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  1. I am usually not a fan of anything that undermines parental authority. Parents are charged with giving children a proper upbringing and instilling important values.

    That said there are limits to this principle. Can a Christian Scientist refuse treatment for a cancer ridden minor? Can a Jehovahs witness deny a blood transfusion for their son or daughter? In each of these cases the government can step in and force action on behalf of the minor.

    Unlike those cases, here – the government is not forcing an action, instead it is prohibiting a harmful action against a minor. I’m generally of the persuasion that it takes much more evidence to ensure the force of action, rather than prohibition of action. Therefore the risk of action – and downstream consequences – seem to outweigh the risk of allowing the individual to persue treatment as a legal adult.

    I like this legislation simply because it allows an adult to make the final say on his or her mental health.

    I specifically did not come out before 18 so I did not have to go through reparative church therapy (which I know I would
    Have been forced to) – my parents gave me the number and offered to pay once I wasn’t a dependent and felt safe to come out.

    I don’t want to not give children the blind eye because they weren’t ‘smart enough’ to keep their mouths shut.

    At the same time, I don’t want to undermine parental authority – but feel the danger to a minor outweighs this right.

    Comment by Eric — April 27, 2012 @ 2:24 am - April 27, 2012

  2. I will offer a non-libertarian perspective… I speak only generally, but I tend to favour strong law enforcement as being necessary to uphold rights. If it can be demonstrated that this conversion therapy is harmful (that is, if conversion therapy is similar to abuse, or something), then I see no problem in banning it for minors. Also, just because parents can’t beat their kids, doesn’t remove their right to parent them (I am not saying conversion therapy is equivalent to beating). I don’t fear a slippery slope, because my conclusion comes from the same principle as laws that ban physical assault (under the assumption that conversion therapy is bad enough to warrant a ban, which I don’t know).

    Comment by Rattlesnake — April 27, 2012 @ 2:26 am - April 27, 2012

  3. Well said, Rattlesnake, very well said.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — April 27, 2012 @ 2:34 am - April 27, 2012

  4. So, will there also be a bill to prevent minors from being subjected to transgender hormone treatments and therapy? After all, if they are not to be allowed to seek therapy to change their orientation, why should they be allowed to seek therapy to change their sexual identity?

    Or, is it a matter that wanting to change your sex is politically correct, but wanting to change your orientation is not?

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 6:20 am - April 27, 2012

  5. #4

    I think it’s worse than that V the K, wanting to change your orientation in a certain direction is verbotten. If a person wants to be gay (or decides he is), I’m sure he’d be cheered on.

    I remember reading years ago, so no source, sorry, that sexuality isn’t immutable for everyone. So some folks can change.

    Comment by The Livewire — April 27, 2012 @ 8:06 am - April 27, 2012

  6. Basically, what the activists behind this legislation are saying is that if a thirteen year old kid says, “I’m attracted to my same sex and I don’t want to be. May I get some therapy,” the state will say “No, you can’t. You are too young to decide such things, so we assume your parents are coercing you.” But if another thirteen year old says, “I don’t like being the sex I am. Can I begin having toxic chemicals injected into my body so that it can eventually be rendered into a crude dysfunctional facsimile of the opposite sex,” the state says, “Sure, go ahead, and we’re very proud of you for making this brave decision.”

    That is why the state should stay the hell out of such personal decisions.

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 8:38 am - April 27, 2012

  7. “I believe I owe the gay community an apology for my study making unproven claims of the efficacy of reparative therapy. I also apologize to any gay person who wasted time and energy undergoing some form of reparative therapy because they believed that I had proven that reparative therapy works with some ‘highly motivated’ individuals.” – Dr. Robert Spitzer, Columbia University. Spitzer’s study has been heavily cited by anti-gay and Christian hate groups.

    Comment by rusty — April 27, 2012 @ 9:16 am - April 27, 2012

  8. cited by anti-gay and Christian hate groups.

    Are we all in accord with this label?

    What is the “source” of “conversion therapy?” By source, I mean the soul. Is it a vengeful act of hate or is it akin to the inconvenience that motivates so many abortions or is it an act of concern and love or is it a melody of confusion?

    Years ago, I worked on a team with a sex change physician. Our efforts were aimed at attempting to understand the “greater good” that would realized in each and every case and to know the likelihood of dispelling some demons. We also looked at the new demons that would beset the patient and tried to assess the patient’s ability to deal with them along with the transformed sexual identity.

    We were dealing with the unknown and many unknowable aspects of a mutated human life. It was no picnic. Others on the team worked with the patient to help the patient understand the world beyond. (My role was to protect the institution from getting tarred with being uncaring. However, I have one friend who had his female transgender modified who has kept up with me for more than forty years. I became a “secret sharer” in his life and he sometimes just needs to talk.}

    I am a naif in the whole area of “conversion therapy” and its outcomes. I do know that immersion therapy is more like brain washing than actual medical theory. If a person signs up for such therapy, he should be free to walk away from it as well. That is much harder for a youngster than someone nearing adulthood.

    “If” science were to discover a gene therapy that would eliminate homosexuality, the question changes entirely. How would “reparative” conversion proceed? That would be a question open to all homosexuals and to budding homosexuals in the womb.

