the K — August 19, 2013 @ 11:57 pm - August 19, 2013

  2. Sorry, I do NOT buy the slippery slope arguement in this case at all. “Conversion therapy”, from everything that I’ve read, seems to be nothing more that snake oil salesmenship.

    It does more harm and no documented good. It IS a form of child abuse – and at the hands of so-called experts. Sadly, there are some parents/guardians who are so against homosexuality that they are willing to subject their children to anything so that they can be “cured.” This is truly sad.

    Here’s an analogy to ponder. There used to be “camps” for teenagers who were troubled kids, sort of like “boot camps.” They were tough love or whatever you want to call it. Some of these camps went too far and ended up injuring, or in a couple of cases killing, some of their charges. Didn’t the state have, not just the right, but, the resposibility to make sure that these kids (as troubled as they were) were not harmed? Tough love in itself wasn’t the harm; it was the overkill. (no pun intended) Many states stepped in and ended this problem. Many of these camps still exist and do a lot of good; but, now they have state oversight. This type of situation is one in which the “market forces” will not always be good at delivering safety; some safeguards do need to be in place.

    So, it is with “conversion therapy”, the state is stepping in and ending an abusive practice. A practice which is shown to NOT work. This ban is not ending therapy for gay kids; just the attempt to “convert” them.

    So, as far as this ban on “conversion therapy” for minors, I see it as nothing more than banning quackery. Which is something the state should be doing.

    Comment by Charles — August 20, 2013 @ 12:20 am - August 20, 2013

  3. Alcohol and drug rehab programs also have extremely low success rates, and there are documented cases of patients being abused. Perhaps they should be outlawed as well.

    Comment by V the K — August 20, 2013 @ 12:39 am - August 20, 2013

  4. Anyone who’s interested in learning more about the evidence as to whether conversion therapy “works” and/or how harmful it is should take a look at this. The answer is that it definitely doesn’t work very often. However, results also appear to vary depending on how one defines “work,” how subjects are recruited (for example, the study that showed a lot of harm advertised with an ad that read “Help Us Document the Harm”), and a host of other variables that have been very poorly controlled.

    In short, we really don’t know as much as we think we know about it, and the field suffers from the same huge lack of clarity and scientific rigor as most therapeutic outcome studies do. It is also highly subject to political pressure, which is currently rife.

    I also asked some further questions about it in my original post. I reiterate them here:

    Is [the NJ ban only against] therapy explicitly labeled “conversion therapy,” therapy which has as its stated goal the conversion of minors who identify as gay into ones identifying as straight? Is it only therapy initiated by parents for the children against the child’s will, or is a child him/herself banned from seeking such therapy? What if this is not the explicit goal of the therapy, but the topic comes up during the course of therapy anyway because the child brings it up? Is the therapist then only allowed to voice positive glowing recommendations of the gay life, or is the therapist allowed to say that being straight isn’t so very bad either, especially to a child who is still uncertain of his/her sexual identity at such a tender age? How much praise or negativity of the gay or straight life is too much? And of course, how will this be enforced, and what is the penalty?

    Comment by neo-neocon — August 20, 2013 @ 12:51 am - August 20, 2013

  5. Thanks for weighing in with the additional details and questions, Neo.

    With regard to Charles’ comments, I’d also add that in the passage I quoted from your original post, you were clear to state that harmful practices could be banned without banning anything that might be considered “conversion therapy,” regardless of its success rate.

    The questions you ask above are good ones since any therapist would feel reluctant to acknowledge realities that might make a child more reluctant to identify as gay, even if the child was simply curious without a clue one way or another.

    Comment by Kurt — August 20, 2013 @ 1:09 am - August 20, 2013

  6. Oh my God, Gay Patriot has taken a stand on a gay issue. I’m in shock.

    Comment by SC.Swampfox — August 20, 2013 @ 1:51 am - August 20, 2013

  7. results also appear to vary depending on how one defines “work,”

    A good observation. Can therapy change sexual orientation? My non-scientific guess would be “no” in most cases. Can therapy change behavior; yes, if the subject is willing. Can therapy help a person to be happy within a different set of behaviors; also, yes, if the subject is willing.

    Comment by V the K — August 20, 2013 @ 7:10 am - August 20, 2013

  8. Actually the blog has several times, you just refuse to see it.

    V the K does raise a valid point, what about otehr forms of therapy? Will the state decide that trying to rewire the brain for transexuals is bad, but trying to rewire the body is fine? Ir what about drug addiction? Will a doctor no longer say ‘drugs are bad’?

