Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sex-Change Therapy vs. Sex-Reorientation Therapy

What would you think about legislation that would prevent you from seeking psychotherapeutic counseling for gambling or porn addiction? Wouldn’t you think it absurd to legislate against this kind of help in light of the fact that psychotherapy is supposed to be a helping profession? You would therefore ask, “How can you turn me away when I come to you for help?” However, this is just what a new bill before the California Senate is proposing:

  • A California Senate committee today advanced SB 1172, a bill that would help protect citizens from harmful, ineffective ex-gay therapy. The law does not outright ban all ex-gay therapy, but it does prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from undergoing sexual orientation change efforts
“Ineffective?” I know many people who claim to have profited from sexual-reorientation counseling. Some have even gone on to marry. The gay community and its promoters can only claim that it doesn’t work by denying the many findings that contradict their claim. And this is the very thing that they have done. They have silenced the voices of groups like Parents and Friends of ex-Gays (PFOX) and have successfully prevented them from even running ads by charging that they are disseminating “hate-speech.” Ironically, it is the gay lifestyle promoters who are the bullies and the haters.

Instead, there is a wealth of data in favor of ex-gay therapy. Just check out However, even if there wasn’t, who should blame or withhold help from those who want to flee or at least resist a lifestyle associated with so many well-established personal costs – severely heightened rates of suicide, depression, mental illness, substance abuse, and greatly diminished life-spans, even within those nations most favorably disposed to homosexuality!

This bill would be more acceptable if it addressed moral wrongs. If instead, it prohibited supportive counseling for those seeking supportive counseling to enable them to have an adulterous affair, this would be understandable. In such a case psychotherapy would serve to promote societal ills.

Likewise, if this bill prohibited supportive counseling for an adolescent who wanted a sex change, it could more easily be justified. Sex change is radical, almost-irreversible, long-term effects are questionable, social consequences are considerable, and it violates the natural - our DNA. However, California is willing – even clamoring – to promote physical sex-change. Ironically, the California legislature is entirely in favor of “choice” in this regard, but not when a child wants to exercise choice to deal with same-sex attraction (SSA)!

Although this proposed bill doesn’t prohibit adults from receiving counseling to deal with SSA, it coerces the potential client to endure waves of propaganda:

  • It also requires that any prospective patient sign an informed consent form that includes the following disclaimer: Having a lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientation is not a mental disorder. There is no scientific evidence that any types of therapies are effective in changing a person’s sexual orientation. Sexual orientation change efforts can be harmful. The risks include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior.
However, this disclaimer should also specify the same risks for those who remain in the gay lifestyle: “The risks include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior.” By refusing to see that these same risks are endemic to the gay lifestyle, whenever the gay person experiences negative consequences, the fault is attributed to ex-gay therapy without any consideration that the consequences might have stemmed directly from the lifestyle.

Nevertheless, I think that we need to be sensitive and compassionate with gay people. They sincerely believe that their problems are the result of an ever-shrinking band of religious fundamentalists who do not approve of their lifestyle, instead of their own God-given conscience not approving. As such, their battle is not against the “Fundies” but essentially against themselves.

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