    Comment by heliotrope — April 27, 2012 @ 9:49 am - April 27, 2012

  9. My concern with the present school system is that force kids to self identify their sexuality at a much earlier age. Much of Liberal education is getting kids to express their sexuality before they are emotionally capable of doing so. I prefer abstinence education, which is neutral and allows parents to teach their own kids the best path. However, what we end up with is sex education with a highly sexualized outcome that assumes kids are not capable of self-control. The handling out of condoms, abortions without parental consent, teenage pregnancy, and teacher-student statutory rape is a constant problem. We are now adding conversion therapy as the new bogie man with religious implications.

    We are telling kids that there a bullies out there that will make you suicidal. You will kill yourself before anyone can get you. Where will the slippery slope end? I don’t see how this will end well.

    Comment by anon23532 — April 27, 2012 @ 11:01 am - April 27, 2012

  10. Are we all in accord with this label?

    No we are not, heliotrope.

    And it betrays the whole motivation of people like rusty, who are nothing more than anti-Christian bigots.

    As V the K pointed out, gays and lesbians and “Equality” California have no problem with you demanding that your penis be cut off and your body be warped with hormones when you’re eight years old; indeed, if your parents object to that, they are called bigots and told they need to have their parental rights taken away.

    But if they decide you should go to therapy that gays and lesbians don’t like, then you are banned from doing so.

    Beyond that, this law is hilarious in its desperation. It rants about how this and that and this are unproven and how thus children and people need to be banned from ever touching them. When you consider how many “alternative therapies” there are in this state, most of them quite unproven, that the state even pays for, you see very clearly that California’s concern is not about protecting children; it’s about exercising control and punishing people they don’t like

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 27, 2012 @ 11:05 am - April 27, 2012

  11. what we end up with is sex education with a highly sexualized outcome that assumes kids are not capable of self-control.

    There is something schizophrenic about the approach of the public schools to teenage health issues:

    Cigarettes: Abstain from them! They’ll kill you. Alcohol: Abstain from it! It will kill you. Drugs: Abstain from them! They will kill you! Sex: Meh, you’re just gonna do it anyway, so use a condom, because although teenagers are too irresponsible to appreciate the consequences of sex, they will definitely have the presence of mind and self-control to use a condom properly in the heat of a sexual encounter.

    If abstinence education “just doesn’t work” for sex, why is it the only effective form education for tobacco, alcohol, and drugs?

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 11:15 am - April 27, 2012

  12. @V the K,

    Because tobacco, alcohol, and drugs are medically proven to be bad for your health at any age.

    “Abstinence education” is based on the premise that people wait until marriage for sex. The idea of “waiting until marriage” is becoming increasingly antiquated as more people are waiting until later to get married. People who get married at age 18, or quickie “shotgun” weddings are much more likely to get divorced. Further, the idea of “waiting until marriage” to have sex may not have much meaning for gays & lesbians, who have been told by many religious conservatives that they don’t deserve the right to marry their partners, and that gay sex is “disgusting” or an “abomination”.

    In a sex ed class, it’s important to send the message that condoms are important, because they don’t just prevent pregnancies — they prevent STDs & HIV too. It’s important for young men who are gay or questioning to know that. Young gay men who don’t know about the importance of safe sex (should they wish to have sex) are much more likely to expose themselves to HIV and other STDs.

    Comment by James — April 27, 2012 @ 11:40 am - April 27, 2012

  13. If abstinence education “just doesn’t work” for sex, why is it the only effective form education for tobacco, alcohol, and drugs?

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 11:15 am – April 27, 2012

    I look at it this way, V the K.

    Children drinking, smoking, or using drugs do not directly benefit liberal adults; they gain nothing from doing so.

    Children being promiscuous and told to have sex at the earliest age possible CAN directly benefit liberal adults.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 27, 2012 @ 11:59 am - April 27, 2012

  14. This could be true, but abstinence education can also teach kids to wait until they are adults and mature enough to carry out a sexual relationship. People do know that a long term committed relationship does not mean marriage. Long term commented relationships doesn’t mean hook-ups and one night stands.

    Also, kids shouldn’t be having sex anyways especially when they are still living under their parents’ roofs. They are not in the age of consent. The message we are sending is indeed mixed.

    Comment by anon23532 — April 27, 2012 @ 12:00 pm - April 27, 2012

  15. Because tobacco, alcohol, and drugs are medically proven to be bad for your health at any age.

    But of course, there are never any adverse health consequences to early, promiscuous sex. /sarc

    Again, the main reason sex is treated differently isn’t because of health concerns; but rather because a lot of liberals are comfortable with the idea of teenagers having sex; Portland Mayor Sam Adams, for example.

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 12:05 pm - April 27, 2012

  16. Let’s just be clear that abstinence education can refer to marriage (as primary goal), long term committed relationship, waiting until age of consent, and emotional maturity is attained. Having sex as kids with no income, living with parents as dependents, hook-ups, and underage are the height of irresponsibility.

