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CA Governor, Signs Bill Banning Gay Conversion Therapy For Minors

California LGBT Jerry Brown

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#1 Cait

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 01:27 PM

As a public mental health issue, I can applaud this legislation, but I'm wondering why, if it is a de-bunked therapy, it isn't outlawed for adults as well.  I suppose the answer is, adults can do whatever they like [to themselves].

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"Conversion" or "reparative" therapies, which can include a wide variety of techniques from counseling to shock therapy to -- in extreme cases -- exorcism, have long been used in an attempt to "cure" individuals of their homosexual and transgender orientations and identities. However, in recent years even those who once championed the idea that someone can convert to heterosexuality have admitted that viewpoint is flawed.

In April Dr. Robert Spitzer, author of a landmark 2001 study that claimed gay people could be alleviated of their homosexuality, admitted that, "In retrospect, I have to admit I think the critiques [of my study] are largely correct... The findings can be considered evidence for what those who have undergone ex-gay therapy say about it, but nothing more.”




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#2 scherzo

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 01:39 PM

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As a public mental health issue, I can applaud this legislation, but I'm wondering why, if it is a de-bunked therapy, it isn't outlawed for adults as well.  I suppose the answer is, adults can do whatever they like [to themselves].
Baby steps. The thought police will seek their outright ban eventually if they haven't already. They're not really all that fond of individual choice as it turns out.

Edited by scherzo, 30 September 2012 - 01:39 PM.

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#3 Nonny

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:03 PM

View Postscherzo, on 30 September 2012 - 01:39 PM, said:

Quote

As a public mental health issue, I can applaud this legislation, but I'm wondering why, if it is a de-bunked therapy, it isn't outlawed for adults as well.  I suppose the answer is, adults can do whatever they like [to themselves].
Baby steps. The thought police will seek their outright ban eventually if they haven't already. They're not really all that fond of individual choice as it turns out.
Actually, it's the thought police who are doing it in the first place, hence the ban.
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#4 Bobby

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:34 PM

View Postscherzo, on 30 September 2012 - 01:39 PM, said:

Quote

As a public mental health issue, I can applaud this legislation, but I'm wondering why, if it is a de-bunked therapy, it isn't outlawed for adults as well.  I suppose the answer is, adults can do whatever they like [to themselves].
Baby steps. The thought police will seek their outright ban eventually if they haven't already. They're not really all that fond of individual choice as it turns out.

Nonny is right, it's the people who are using conversion/reparative therapy who are trying to be the thought police.  I see no problem with someone who is gay, who due to their religious convictions chooses to marry a woman and let's the woman know upfront so she knows what's she's getting, and they decide to have a family. If they do it because they believe that's what's right for them and it's what they want for their life.  However, most of them are closet chases who troll the net and interstate bathrooms for some side action because they can't shake off the religious guilt that has been foisted upon them by "the church".

It's one thing to say homosexuality is a sin and it's another to advocate shock therapy.  I mean, it's not like there are only a few thousand people on earth and the species is going to die out if we all don't breed.   Some, NOT ALL,  religious folk don't understand the old edicts set down were for a tribal people in danger of dying out from plague, famine, warlords, and every other death trap.

GAY is OKAY!!!!!

You know, I used to stress about why God made me gay, or what factors made me gay, now I just don't care.  Men look G-O-O-D! and that's all that matters to me now.


Good for California!  Yes, the reason they didn't stop adults is because adults are free to do whatever they want within limits.  There was a case where a guy got reparative therapy and ended up killing himself in his thirties, his brother and sister blame the guy who got their mother to put him into it as a kid.    Making someone smell bleach while looking at naked pics of men isn't going to cause an aversion to the same sex.   Even one of the founders of Exodus International went back to men "in the end".

#5 offworlder

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 02:53 PM

> Still, [and here is where I share your concern scherzo], I don't like parental right's being eroded even further. I'm of the opinion that the state has encroached on parental right's to the point that parents no longer can have much control over their own families and their children.  Some parents may be ignorant and even abusive, but a law that outlaw the choices of ALL parents is not a baby step in my opinion.  It's a giant step, and not for the good.  