    Also ECT isn’t the horror story it once was. Recently they’ve found it works as a form of ‘rebooting’ the brain for severe depression. While the person may again revert into depression (the OS still is corrupted) it can be caught before it is so severe again.

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 20, 2013 @ 7:14 am - August 20, 2013

  9. Agreed, Kurt. I am highly skeptical of “homosexual conversion” therapy; in most cases, the people are simply choosing to not act on there homosexual impulses, and have not even manifested heterosexual impulses. Yes, there are indeed people who go from homosexual relationships to heterosexual relationships (and vice versa, but you never see the former on TV). If those people are honest, then they will admit that the homosexual impulses have not gone away. In short, they are actually bisexuals.

    One such woman, a lesbian atheist turned Catholic wife and mother, remarked that conversion therapy often features “masculinizing” or “feminizing” activities as a part of the conversion therapy. Ignoring the fact that a man can be masculine, or a woman feminine, and still be homosexual. However, she had the caveat that such activities could be useful if they were used to help people learn how to interact with members of their own sex in a platonic manner, especially if that was an issue they faced.

    Comment by Sean — August 20, 2013 @ 7:31 am - August 20, 2013

  10. Another blog (maybe Hot Air?) raised an interesting question. A child’s first sexual encounter is being molested by a man. He now feels attracted to men. IS the therapist allowed to link the two? Likewise, a not insignifican number of my lesbian friends were molested by men as children, would linking their preferences to that incident be allowed? Even if it was the root cause?

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 20, 2013 @ 7:32 am - August 20, 2013

  11. “A good observation. Can therapy change sexual orientation? My non-scientific guess would be “no” in most cases. Can therapy change behavior; yes, if the subject is willing. Can therapy help a person to be happy within a different set of behaviors; also, yes, if the subject is willing.”

    I have spent a good part of my life working with many folks who are suffering from all sort of problems. And this is exactly correct. If a gay person wants to chose to not live as a gay person, than that person can do so if he/she chooses it. Therapy can help that person with that choice. But the subject must choose to be accept the outcomes and then be strong enough, with the right support, to not fall into who they are. Even then, it wouldn’t convert the person, but instead build that person’s willpower and body into accept that person’s choices.

    Comment by mike — August 20, 2013 @ 7:43 am - August 20, 2013

  12. [...] Gay Patriot hit the ball out of the park with this one… and it really speaks to how the [professional] Left infects the regular “market regulating itself without the state getting involved,” BECAUSE, the state is none of these things that the Left thinks it is: loving, nurturing or supportive.   [...]

    Pingback by Religio-Political Talk (RPT) Not Agnostic To How the State Ruins Contractual Agreements Between Individuals ~ Modern Progressive Power Grab (Same-Sex Marriage) — August 20, 2013 @ 9:12 am - August 20, 2013

  13. If you read and ponder the excellent basic (read: core) questions neo-neocon posits, you may begin to wonder if “therapy” has any real foundation in gay “conversion” or if the therapist is left latching onto the generic tools of behavior modification.

    It seems to me that the “state” (read: the enforcement arm of the public square) would love to have a magic/scientific quick fix for alcoholics and drug addicts. But what “harm” to daily life in the public square is brought to the fore by gays? It creeps me out to treat homosexuality as merely an addiction or orientation which can be excised by some sort of voodoo or higher order “therapy.”

    That said, if a person is willing to “confront” his inner demon as he see it, I support him in attempting to find credible and positive help. Said person, however, is likely an adult.

    I try very hard to accept gays as fellow travelers and not ruminate on “why” they are gay. But the “gay agenda” really, really annoys me once it starts shaking its finger at me for being heterosexual or Christian or indifferent to the gay agenda. Yet, I feel powerful empathy for the teen who is struggling with sexual orientation.

    I doubt that the courts, laws, regulations or public scolding is very useful in reforming much of anything about being gay or accepting of gays.

    Comment by heliotrope — August 20, 2013 @ 9:47 am - August 20, 2013

  14. Also ECT isn’t the horror story it once was. Recently they’ve found it works as a form of ‘rebooting’ the brain for severe depression. While the person may again revert into depression (the OS still is corrupted) it can be caught before it is so severe again.