    Comment by anon23532 — April 27, 2012 @ 12:08 pm - April 27, 2012

  17. Dan, this is one of those “sticky wicket” issues for me too.

    On the one hand, I don’t favor constant Government intrusion into our lives, such as the stupid now retracted edict to crack down on minors working on farms.

    Here is the difference in this case. There is an overwhelming amount of empirical evidence that the experiences of working on a farm at a young age is beneficial to the child. Yes, “X” number of kids will get hurt on the job, but “X” number of kids get hurt going to school. The benefits of working on a farm, however, far far outweigh the dangers.

    With the only real scientific study to suggest conversion therapy could do any good now retracted, there is no evidence that it is beneficial at all. It’s just another form of quack psychology. I liken this to some of the alternative medicines or therapies that are out there. If you, as an adult, want to take the chance and woof down a bunch of pills that either don’t work, or worse, may actually contain chemicals that could be detrimental to your health… I’ll argue against it. But you’re an adult. If you are planning to force your kid to do that. That’s a different story.

    Example – apitherapy, or more specifically, bee venom therapy. That’s the use of the sting of honey bees to cure MS and all sorts of illnesses. Has it ever been proven to work? No. Or at least not scientifically, which means, well, it doesn’t work. And it’s been tested to death. But none of that matters. There are still plenty of people that push this kind of treatment. It’s one thing for an adult to exercise the option of having this done to themselves, but if they decide they want to have their kid stung by bees despite the fact that there is no evidence that it would do any good, and the kid obviously gets hurt…. I wouldn’t be horrified if the Government passed an ordinance to inform kids that this is junk science and to be able to opt out of that silly treatment, even if that is against the wishes of the parent.

    V the K wrote:

    Basically, what the activists behind this legislation are saying is that if a thirteen year old kid says, “I’m attracted to my same sex and I don’t want to be. May I get some therapy,” the state will say “No, you can’t. You are too young to decide such things, so we assume your parents are coercing you.” But if another thirteen year old says, “I don’t like being the sex I am. Can I begin having toxic chemicals injected into my body so that it can eventually be rendered into a crude dysfunctional facsimile of the opposite sex,” the state says, “Sure, go ahead, and we’re very proud of you for making this brave decision.”

    That is why the state should stay the hell out of such personal decisions.

    I’m not sure how often this is done to minors – it appears to be a very rare occurrence – but the state definitely doesn’t just say “Oh. What the heck. You want that procedure, just do it!”. They have to be diagnosed with the specific condition of Gender Identity Disorder and have tons of cautionary counseling before the decision is made. And since many adult who want the same trans-formative procedure are turned down, I’d be willing to bet that most applicants for this procedure on children get turned down even more often. So I don’t think the two are comparable.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 12:10 pm - April 27, 2012

  18. So, Mr. Uber-Libertarian Ron Paul supporter is okay with the state interfering with an individual’s right to seek therapy if he deems the therapy to be quackery?

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 12:17 pm - April 27, 2012

  19. The linked article lists five parenting fads embraced by progressive parents; all of which are quackery and most of which will probably have negative psychological consequences on the children raised under them. Since the state knows best in matters pertaining to the development of children, should these practices be outlawed:

    http://www.cracked.com/article_19721_the-5-creepiest-progressive-parenting-fads_p2.html

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 12:20 pm - April 27, 2012

  20. Missing from that list is liberal aversion to vaccines.

    Comment by anon23532 — April 27, 2012 @ 12:25 pm - April 27, 2012

  21. So, Mr. Uber-Libertarian Ron Paul supporter is okay with the state interfering with an individual’s right to seek therapy if he deems the therapy to be quackery?

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 12:17 pm – April 27, 2012

    And what’s really funny is that he’s not running to the statehouse screaming that children need to be “protected” from this “quackery”.

    Furthermore, if “Equality” California really cared about the health of children, they would demand a ban on gay sex, given that their barebacking ways have pushed the HIV incidence among the young to twice that of sub-Saharan Africa.

    In short, many more children are maimed, disabled, and killed by “Equality” California and the community it represents having promiscuous bareback sex with them than in reparative therapy. But of course, “Equality” California and their idiot puppets in the Legislature don’t care about that; they only care about punishing Christians and anyone who disagrees with their demands to have sex with children consequence-free.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 27, 2012 @ 12:26 pm - April 27, 2012

  22. I think you hit on something there, NDT. The in-yer-face to Christians that comes from promoting sex as a meaningless recreational activity is most definitely a motivation for some on the left.

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 12:31 pm - April 27, 2012

  23. And you know what’s really really funny is that you could describe me as “So, Mr. Uber-Libertarian “, when pretty much every time I’ve written about my libertarian leanings both on my blog and here at GP, I’ve always included the fact that I’m a libertarian with a little “L”.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 12:58 pm - April 27, 2012

  24. But, to answer your question:

    So, Mr. Uber-Libertarian Ron Paul supporter Sonicfrog is okay with the state interfering with an individual’s right to seek therapy if he deems the therapy to be quackery?

    If it’s harmless and if the treatment is for the adult deciding on it… Meh. It’s your money and your time.