I'm still outraged at the idea of minors being able to get an abortion without parental notification.  I understand the reasoning  that some parents are abusive   SOME parents are.  But to pass a law for ALL parents is just beyond the pale.  Every teenager is going to claim their parents are going to be upset at an abortion.  Why?  Because they are parents.
<
I too hate the eroding- I am incensed that if some neighbor goes pick up a phone complains, child protective can come out with a deputy and take your kids; and the doing is so so way much faster than the PROcess, almighty system and court process!, all hail the process!- to get the kids back.
Alright, /quitemode , we do have to leave most things up to parents, but what if the parents really do, oh my get a sherriff, mistreat the children: take them to such quakery 'ungay my kid now!' course treatment?? we do have to protect the kdis, 'Kids are people too', even when leaving most things to parents; so it is a Sticky Wicket

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#6 BklnScott

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 03:32 PM

This is not A morally complicated issue.  It's banned because it's child abuse.  End of story.

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#7 scherzo

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:03 PM

View PostBklnScott, on 30 September 2012 - 03:32 PM, said:

This is not A morally complicated issue.  It's banned because it's child abuse.  End of story.
Are children physically harmed in this process? If not...Big Brother stepping in with a ban is just another move to criminalize political incorrectness, and usurp parental authority.  It's depressing how ready so much of this country is for totalitarian rule.
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#8 sierraleone

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:03 PM

View Postscherzo, on 30 September 2012 - 07:03 PM, said:

View PostBklnScott, on 30 September 2012 - 03:32 PM, said:

This is not A morally complicated issue.  It's banned because it's child abuse.  End of story.
Are children physically harmed in this process? If not...Big Brother stepping in with a ban is just another move to criminalize political incorrectness, and usurp parental authority.  It's depressing how ready so much of this country is for totalitarian rule.

Laws against child abuse generally don't just mention physical abuse. Though, considering that is the easiest to prove, it is generally most of what is brought to light in most cases.
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Rule#6: Remember the future.
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#9 QueenTiye

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 06:36 AM

They banned exorcism?! Isn't that a violation of freedom of religion?

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#10 Dev F

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 10:34 AM

View PostQueenTiye, on 01 October 2012 - 06:36 AM, said:

They banned exorcism?! Isn't that a violation of freedom of religion?
I don't think they did. The article is just using that as a historical example of gay conversion therapy. As I understand it, the bill is directed at California mental health providers, not religious institutions.

It's also not directed at parents, which is why this isn't really a parental rights issue. Californians are still free to teach their children anything they want about homosexuality; health care professionals just can't engage in unscientific quackery on their behalf anymore. And a state certainly has the right to demand sound scientific practices from the people it licenses to provide mental health services.

Edited by Dev F, 01 October 2012 - 10:52 AM.


#11 Godeskian

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 05:41 PM

View PostBklnScott, on 30 September 2012 - 03:32 PM, said:

This is not A morally complicated issue.  It's banned because it's child abuse.  End of story.

Physical abuse in pursuit of religious doctrine as child abuse is something I can get behind as a concept.

Wasn't there some issue a few years ago with some of the more extreme religious cults denying life-saving medical treatments to children due to religious concerns? Madeline Newman I think the name was of a girl whose parents decided that insulin was for atheists and prayer was for Christians and the girl died for that decision. Given our understanding of modern medicine that too appears to me to be physical abuse in pursuit of religious doctrine.

And of course there is the circumcision issue, where due to deep and long religious enshrinement is not only seen as acceptable to cut a piece of a boy's penis long before he's developed an opinion on the matter, but is seen as a crime against those who practice it when it is outlawed, even though to me it's still just physical abuse of a minor in pursuit of a religious doctrine.