    Seconded, don’t baby-with-the-bathwater the tools, just because someone’s using them wrong. ECT isn’t as popular as it was 50+ years ago when it was new (and there weren’t many other hammers in the box), but it still has a role when applied properly, under the direction of a trained and experienced MD (not PhD, PA, CNP, nor any of the long litany of “Therapists”).

    That said, it’s been about 20 years since I was last involved in ECT (waay outside my scope of practice), but I’ll wager that “Gender Identity” syndromes are off-off-off label uses without much peer-reviewed evidence of safety/efficacy published after 1950 or so. It is also my opinion that a licensed physician recklessly inflicting it on such “patients” should risk censure by their professional society and perhaps their medical board — those are the controls that are supposed to police the industry.

    Comment by Sathar — August 20, 2013 @ 9:50 am - August 20, 2013

  15. I was agreeing with you. When I had my breakdown years ago. I seriously studied all the methods for depression, especially ECT.

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 20, 2013 @ 10:23 am - August 20, 2013

  16. “Genderism” ~ There are more ex-gays than actual gays… right now. I updated my #4 on my cumulative case, in it, there is a link to “Girls Just Wanna Have Guns,” in the grey sectioned off area [again, of #4].

    —- http://tinyurl.com/acqhcfv

    So, speaking to the “agnosticism” here (and I cannot return to the convo… busy… but it may offer some other avenues of thinking), since attraction seems so fluid, what, if any, relationship is best (most healthy) for the state to support over others?

    In other words, 3-question liberals never ask: compared to what; at what cost; what hard-evidence do you have?

    http://youtu.be/5KHdhrNhh88

    Comment by PapaGiorgio — August 20, 2013 @ 11:13 am - August 20, 2013

  17. A Caveat, I know those three questions are asked here… a lot. That is why I enjoy GP!

    Comment by PapaGiorgio — August 20, 2013 @ 11:13 am - August 20, 2013

  18. [...] On long discussions and gay-related policy news [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Chris Christie bans reparative therapy for minors — August 20, 2013 @ 1:12 pm - August 20, 2013

  19. The question then is this; is “conversion therapy” itself harmful?

    Obviously ban the harmful aspects of a therapy such as electric shock (which really amounts to torture); but shouldn’t we also ban those “therapies” which are in themselves harmful?

    Perhaps, that is where I differ with you and Neo. Since this “conversion therapy” is itself doing harm shouldn’t it also be banned for minors?

    Should a therapist whose client feels bad about being blonde convince that client that their is nothing wrong with being blonde or should that therapist tell that client that yes, society hates blondes and you will be better off dying your hair since blonde is ugly, blonde is sinful, blonde is bad. (ok, that is a bit of a stretch for an analogy; and certainly telling a client to dye her hair isn’t as harmful as telling a gay minor that yes they need to change; but, I hope you understand what I’m getting at)

    Comment by Charles — August 20, 2013 @ 2:19 pm - August 20, 2013

  20. Why does there need to be a law specific to conversion therapy? If it is abuse, shouldn’t it already be illegal under existing law?

    Comment by Rattlesnake — August 20, 2013 @ 2:27 pm - August 20, 2013

  21. The president of the now-defunct “ex-gay” organization, Exodus International, has been married to a woman for nearly 16 years. But he rejects labeling himself straight, bisexual, gay, or even “ex-gay,” noting that “while my life has changed dramatically, my same-sex attraction hasn’t.” In an interview in which he once again apologized for the damage he admits his group did to many people, Alan Chambers, who for 12 years led the 37-year-old group which promised to “cure” homosexuality, stopped short of saying someone shouldn’t try to control or deny sexual desires for the sake of religious convictions, while rejecting the therapeutic aspects of so-called “reparative therapy,” especially for minors.

    “There’s no better way to do it than an apology for the people who were hurt,” Chambers said in an interview with me on SiriusXM Progress, a little over a month after his public apology and the stunning announcement that the group would shut down its “ex-gay” program. “Exodus should have just stayed as a support system for people who were looking for an alternative to gay life. I think the therapeutic aspect of it, not to mention the short stint we had in the political world on this, really did a disservice.” (Scroll down to listen to the interview)

    Chambers said he believed the therapies do damage to people and that minors should not be put through them even as adults should still have the choice.