    Lets take acupuncture. There is no scientific evidence that it work to do much of anything. But, if it acts as a placebo and you “think” your pain has diminished, or it has distracted you from your pain? Either way, I have no problem with it. On the other hand, if the procedure promises to cure anything, then I start to have a problem. And if the practitioner advises a person to stop taking medication because the acupuncture will cure the cancer, or what-ever??? I have even more of a problem.

    But, it’s the adult we’re talking about here. I’m not approaching a line where I would say some government interference would be possibly justified.

    If however, the cancer patient is a child, and the parent willfully disregards real medical treatment to deal with the child’s cancer and forces the child to have acupuncture done instead… Yeah, I have a line there.

    But this too is a sticky wicket.

    A few years ago, there was a case where a mom, based on her religious beliefs, would not let her son get radiation treatment for his cancer and sent the boy into hiding. She wanted to send him to a junk science clinic in Mexico when would have doomed the kid to a certain death. After a month or so, and after her arrest, the boy was returned and received medical treatment. As of last year at least, he was alive and cancer free.

    But then there is the case of Daren and Barbara Jensen, who were arrested and charged with negligence in Utah because they refused to comply with state orders to have their son undergo chemo. The parents had wanted a second opinion and the govt did not honor their wishes.

    So this is a mixed bag. That said, I am pretty much on the same page as Eric here:

    Unlike those cases, here – the government is not forcing an action, instead it is prohibiting a harmful action against a minor. I’m generally of the persuasion that it takes much more evidence to ensure the force of action, rather than prohibition of action. Therefore the risk of action – and downstream consequences – seem to outweigh the risk of allowing the individual to persue treatment as a legal adult.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 1:34 pm - April 27, 2012

  25. So, can the Government outlaw quack parenting? If not, why?

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 1:41 pm - April 27, 2012

  26. “Most importantly, the bill seeks to stop all gay therapies of minors, regardless of the wishes of his or her parents.”

    This would have consequences beyond “conversion therapy.” What if the kids was just confused and wanted to discuss his orientation, but somehow the outcome is negative. Would this be outlawed since usually parents hold the purse strings and provide their medical plans. The language sounds like it only has one goal to protect kids from forced conversion therapy, but there are plenty of loopholes and it can have a opposite effect of preventing care when needed.

    These laws make parents the monsters. If the state is the one who can make the decisions, I wouldn’t be surprised if they become the monsters especially if the kids wind up in needing help. This is a sledgehammer to a nail. Maybe what should be discredited is psychotherapy.

    Comment by anon23532 — April 27, 2012 @ 1:55 pm - April 27, 2012

  27. There’s a blogger in, IIRC, North Carolina who blogs about his experiences as a diabetic. The state is trying to shut his blog down on the basis that in describing his diet and criticizing the state’s recommended dietary guidelines for diabetics, he is acting as an unlicensed nutritionists. In other words, the state has determined that he is a quack, and they are going to abrogate his free speech rights on that basis.

    Sonic Frog should have no problem with the state’s action; after all, children could potentially be harmed if they looked to his blog as a program of treatment for diabetes.

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 1:57 pm - April 27, 2012

  28. V, that bit of hyperbole makes you look less astute than you are. It’s a complete misfire. That is an apples to bricks comparison.

    The case, as you describe it, is on its face a free speech issue. Without even seeing a link to the case, it’s clearly not about parents taking their kids to that guys door and force feeding the food that this blogger is advocating they eat. If THAT was the crux of the case, and the diet this blogger recommends consists of Snickers Bars and chocolate milk, then yeah, I would have not much of a problem with the state getting involve.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 3:12 pm - April 27, 2012

  29. What is the harm of reparative therapy anyway?

    “Well, some kids commit suicide because of reparative therapy.” And some kids commit suicide because they get caught up in unhappy relationships, or because they go through difficult break ups. Should we outlaw everything that could potentially lead to suicide? Because love would be the number one thing on that list.

    “Well, it hurts their self-esteem!” So does being rejected by someone who isn’t into you. So does going through a break up. So does getting a bad grade in a class you worked really hard at. Should we outlaw everything that damages self-esteem.

    “Well, it teaches people that there’s something wrong with them that they need to change.” Isn’t that the exact thing that trannies go through therapy in order to accomplish?

    No, the only reason this form of therapy is being singled out is political correctness. It offends gay liberals that some people may not want to choose their lifestyle.

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 3:12 pm - April 27, 2012

  30. So, can the Government outlaw quack parenting? If not, why?

    What is “quack parenting”?

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 3:18 pm - April 27, 2012

  31. V the K, I have ask you this in the past and now I ask you again, have you ever undergone reparative therapy?

    Comment by David in New Orleans — April 27, 2012 @ 3:34 pm - April 27, 2012

  32. What is “quack parenting”?

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 3:18 pm – April 27, 2012

    Prime example.

    Also making this entertainingly ironic, one of the “parents” involved is a psychotherapist — which means these same organizations and psychologists/psychiatrists who are shitting themselves over “reparative therapy” being harmful consider dressing up toddlers as sexual slaves, taking them to sex fairs, and having them “show off” for the entertainment of masturbating naked adults is wonderful and educational.