Nonetheless, and irrespective of my own stance, I can't help but try and look at an issue from both sides. If a parent believes, genuinely, truly and deeply, that their child being gay is a sin that will deny them heaven, then I can understand if not agree with the impetus to change that by any means necessary. Of course, saving a sinner's soul by doing horrible things to their minds and bodies has a long, and often bloody, history in the world.

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#12 sierraleone

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 05:46 PM

View PostQueenTiye, on 01 October 2012 - 06:36 AM, said:

They banned exorcism?! Isn't that a violation of freedom of religion?

QT

If I were to hazard a guess... if parents went to Church and had their Church leaders (or under authority of the Church leaders) 'counsel' their child, and this person counselling their child was not restricted under the guidelines, policies and procedures of a medical governing body (and made no pretence of such, or that it had any basis on any medical science), that that would be legal.

Edited by sierraleone, 01 October 2012 - 06:00 PM.

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Rule#6: Remember the future.
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#13 Nikcara

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:15 PM

View Postscherzo, on 30 September 2012 - 07:03 PM, said:

View PostBklnScott, on 30 September 2012 - 03:32 PM, said:

This is not A morally complicated issue.  It's banned because it's child abuse.  End of story.
Are children physically harmed in this process? If not...Big Brother stepping in with a ban is just another move to criminalize political incorrectness, and usurp parental authority.  It's depressing how ready so much of this country is for totalitarian rule.

This line of thought disturbs me.  Emotional abuse is still abuse.  I received both as a child.  As an adult, I would rather have a 300 pound boxer punch me in the face than to go back to feeling like I was so worthless and vile that I didn't deserve to live, and that my family would be happier if I just disappeared.  Physical wounds heal much better than the psychological ones.  And that's from someone with permanent injuries from some of that abuse I received as a kid - that pain is honestly easier to deal with than some of my nightmares.

Conversion therapy is not only demonstrably harmful, it doesn't work.  Adults can do whatever the heck they want to themselves even if it's harmful, but I think protecting kids from actively harmful quackery is a good thing.  If a parent wanted to use solely homeopathy to cure their own cancer, I may think they're stupid but it's their choice.  If a parent decides that they want to treat their child with only homeopathy if the kid comes down with cancer, I want CPS to get involved.  This is the same to me.
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#14 scherzo

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:52 PM

View PostNikcara, on 01 October 2012 - 08:15 PM, said:

View Postscherzo, on 30 September 2012 - 07:03 PM, said:

View PostBklnScott, on 30 September 2012 - 03:32 PM, said:

This is not A morally complicated issue.  It's banned because it's child abuse.  End of story.
Are children physically harmed in this process? If not...Big Brother stepping in with a ban is just another move to criminalize political incorrectness, and usurp parental authority.  It's depressing how ready so much of this country is for totalitarian rule.

This line of thought disturbs me. Emotional abuse is still abuse.
Physical(and sexual of course) abuse represents a perfectly logical line-in-the-sand between obligatory state intervention and parental rights. How exactly does a bureaucrat determine if an unhappy child is suffering from "emotional" abuse? Some people are awful, and some awful people have children. I'm not diminishing your tough upbringing, but wishing every child was "happy", doesn't justify discarding the limits of government intervention. The advocates of this ban might consider conversion therapy "child abuse"(forgive me if I don't automatically take their word for it)but unless it actually DOES involve punches in the face from 300 pound boxers, I see no reason why parents shouldn't be able to assess that for themselves.
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#15 Nikcara

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:48 PM

You are correct that emotional abuse is by far the hardest to prosecute.  However, I don't believe that just because it is hard to prove that we should allow parents to force their children into programs that not only don't change sexual orientation, but are harmful to the kid's mental well-being.  This law isn't saying parents can't be bigots, or even that they can't tell their kids that they think homosexuality is morally wrong, it's just saying that licensed therapists can't claim to cure homosexuality or even try to (therapists will still be allowed to refuse to treat homosexual kids, and can even still tell kids that homosexuality is wrong, they just can't try to convert them to straight anymore).