    “What I believe is that when it comes to promising or assuring someone, or causing someone to expect that they’re going to completely eradicate a set of feelings or temptations or desires, I think that sets someone up for tremendous damage, which can cause them shame and guilt,” he said. “I certainly believe we should never be offering [conversion therapy] for minors. For adults, they can decide based on all the facts presented.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/04/alan-chambers-exodus-international-_n_3696750.html

    Comment by rusty — August 20, 2013 @ 5:36 pm - August 20, 2013

  22. Just a thought=

    Anyone here think about the implications of what if “conversion therapy” was applied to other forms of life for children?

    Imagine a child of some especially left-wing parents being diagnosed as having “psychopathic nationalism” for supporting secure borders and being strongly patriotic for his area (maybe it’s a 14-year-old reading the right blogs). Then he’s being put into therapy that’s identical to current anti-gay therapy only the images are changed. So the kid takes pain-causing drugs and is forced to look at images of minutemen on the border, right wing politicians, right wing slogans, the American flag, et cetera while being psychologically conditioned to think of pain when those things cross his path in the future.

    There’s zero moral or ethical difference between what I just described and current anti-gay “conversion therapy”. The medical foundation of “conversion therapy” is the same sort of conditioning techniques used in the Soviet Union’s gulags in the heyday as well as in films such as ‘A Clockwork Orange’. Science being perverted for ideology.

    Comment by SwiperTheFox — August 20, 2013 @ 11:08 pm - August 20, 2013

  23. I uploaded a few parts of this larger radio show, but I isolated the three church leaders (2 are gay, one considers himself “post-gay) talking openly and honestly about their sexual orientation, Scripture, and the like. Enjoy: http://youtu.be/WJR9e8Xnj5s

    Comment by Papa Giorgio — August 21, 2013 @ 12:48 am - August 21, 2013

  24. @22 SwiperTheFox

    That is already happening in today’s public schools.

    Comment by Juan — August 21, 2013 @ 3:40 pm - August 21, 2013

  25. I can hardly argue with you, Juan, given how horrible this American public school system is. But thank Christ for charters, Montessori places, homeschooling, and the rest.

    Comment by SwiperTheFox — August 21, 2013 @ 6:59 pm - August 21, 2013

  26. V the K. – “So, will ‘mental health professionals’ also be banned from counseling teenage trannies as they prepare to have their bodies chemically and surgically mutilated into crude facsimiles of the opposite sex?”

    “Treatment aimed at trying to change a person’s gender identity and expression to become more congruent with sex assigned at birth has been attempted in the past without success (Gelder & Marks, 1969; Greenson, 1964), particularly in the long term (Cohen-Kettenis & Kuiper, 1984; Pauly, 1965). Such treatment is no longer considered ethical.”

    We knew this 30 years ago. Gay teens subject to “reparative therapy” die in their dozens: Trans kids die in their hundreds.

    The cemeteries are full of trans kids subject to the kind of treatment you advocate. More every year, because it’s still happening, partly because of transphobic gays like you supporting it. So please, no talk of “teenage faggots” or “teenage trannies”. By your terminology you betray your irrational loathing and hatred.

    Comment by Zoe Brain — August 21, 2013 @ 8:32 pm - August 21, 2013

  27. Imagine a child of some especially left-wing parents being diagnosed as having “psychopathic nationalism” for supporting secure borders and being strongly patriotic for his area (maybe it’s a 14-year-old reading the right blogs). Then he’s being put into therapy that’s identical to current anti-gay therapy only the images are changed. So the kid takes pain-causing drugs and is forced to look at images of minutemen on the border, right wing politicians, right wing slogans, the American flag, et cetera while being psychologically conditioned to think of pain when those things cross his path in the future.

    Comment by SwiperTheFox — August 20, 2013 @ 11:08 pm – August 20, 2013

    Sorry. I put the principle of parents being able to raise their own kids as they see fit ahead of whether or not I necessarily agree with what they think is important.

    What you’re doing is emotional manipulation. You couldn’t get a rise out of the usual making-people-ungay, so you decided that maybe you could get us to compromise our principles by trying the making-people-unconservative.

    Please state for the record that you agree that the state should always have veto power over whatever parents do and that parents, especially ones with religious faiths with which you disagree, should be compelled to obey the state’s dictums or surrender their children.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 22, 2013 @ 1:51 am - August 22, 2013

  28. Imagine a child of some especially left-wing parents being diagnosed as having “psychopathic nationalism” for supporting secure borders and being strongly patriotic for his area (maybe it’s a 14-year-old reading the right blogs). Then he’s being put into therapy…

    Bad analogy. From what I understand, the new law doesn’t just make it illegal to force your 16-year old into reparative therapy (and that may have already been illegal; I’m not sure); it makes it illegal for your 16-year old to get reparative therapy AT ALL, even if it’s something he wants to explore.