    People need to realize that this is a symptom of the left’s obsession with destroying anything that prevents them from sexualizing and abusing children.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 27, 2012 @ 3:45 pm - April 27, 2012

  33. NDT… Is that “quack parenting… Or stupid parenting. It’s funny, I find it a little infuriating when parents bring young kids to movies that are obviously not appropriate, like, say, Spawn, or last years Inglorious Bastards.

    Should the parents in your example and mine be arrested or fined or prosecuted???

    No.

    But there is a big difference. In both examples, the parents are not trying to change the kids and force them to undergo “therapy”. In the case of conversion therapy, we are not just talking about incredibly poor judgement. That is going a step beyond.

    If the therapy in question consisted of crayons and coloring books and wonderful meals three times a day, I wouldn’t have a problem with parents sending kids to conversion therapy, even if that was also shown not to work. But that is not what we’re talking about. We ate talking about very harsh, near torturous treatment that is questionable under the best of circumstances. I wonder, if a clinic used the same questionable methods, but instead of attempting to cure gayness, the therapy was intending to cure nearsightedness? Would you feel so reviled against the state getting involved?

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 4:33 pm - April 27, 2012

  34. Should the parents in your example and mine be arrested or fined or prosecuted???

    No.

    Why not?

    After all, the argument of this legislation is that anything that is potentially harmful to a child should be banned. What’s wrong with making what you or I discussed illegal? Don’t you agree that early sexualization of a child is harmful and may cause them to engage in self-destructive behavior? Don’t you agree that taking children to violent movies is harmful and may cause them to engage in self-destructive behavior?

    What this is about, Sonic, is using the power of the nanny state to get rid of people you don’t like. You can rationalize and spin all you want, but for someone who wants the government to butt out of your life, you seemingly have ZERO problem siccing it on other people.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 27, 2012 @ 4:41 pm - April 27, 2012

  35. Don’t you agree that taking children to violent movies is harmful and may cause them to engage in self-destructive behavior?

    Nope! You’re absolutely wrong. That is the hypodermic needle theory, been around since the 30′s, and it’s been long discarded as a theory of any real value.

    After all, the argument of this legislation is that anything that is potentially harmful to a child should be banned.

    Nope! It’s only concerned with that one thing.

    I fine it intensely intriguing that the same person who answers

    “Why not?”

    to the question:

    Should the parents in your example and mine be arrested or fined or prosecuted???

    is the same person who turn around in the very same comment to write:

    You can rationalize and spin all you want, but for someone who wants the government to butt out of your life, you seemingly have ZERO problem siccing it on other people.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 5:04 pm - April 27, 2012

  36. The recent case in Canada of Muslim girls who were interviewed by social services before their father ,and cowed into downplaying the abuse and threats they were suffering prior to their murder at his hands, indicates in my mind why a minor’s word that s/he is NOT taking anti-gay conversion therapy against his or her will cannot be taken at face value. On that basis, IMO, gay kids require state protection which prevents them from being given that therapy until they are adults.

    It also gives them time to sort their feelings out – a crush on or sexual horseplay with a same-sex schoolmate at thirteen might be no more than a passing phase or it might be the real thing. For them to go through psychological rewiring that some might regard as brainwashing on the strength of a temporary state of affairs would constitute a tragedy.

    Just my 2c worth.

    Comment by perturbed — April 27, 2012 @ 5:26 pm - April 27, 2012

  37. When I was a teenager, I spent a little over 3 weeks at a reparative therapy program. It was ran by a Christian ministry, but not of the faith I was raised in which is ECUSA. It is really questionable as to whether I was forced to go or not. Though I was not officially given a choice, but I think had I absolutely refused, my parents would not have compelled me go by force or deception. The rep that came to our home was very convincing; my father could not get his checkbook out fast enough and I readily grasped the straw he held out.

    As for the therapy itself, I definitely found it to be mentally abusive despite the reality that I was a willing participant, eagerly embracing the promise of change. I didn’t recognize it then, but as years passed, I became conscious of the fact that I was fed a series of lies. Some minor, some preposterous, some potentially dangerous. The reason my time there was cut short was due to the suicide of one of the other participants. The officials of the center did the right thing and notified the other parents of what happened and even though they urged my parents, as they did with the others, to leave us there, mine brought me home early. Later I found out that the suicide, a boy of 14, left a note saying he had been convinced he was possessed by demons and he feared for his soul. I know he got that idea from the “counselors” because I had also been told by them the primary cause of homosexual feelings were the result of demonic possession. This is something still being promulgated! I most definitely think ALL reparative therapy centers are a big gigantic crock of bullshit. Some of them are in business for profit; some because they believe it is God’s work. It is still bullshit. There however does seem to be a trend with some groups, like Exodus, in admitting that same sex attraction may never go away and opposite sex attraction may never occur so if there are people with unwanted SSA and want to live celibately and these groups offer them help, then great! I wish them every success in the world. These places are for adults. They are not suitable for minors.

    Now, having said all that, I don’t like the bill. It is government usurping the rights of parents and I just can’t go along with it.