Also, some of the conversion therapies DO include what I (and many others) would call physical abuse: things like delivering electric shocks to the genitals or hands or injecting the patient with nausea-inducing drugs while showing them homosexual erotica (the theory being that the patient will associate pain/nausea with homosexual urges).  Sure, those shocks/nausea may not have damaged much tissue, but talk about invasive and painful!  Even techniques like masturbatory reconditioning can be done in abusive ways (I question it's usefulness regardless...I've yet to see a good study that shows that it actually alters behavior, just a few overly-enthusiastic case studies).  Even when the therapy is purely talk-therapy, it stillsignificantly increases suicide risk for the patients treated (I couldn't find any journals where I could get the research for free, my apologies).

So really, why should we allow treatment that is shown to be frequently harmful by every rigorous scientific study and has minimal, if any, benefit for a minority of patients?  If any other medical procedure had such a low rate of success and such a high rate of adverse effects we'd be screaming to make it illegal.
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#16 Nonny

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 07:13 AM

View PostNikcara, on 01 October 2012 - 08:15 PM, said:

View Postscherzo, on 30 September 2012 - 07:03 PM, said:

View PostBklnScott, on 30 September 2012 - 03:32 PM, said:

This is not A morally complicated issue.  It's banned because it's child abuse.  End of story.
Are children physically harmed in this process? If not...Big Brother stepping in with a ban is just another move to criminalize political incorrectness, and usurp parental authority.  It's depressing how ready so much of this country is for totalitarian rule.

This line of thought disturbs me.  Emotional abuse is still abuse.  I received both as a child.  As an adult, I would rather have a 300 pound boxer punch me in the face than to go back to feeling like I was so worthless and vile that I didn't deserve to live, and that my family would be happier if I just disappeared.  Physical wounds heal much better than the psychological ones.  And that's from someone with permanent injuries from some of that abuse I received as a kid - that pain is honestly easier to deal with than some of my nightmares.

Conversion therapy is not only demonstrably harmful, it doesn't work.  Adults can do whatever the heck they want to themselves even if it's harmful, but I think protecting kids from actively harmful quackery is a good thing.  If a parent wanted to use solely homeopathy to cure their own cancer, I may think they're stupid but it's their choice.  If a parent decides that they want to treat their child with only homeopathy if the kid comes down with cancer, I want CPS to get involved.  This is the same to me.
Well said, Nikcara.
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#17 BklnScott

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:04 AM

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View Postscherzo, on 01 October 2012 - 08:52 PM, said:

The advocates of this ban might consider conversion therapy "child abuse"(forgive me if I don't automatically take their word for it)but unless it actually DOES involve punches in the face from 300 pound boxers, I see no reason why parents shouldn't be able to assess that for themselves.

A smidge of online research into this matter (just google "ex gay survivors") generally helps people understand that ex-gay conversion "therapy" does, in fact, constitute child abuse when minors are subjected to it.  Adults can do what they want, and will, but no matter who endures it, the fact is that ex-gay conversion therapy has no basis in reality, not to mention no basis in good clinical practice.  It is harmful to the patient and should not be practiced by state-licensed healthcare professionals.  

And that's what this is about: state-licensed healthcare professionals.  It's not about concerned parents taking their kid to the local pastor or whatever.  This is about licensed mental health professionals committing malpractice by promising something they cannot deliver.  It's about snake oil sold under color of state-issued licensure.  If there were no other compelling state interest here, that would be enough.  

If doctors were going around telling you to light a candle to cure your cancer, I think it's safe to say that most reasonable people of good will could get together and say, "yeah, you know what?  No.  There should be controls in place to prevent healthcare professionals from telling you that will work."  And indeed, there are.  

Why?  Because it's harmful, and the ways in which it is harmful are easily quantifiable.  When you go to your doctor with a health problem, you expect them to give you treatment based on good clinical practices and the sound, scientific body of knowledge their license proclaims them to be expert in.  