    Imagine a 16-year old child of some especially right-wing parents wanting to escape what he sees as a lifestyle of “psychopathic nationalism”. And then he is DENIED help (be it therapy or whatever) in becoming a liberal…help that he may want desperately. Denied it, by force of New Jersey law. That’s the more accurate analogy.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 22, 2013 @ 11:13 am - August 22, 2013

  29. http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/just-the-facts.aspx?item=3

    The terms reparative therapy and sexual orientation conversion therapy refer to counseling and psychotherapy aimed at eliminating or suppressing homosexuality. The most important fact about these “therapies” is that they are based on a view of homosexuality that has been rejected by all the major mental health professions. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,6 published by the American Psychiatric Association, which defines the standards of the field, does not include homosexuality. All other major health professional organizations have supported the American Psychiatric Association in its declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973. Thus, the idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder or that the emergence of same-sex attraction and orientation among some adolescents is in any way abnormal or mentally unhealthy has no support among any mainstream health and mental health professional organizations.
    Despite the general consensus of major medical, health, and mental health professions that both heterosexuality and homosexuality are normal expressions of human sexuality, efforts to change sexual orientation through therapy have been adopted by some political and religious organizations and aggressively promoted to the public. However, such efforts have serious potential to harm young people because they present the view that the sexual orientation of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth is a mental illness or disorder, and they often frame the inability to change one’s sexual orientation as a personal and moral failure.7
    Because of the aggressive promotion of efforts to change sexual orientation through therapy, a number of medical, health, and mental health professional organizations have issued public statements about the dangers of this approach. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of Social Workers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured.”

    Comment by rusty — August 22, 2013 @ 11:36 am - August 22, 2013

  30. http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/may/former-ex-gay-spokesman-john-paulk-apologizes-amid-divorce.html

    http://www.religionnews.com/2013/04/26/john-paulk-former-christian-ex-gay-spokesman-recants-and-apologizes/

    Paulk’s apology:

    “For the better part of ten years, I was an advocate and spokesman for what’s known as the “ex-gay movement,” where we declared that sexual orientation could be changed through a close-knit relationship with God, intensive therapy and strong determination. At the time, I truly believed that it would happen. And while many things in my life did change as a Christian, my sexual orientation did not.

    So in 2003, I left the public ministry and gave up my role as a spokesman for the “ex-gay movement.” I began a new journey. In the decade since, my beliefs have changed. Today, I do not consider myself “ex-gay” and I no longer support or promote the movement. Please allow me to be clear: I do not believe that reparative therapy changes sexual orientation; in fact, it does great harm to many people.

    I know that countless people were harmed by things I said and did in the past, Parents, families, and their loved ones were negatively impacted by the notion of reparative therapy and the message of change. I am truly, truly sorry for the pain I have caused.

    From the bottom of my heart I wish I could take back my words and actions that caused anger, depression, guilt and hopelessness. In their place I want to extend love, hope, tenderness, joy and the truth that gay people are loved by God.

    Today, I see LGBT people for who they are–beloved, cherished children of God. I offer my most sincere and heartfelt apology to men, women, and especially children and teens who felt unlovable, unworthy, shamed or thrown away by God or the church.

    I want to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who encouraged me to take this initial step of transparency. Even while promoting “ex-gay” programs, there were those who called me on my own words and actions. I’m sure I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but they have helped me to realize this truth about who I am.

    This is a life transition that has been and will continue to be, challenging. Sadly, my marriage of 20 years is in the process of ending. I want to take the time to make sure my next actions come from a place of truth and authenticity. Therefore, I’m drastically limiting my public engagement until my own personal life can be settled. After that I eagerly anticipate giving back to the community.

    Finally, I know there are still accounts of my “ex-gay” testimony out there being publicized by various groups, including two books that I wrote about my journey. I don’t get any royalties from these publications, and haven’t since I left the ministry nearly ten years ago. I discourage anyone from purchasing and selling these books or promoting my “ex-gay” story because they do not reflect who I am now or what I believe today.”