    Comment by David in New Orleans — April 27, 2012 @ 5:43 pm - April 27, 2012

  38. Here’s five examples of Quack Parenting:

    http://www.cracked.com/article_19721_the-5-creepiest-progressive-parenting-fads_p2.html

    We ate talking about very harsh, near torturous treatment that is questionable under the best of circumstances

    Two thoughts.1. Could you show me the language in the legislation that only outlaws reparative therapies whose techniques are “near torturous?” but allows the kind you claim you wouldn’t have a problem with to be allowed? Because I was under the impression that this legislature would outlaw *any* form of reparative therapy.

    2. If you are saying therapy should be outlawed if it is “near torturous,” does that mean “Tough Love” and “Scared Straight” (no pun intended) programs should be outlawed? Those techniques also would meet the liberal definition of “near torturous.”

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 6:20 pm - April 27, 2012

  39. The leftist GLBT agenda frog it is in boiling water.

    Comment by Geena — April 27, 2012 @ 6:29 pm - April 27, 2012

  40. I remember you mentioning this from your life before. . .

    Now, having said all that,

    I don’t like the bill. It is government usurping the rights of parents and I just can’t go along with it.

    Now it might be considered usurping the rights of parents, but

    it could also be cast as ‘protecting minors from irreparable harm!’

    I think folk like you David would easily fight tooth and nail to take the life path that is yours, with 26 years under your belt with your partner and fulfillment of having so many wonderful folk in your life rather than completing the ‘well-intentioned’ parental choice. Thank goodness for you it was interrupted. Tis sad that it took an event so tragic to change your own life’s trajectory.

    Comment by rusty — April 27, 2012 @ 6:51 pm - April 27, 2012

  41. David in N.O. @ #37,

    Some religious zealots get into quack stuff that puts the separation of church and state in a true bind. These are, fortunately, the exception rather than the rule. The Moonies, the Scientology people, old John Brown and his sons, the Phelps clan, David Koresh, Jim Jones and any number of tent healers and scalpers have created much misery in the name of God.

    It is particularly difficult for an individual who puts his faith in the word of people who then proceed into areas that are little more than witchcraft and voodoo. It has always been the dark side of religion and it will always be there. It is the murky area between “exorcising” the demons and flat out burning the target at the stake. When the “church” takes that much control and responsibility over an individual psyche, where does one turn?

    I submit that the last resort is the government. There is no place more chocked full of lunatics exerting power than any government agency run amok. If you think the power of God is enabling, wait until you encounter a rogue government agency.

    As a Christian, I apologize for what befell you in the name of God and I pray for your peace and health.

    Comment by heliotrope — April 27, 2012 @ 7:05 pm - April 27, 2012

  42. V the K, I have ask you this in the past and now I ask you again, have you ever undergone reparative therapy?

    I have never undergone any form of therapy, and to be honest, I think most all therapy is bullshit. People only change when they want to change. If they need help, a strong family or reliable friends will do more for them than a paid shrink.

    I have, however, been a parent for eleven years and raised three boys with three different sets of problems. One boys was diagnosed with diabetes. He changed his diet and lost 200 pounds and the doctor says he doesn’t have it any more. He didn’t lose weight with the help of a therapist, he motivated himself. He developed self-control.

    And I have a strong aversion to the state meddling in the business of parents. In extreme circumstances, it is necessary. That is, in fact, how my boys came to live with me. But that line has to be kept very bright, because once that camel gets her nose in the tent, there’s no backing up. No progressive movement in history has ever said, “OK, we’ve achieved our goals. Time to fold up and go home.” They will always push for more state control, and that is why they have to be pushed back.

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 7:08 pm - April 27, 2012

  43. Two thoughts.1. Could you show me the language in the legislation that only outlaws reparative therapies whose techniques are “near torturous?” but allows the kind you claim you wouldn’t have a problem with to be allowed? Because I was under the impression that this legislature would outlaw *any* form of reparative therapy.

    Do you think that the kind I described, with only “crayons and coloring books and wonderful meals three times a day” without the pain inducing and brainwashing techniques exists? Show me that those exist and are the dominant ones in the industry, then you may have a point.

    On point 2. The legislation does not “ban” or make it against the law for such facilities to exist. Scared Straight and Tough Love programs????? Oops and Oops. They don’t work either. Should they be outlawed? If they are committing fraud by falsely promising to cure your kid of criminal behavior???… Maybe. It is non-the-less interesting that you would compare being gay with criminal impulses.

    Geena – You’re new here. I’m a lot of things, but definitely not a leftist. And you might want to brush up on your science education. There has to be heat before water can boil, and they’re not bringing it.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 7:08 pm - April 27, 2012

  44. :-)

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 7:08 pm - April 27, 2012

  45. And I have a strong aversion to the state meddling in the business of parents. In extreme circumstances, it is necessary. That is, in fact, how my boys came to live with me. But that line has to be kept very bright, because once that camel gets her nose in the tent, there’s no backing up.

    V, we’re not as far apart as you think. Our lines are just in different places.

    No progressive movement in history has ever said, “OK, we’ve achieved our goals. Time to fold up and go home.” They will always push for more state control, and that is why they have to be pushed back.