The same holds true when parents bring their gay kid to a shrink.  Just because the parents want the kid to be straight doesn't mean the shrink can shake their hands, take their money and say "yes, that is possible."  Because it is not possible (as these former leaders of the ex-gay movement will tell you), and the attempted conversion causes grave harm (as the poor kid will inevitably find out).  

(Example: This is a great article where the author, after being hospitalized for dangerous levels of self-loathing after years of parentally-mandated ex-gay therapy goes back to confront his therapist.  He also reaches out to Doctor Robert Spitzer, who published a paper in 2001 claiming that in rare instances highly-movited people may be able to change their orientation.  The paper had been widely cited for 10 years in the ex-gay movement, understandably so as it was the only piece of literature that seemed to support their contention with even a sheen of legitimacy to it.  Although it was not peer-reviewed, Spitzer is perhaps the most important psychiatrist of the 20th century and is no homophobe.  He actually spear-headed the drive to remove homosexuality from the APA's list of mental disorders in 1973.  In this article, Spitzer renounces his 2001 conclusions, admitting the methodology was fatally flawed and that it proved nothing about the underlying veracity of claims that orientation can be changed.  It just parroted the assertions of the movement's adherents, many of whom have themselves since backed away from the claim that homosexuality can be "cured.")

As for why it's abuse when parents force their children to undergo it?  Look, if you -- as an adult -- want to choose the "light a candle" option, and seek a healthcare provider who embraces that, go for it.  Your cancer will still kill you, but hey, that's your choice.  But kids are not able to make that choice for themselves.  They cannot give informed consent.  Their parents have to give it for them, and if they're giving consent for unsound, harmful practices, then the state has not just a right but a responsibility to get involved.  

In the case of ex-gay conversion therapy, the APA found in 2007 that "efforts to produce change could be harmful, including depression and suicidal tendencies."  So not only does it not work, but the therapy itself is inherently harmful, sometimes fatally so, to those who are subjected to it.  In that sense, it seems like the opposite of what your typical mental health professional -- not to mention your typical PARENTS -- should want for their kids, doesn't it?  

So why do they do it?  Seems safe to conclude that for both clinicians and parents, an ulterior, non-scientific motivation is at work here, and that it is most likely religious in nature.  Seems equally safe to conclude that children must be protected where possible from this dangerous, harmful quackery masquerading as professional healthcare.  If their parents won't do it, the state must.  I'm glad that in California, that is now reality... at least insofar as state-licensed HCPs are concerned.  I'm sure bans like this will crop up in many other states before too long.  And that's a good thing.

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#18 Balderdash

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:10 AM

^^^

Thank you Scott, I was unable to post in this thread in a civil manner, so thank you for doing so, I'm sure that it wasn't easy.  
Just recognizin'.  :)

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#19 Bobby

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:34 AM

View PostBalderdash, on 02 October 2012 - 10:10 AM, said:

^^^

Thank you Scott, I was unable to post in this thread in a civil manner, so thank you for doing so, I'm sure that it wasn't easy.  
Just recognizin'.  :)

Yes, thanks, Scott!   Also, you should google, Mary Griffith, she didn't take her son to a psychologist but she followed her pastors advice and drove her son to suicide.   After he died she finally got it and realized he was born gay and now she crusades for gay rights.  Even though she now crusades for gay rights, I think what she did to him was child abuse.  They made a Lifetime movie about her and her son based on the book "Prayers for Bobby". Check it out if it's ever on Lifetime again.

http://www.mylifetim...d-prayers-bobby


Quote

Was there a single moment when you realized Bobby "didn't choose" to be gay?


There really wasn't a single moment. Until Bobby's death, I was convinced that I could fix him, and nothing was going to change my mind about that. I guess his death was the moment. It wasn't until then that I realized how close-minded I had been. Reverend Larry Whitesell and his church opened up new ways of seeing the Bible and religion that changed my life.


Quote

Do you think Bobby's story would have been different if he'd come out in today's time?