    Comment by rusty — August 22, 2013 @ 11:52 am - August 22, 2013

  31. So, because Paulk and others say it doesn’t work (and I can believe that for a clear majority of people, it does not)… then government should step in? By banning it?

    Really?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — August 22, 2013 @ 12:06 pm - August 22, 2013

  32. If it leads to folk to consider suicide, and even are successful in completing suicide, I think folk, like folk in New Jersey, can seek a bill to change the laws.

    This change in the law does not limit parents and or their children from seeking therapy, counseling or support in dealing with homosexuality

    The bill went through the review process, testimony was presented and it made it to GOVERNOR Christie’s desk and he signed it.

    His signing may have had political bonus points, but with the information gathered, the testimonies, all apparently review by the elected officials. . .it is now a law.

    Folk seeking reparative therapy will probably always find options in private settings, even outside of the country

    Comment by rusty — August 22, 2013 @ 12:25 pm - August 22, 2013

  33. The central issue is thus: Parents have the right to raise their kids unless they actively harm their kids with malice– whether it’s child sexual abuse, locking them into a room and starving them, beating them up, taking them to anti-gay camps, threatening to murder them with an ‘honor killing’, and so on– in which case that’s blatantly not allowed.

    I have a very hard time seeing the objection here. Would all of you people that support an absolute, uncompromising right of parents to raise their kids be fine with a father sleeping with his daughter, say? Or what about refusing to feed their children? What about Muslim fundamentalist parents saying “don’t make me ‘honor’ kill you?”

    Comment by SwiperTheFox — August 23, 2013 @ 10:43 am - August 23, 2013

  34. If it leads to folk to consider suicide, and even are successful in completing suicide, I think folk, like folk in New Jersey, can seek a bill to change the laws.

    Comment by rusty — August 22, 2013 @ 12:25 pm – August 22, 2013

    Whjich is hilarious, rusty, because you and your fellow gay bigots and opponents of reparative therapy like Dan Savage and Michelangelo Signorile actively call for the death of people and tell them to commit suicide.

    Which simply goes to show that opponents of reparative therapy are, as liberals always do, projecting their own desires that other people kill themselves, be abused, and be murdered onto others.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 23, 2013 @ 1:06 pm - August 23, 2013

  35. Notice the dishonest arguments of the bigot SwiperTheFox.

    If you don’t support bans on reparative therapy, you support incest.

    If you don’t support bans on reparative therapy, you support starving children.

    If you don’t support bans on reparative therapy, you support honor killings.

    These are all flat-out lies. They are nothing but an attempt to demonize, bully, and brutalize people into doing what the bigot says by namecalling.

    And what they show is that there are no facts for this. There is just pure irrational hate and bigotry on the part of SwiperTheFox, as exemplified by SwiperTheFox’s statement that all “Protestant fundamentalists” are child abusers.

    What we have to realize is that people like SwiperTheFox do not understand that liberty means not only that you can do things that other people like, but that they can do things that you don’t like.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 23, 2013 @ 1:10 pm - August 23, 2013

  36. Gay commentator and radio talk-show host Michelangelo Signorile has apologized for making an analogy between voting for Mitt Romney and committing suicide when a Romney supporter called his show this week.

    On blogs and on Twitter, many took Signorile to task for his statements, noting the prevalence of suicide among LGBT youth and saying there would have been a much stronger outcry if a conservative had said something similar. “Imagine if it had been Limbaugh,” wrote Andrew Sullivan in his column on The Daily Beast. “Wouldn’t every gay group be assailing him for hate speech?”

    Today Signorile posted an apology on his website, saying, “I began an analogy in the wrong place.” He made the comment, he said, “not because I thought he should kill himself — I do not think gay Romney supporters should kill themselves — but because voting for someone who is committed to undermining your rights is a self-destructive behavior.”

    He said that after talking with friends and reading Sullivan’s post, “I can now see that my statement was not just jarring but offensive — certainly in the current climate of gay teen suicides. Sullivan is not some far-right gay Romney supporter; indeed, Sullivan and I are on the same side in the current political climate.”

    http://www.advocate.com/politics/media/2012/11/02/signorile-apologizes-suicide-comment-romney-voter

    Comment by rusty — August 23, 2013 @ 1:52 pm - August 23, 2013

  37. I was on Real Time with Bill Maher tonight. I was talking to someone at the party after the show, and they asked me how I thought it went. Okay, I said—and then I told them that I said something really, really stupid, half under my breath, and I was relieved that Bill and the rest of the panel didn’t hear it. But folks watching the show at home might have heard it… so… I want to apologize for… um… wishing all Republicans dead.