    And I feel the same way about Conservatives in government as well. Prohibition was a perfect example of Conservative instincts merged with government that went to hell in a hurry.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 7:17 pm - April 27, 2012

  46. is the same person who turn around in the very same comment to write:

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 5:04 pm – April 27, 2012

    That’s what I get for not using the /sarc tag.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 27, 2012 @ 7:25 pm - April 27, 2012

  47. The main difference between us is you are perfectly happy to let the state use its power and authority to enforce your personal bailiwicks (much like the people you claim to despise) and I am not.

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 7:26 pm - April 27, 2012

  48. What do you think my personal bailiwicks are in this case?

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 7:29 pm - April 27, 2012

  49. Prohibition was a perfect example of Conservative instincts merged with government that went to hell in a hurry.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 7:17 pm – April 27, 2012

    Um, actually, Prohibition was spearheaded by progressives such as Susan B. Anthony. Indeed, many religious groups, including my German Lutheran forbears, Episcopalians, and Catholics, actively opposed it as government meddling.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 27, 2012 @ 7:32 pm - April 27, 2012

  50. You don’t like the idea of reparative therapy. Therefore, you want it outlawed. The concern about kids is just a McGuffin; people who want to expand the power of the state to control individual lives always say it’s “for the children.”

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 7:35 pm - April 27, 2012

  51. One day soon there will be a fantastic Orwellian science fiction movie based upon sexual orientation and a heavy handed central government.

    That gives me an idea! The author of the bill should use Clockwork Orange as an example – didn’t they try repairative therapy on Alex?

    Comment by Geena — April 27, 2012 @ 7:49 pm - April 27, 2012

  52. Just to be clear, the trauma I experienced at that time in my life was 1) my headmaster outing me to my parents and 2) the possibility of losing the love and respect of my parents.

    I got over number one and never lost number two.

    Had I been brought up in say a Pentecostal faith with all the attending features, i.e. glossanalia etc, perhaps all the discussion of demonic possession and lake of fire drama could have indeed been traumatic. However as an Episcopal youth, I had no source of reference for that blather.

    Rusty, I did not know the suicide boy and I don’t know for sure if the program led to his suicide or not. It sure could have. But I need for you to know that my life’s trajectory would not be different had I stayed the other 2 or so weeks remaining. I also need to state clearly that my parents sent me there out of love and concern for my well being.

    Heliotrope, I am grateful to be remembered in one’s prayers, so thank you. My health is good and I am at peace. Just so you know, the program I took part in was ran by the SBC.

    Reparative therapy centers is not, as far as I can tell, a growth industry. Not for minors anyway.

    Comment by David in N.O. — April 27, 2012 @ 8:05 pm - April 27, 2012

  53. Why are we pressuring preadults to decide what kind of person they are? Is there a way we can let them view the world and their place in it with time to make their own decision and the freedom to change their mind? Must we force them to choose while in kindergarten?

    Comment by Richard Bell — April 27, 2012 @ 8:09 pm - April 27, 2012

  54. Thanks for the clarification David. Have a great weekend.

    Oh, do you think, since you mentioned, that the suicide of the young man might have left your parent’s with a different appreciation of you.

    Having worked with youth who have had similar experiences and intra-family conflict, many parents have always expressed appreciation for my support of their child. I know that many parent’s have (had) been acting with love and good intentions.

    But like I posited before. . .state usurping parental rights vs. protecting minors from irreparable harm?

    Comment by rusty — April 27, 2012 @ 8:22 pm - April 27, 2012

  55. Decide what? Choose what? Your orientation is what it is, pre-adult. Richard Bell, how I wish, when I became aware of my same sex attraction, that I knew I had a future that would include love and family! Instead all I had was fear! I know things are better now and will continue to get better. But do you honestly believe heterosexual pre-adults wait until they are past the age of majority to “decide” or “choose”?

    Comment by David in N.O. — April 27, 2012 @ 8:23 pm - April 27, 2012

  56. Oh, do you think, since you mentioned, that the suicide of the young man might have left your parent’s with a different appreciation of you.

    That question was never asked and because I lost both my parents 4 years ago, I won’t ever know for sure, but I’m not worried about it.

    Comment by David in New Orleans — April 27, 2012 @ 9:21 pm - April 27, 2012

  57. NTD, you’re right. Prohibition wasn’t a cause of the right at its birth, but of the strong Protestant instincts of the country.

    Suzy B may have supported prohibition, but that was not her main cause. It was women’s suffrage. The leaders of the women’s suffrage movement latched onto the older prohibition / temperance movement as a means to gain even more support for their cause. Frances Willard, a Methodists, was the first strong leader of the Women’s Christian Temperance Movement, joined with Susan B because she realized that if women could vote, that would make the idea of Prohibition a reality. Both camps also saw prohibition as a way to lessen the violence suffered at the hands of drunken husbands, something for which there were laws to remedy.

    Then came the Anti-Saloon League. That came to be much more powerful than the WCTU. Though the ASL proclaimed to be politically neutral, having the support of old school Democrat William Jennings Bryant, that party was changing. German Lutheran forbears, Episcopalians, and Catholics all opposed prohibition in America because the parishioners were dominated by European immigrant to this country, from cultures that drank as a way of life. As the big city Democrat machines became dominated with those very immigrants who were against prohibition, The Republican party became the more staunch supporter of the policy. It was the Republican party that held onto the tenants of Prohibition well into the late 1920′s and early 30′s, even though it had proved to be a failure.