No, unfortunately. My mind-set was completely tied up in the word of the gospel, and I couldn't hear anything differently. It wouldn't have made a difference whether this happened yesterday or several years ago. I couldn't hear anything else.

You know, it's ironic, that another pastor made her see the light about her son but only after it was too late.


And let's not forget Kirk Murphy:

http://www.dailymail...ns-suicide.html

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Kirk's family believe the therapy directly contributed to his death, and say he was never the same again after the sessions to get rid of his 'sissy' characteristics, which included instructing his father to beat him for feminine traits

This is to the Glaad website but it has links to videos with Kirk Murphy's family discussing what he went through:

http://www.glaad.org...boy-experiment/

Edited by LiberalBob, 02 October 2012 - 11:37 AM.


#20 Balderdash

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:58 AM

View PostLiberalBob, on 02 October 2012 - 11:34 AM, said:

View PostBalderdash, on 02 October 2012 - 10:10 AM, said:

^^^

Thank you Scott, I was unable to post in this thread in a civil manner, so thank you for doing so, I'm sure that it wasn't easy.  
Just recognizin'.  :)

Yes, thanks, Scott!   Also, you should google, Mary Griffith, she didn't take her son to a psychologist but she followed her pastors advice and drove her son to suicide.   After he died she finally got it and realized he was born gay and now she crusades for gay rights.  Even though she now crusades for gay rights, I think what she did to him was child abuse.  They made a Lifetime movie about her and her son based on the book "Prayers for Bobby". Check it out if it's ever on Lifetime again.

http://www.mylifetim...d-prayers-bobby


Quote

Was there a single moment when you realized Bobby "didn't choose" to be gay?


There really wasn't a single moment. Until Bobby's death, I was convinced that I could fix him, and nothing was going to change my mind about that. I guess his death was the moment. It wasn't until then that I realized how close-minded I had been. Reverend Larry Whitesell and his church opened up new ways of seeing the Bible and religion that changed my life.


Quote

Do you think Bobby's story would have been different if he'd come out in today's time?


No, unfortunately. My mind-set was completely tied up in the word of the gospel, and I couldn't hear anything differently. It wouldn't have made a difference whether this happened yesterday or several years ago. I couldn't hear anything else.

You know, it's ironic, that another pastor made her see the light about her son but only after it was too late.


And let's not forget Kirk Murphy:

http://www.dailymail...ns-suicide.html

Quote


Kirk's family believe the therapy directly contributed to his death, and say he was never the same again after the sessions to get rid of his 'sissy' characteristics, which included instructing his father to beat him for feminine traits

This is to the Glaad website but it has links to videos with Kirk Murphy's family discussing what he went through:

http://www.glaad.org...boy-experiment/


From the GLAAD site:

Quote

At the age of four, Kirk was a seemingly happy little boy, the middle of three children.  His older brother, Mark, has a picture of Kirk the last time he remembers him smiling - Kirk was four years old at the time.  The following year, Kirk's mother, Kaytee, enrolled him in a government-funded study at UCLA that was aimed at making effeminate boys more masculine, or ridding Kirk of what participating researchers later called 'Sissy Boy Syndrome.'  The happy demeanor of four-year-old Kirk was never to be seen again.

And that is what happens to you when you are told that you are an abomination and Jesus doesn't love you because you're icky and different.
You don't need 300 POUND BOXERS to effing do you in when everyone around you is punching you in your ego or ID or whatever it is that is the
cornerstone of YOU.  This little boy and the torture that he was put through makes me want to hunt down every close-minded jackwad that ever
bullied a LGBT kid OR grownup.....   See, I get too emotional...  I typed a bunch of other stuff but it was best that I removed it.  Someday, hopefully
in my lifetime this all will just be history that helped us to move up a notch on our trip to the promised land.

My fellow LGBTers, love y'all and chins up!

Another Democrat leaning Independent that has to search for truth because it can't be found on Fox News OR MSNBC.



"Being gay is not a Western invention, it is a human reality"  by HRC




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