    I don’t feel that way. My dad is a Republican. (Well, he says he’s an independent, but he hasn’t voted for a Democrat since JFK. My dad is a Republican.) I’m fond of Michael Bloomberg and William Weld and Lincoln Chafee, and I wish no harm—save the political variety—on those Republicans I loathe. Even the one Republican I really had it in for once upon a time—Ronald Reagan—managed to outlive my anger.

    It was a stupid, rude, thoughtless remark. I regret it and I retract it and I apologize to anyone watching at home—particularly my father (!)—who may have heard me say it. I had a drink before the show—first and last time I’ve ever done that—but this wasn’t a case of, “In vino, veritas.”

    This was a case of, “In vino, stupidtas.

    http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/07/15/an-apology

    Comment by rusty — August 23, 2013 @ 1:58 pm - August 23, 2013

  38. Oooh, nice try rusty.

    But you see, we don’t accept apologies here. We follow leftist rules now, which means it’s not good enough to apologize; you have to condemn the person for making their remark, and the person has to resign their position or it’s proof that they weren’t sincere in their apology.

    Certainly, rusty, you wouldn’t demand that we accept Signorile and Savage’s apologies, when they won’t accept anyone else’s? Unless you’re willing to admit that we are better people than they are, and that gay bigots like yourself cannot be expected to act at the higher moral level that Christians and conservatives can.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 23, 2013 @ 2:47 pm - August 23, 2013

  39. What’s the matter, rusty, cat got your tongue?

    Not willing to admit that gay bigots like yourself and your buddies Signorile and Savage are pathetic animals who are mentally and morally inferior to conservatives and Christians?

    Not ready to acknowledge that your homosexuality is what causes your selfish, sociopathic, and murderous behavior like we see in gay bigots Signorile and Savage?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 23, 2013 @ 9:09 pm - August 23, 2013

  40. North Dallas Thirty wrote,

    Not ready to acknowledge that your homosexuality is what causes your selfish, sociopathic, and murderous behavior like we see in gay bigots Signorile and Savage?

    What behavior does your homosexuality cause, North Dallas Thirty?

    Comment by Donny D. — August 24, 2013 @ 6:37 pm - August 24, 2013

  41. None, really.

    But that’s rather inconvenient for the LGBT bigots like Dan Savage, Mike Signorile, and rusty, all of whom claim their homosexuality is what causes their violent sociopathic behavior.

    Or like you, who uses your homosexuality as an excuse for your irrational partisan hatred.

    The Obama Party demonizes successful black people like Herman Cain, Condi Rice, and Mia Love because they destroy the narrative that black people are helpless idiots who need to be obedient welfare slaves for white liberals. It lionizes half wits and thugs like Rachel Jeantel and Trayvon Martin.

    In the same way the Obama Party and Barack Obama demonize and tell any gay person who doesn’t vote Obama to kill themselves. That is sick, sociopathic behavior, but it is eaten up by the addled bigots like yourself that don’t want to think and want rationalization for their hatred.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 25, 2013 @ 5:13 am - August 25, 2013

  42. Tweets

    19 Aug
    GOPROUD @GOPROUD
    We applaud Christie for his efforts to protect gay-identifying youth, this is a strong move for the Governor

    Comment by rusty — August 25, 2013 @ 11:37 am - August 25, 2013

  43. Dan(NDT)
    http://i1124.photobucket.com/albums/l569/rusty98119/IMG_20130520_100640_zps4c2cd236.jpg

    Comment by rusty — August 25, 2013 @ 11:39 am - August 25, 2013

  44. 19 Aug
    GOPROUD @GOPROUD
    We applaud Christie for his efforts to protect gay-identifying youth, this is a strong move for the Governor

    Comment by rusty — August 25, 2013 @ 11:37 am – August 25, 2013

    I love it when the little lying sociopath rusty tries to quote people who he and his fellow gay bigots previously screamed were “Jewish Nazis” and “damaged” meth addicts who should be stripped of their right to vote and commit suicide.

    All it demonstrates is that the gay and lesbian community considers this sort of irrational hatred and malicious lying to be normal behavior. And when one considers that gays and lesbians insist that their homosexuality causes them to do this…..

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 25, 2013 @ 6:26 pm - August 25, 2013

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