    BTW, a prohibition party currently exists. Here is the platform. Look familiar?

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 9:34 pm - April 27, 2012

  58. You don’t like the idea of reparative therapy. Therefore, you want it outlawed.

    Bzzzzzzt!

    I knew you’d get that wrong.

    If it is to be banned, which I didn’t advocate, it should be on the basis of the untenable techniques used AND coupled with the fact that it doesn’t work anyway. If an informed adult, knowing what they are about to subject themselves to, wants to go ahead and spend their money on this quackery… I feel sad for them. But if this is what they think have to do, if they want to still waist their money….

    Speaking of the techniques, you wrote this:

    :People only change when they want to change. If they need help, a strong family or reliable friends will do more for them than a paid shrink.

    If all that was involved was the kid talking to a shrink, we wouldn’t have a quarrel here.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 9:47 pm - April 27, 2012

  59. One more note about prohibition. Though it can’t be considered purely a Conservative hatched idea, Conservatives have non-the-less certainly embraced with fierce conviction.

    Of course, so has the idiot Obama. I think his recently renewed War on Pot is nothing more than slop fed to the Police unions to give them something to do and make the law and order faction of his party happy. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets re-elected, the day after he again puts on kid gloves on that issue.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — April 27, 2012 @ 10:00 pm - April 27, 2012

  60. 55.”Decide what? Choose what? Your orientation is what it is, pre-adult. Richard Bell, how I wish, when I became aware of my same sex attraction, that I knew I had a future that would include love and family!”

    My appology, David. The point I was trying to make is, what difference should orrientation make for minors that are not even mature enough to know what orientation is? Seems to me, if we are going to put “pressure” on minors, that we should be holding up an ideal of abstinence for minors regardless of orientation. A “pressure” that I think all parents could agree about.

    Comment by Richard Bell — April 27, 2012 @ 10:24 pm - April 27, 2012

  61. I honestly don’t know whether SF is deliberately missing my point, or pretending he doesn’t understand it because he doesn’t really have an argument against my central argument: this law is a an unwarranted intrusion by the state into the parent-child relationship.

    I find toddler beauty pageants appalling, and I am sure they are not healthy for children. But unlike SF, I don’t feel like bringing in the state to impose my values on other people (beyond the extent necessary to preserve social order). I recognize that liberty means accepting the fact that other people are going to do things I don’t like.

    Comment by V the K — April 27, 2012 @ 10:42 pm - April 27, 2012

  62. this law is a an unwarranted intrusion by the state into the parent-child relationship.

    Yet, you don’t pay any attention to NDT’s even lower threshold of government interference by his insistence that parents be arrested for taking their children to inappropriate movies, a far less damaging long term prospect than forcing your child to undergo invasive, dramatic, and probably damaging treatment for a problem it doesn’t even fix.

    Is that because you agree with him, or is it because he’s an ally and you fear disagreeing with him might strain your relationship?

    And yes, that last bit is sarcasm.

    Comment by sonicfrog — April 28, 2012 @ 12:14 am - April 28, 2012

  63. Is that because you agree with him, or is it because he’s an ally and you fear disagreeing with him might strain your relationship?

    Comment by sonicfrog — April 28, 2012 @ 12:14 am – April 28, 2012

    Or he read and understood my previous post.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 28, 2012 @ 12:52 am - April 28, 2012

  64. I finally figured out why if find this legislation so repulsive:

    It fits the current trend of using token (but well intentioned) policies to protect us from the Great Satan of:
    – Christianity
    – Bullies
    – Porno without condoms
    – Bigotry on Twitter

    As America moves rapidly forward in its everyday acceptance of gays and lesbians, others speak of a growing intolerance. We are helpless to protect ourselves from these agents of oppression, but fortunately our advocates will construct laws and language incorporating GLBT terminology at every opportunity, thereby saving us from what we cannot protect ourselves.

    Comment by Geena — April 28, 2012 @ 2:09 am - April 28, 2012

  65. I don’t recall NDT saying that the state should choose the movies that parents can and cannot take children to (although, IIRC, that is the idea behind the NC-17 rating). I believe his point was parallel to mine; parents are legally allowed to expose their kids to all kinds of stupid and potentially harmful practices. This type of therapy is singled out not because it’s especially harmful, but because it is politically unpopular. It is a vulgar display of power from the gay left to demonstrate they have more power in the California government than parents or Christians.

    Comment by V the K — April 28, 2012 @ 10:14 am - April 28, 2012

  66. >It is a vulgar display of power from the gay left to demonstrate they have
    >more power in the California government than parents or Christians.

    V the K sends one 500′ to deep center.

    Comment by Geena — April 28, 2012 @ 11:00 am - April 28, 2012

  67. Heh, Geena. That must be why my arguments fly right over his head.

    Comment by V the K — April 28, 2012 @ 11:49 am - April 28, 2012

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