Wednesday, October 3, 2012

On The Other Hand....

Here's a short article from the AP as printed in the Washington Post:

California enacts nation’s first law banning gay teen ‘conversion’ psychotherapy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California will become the first state to ban a controversial form of psychotherapy aimed at making gay teenagers straight.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Sunday that he had signed SB1172 by Democratic Senator Ted Lieu of Torrance. Lieu says the law will prevent children from being psychologically abused.

Effective Jan. 1, the state will prohibit what is known as reparative or conversion therapy for minors.

Brown says the therapies “have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”

Gay rights groups say the practice is dangerous because it can put youth at higher risk of depression and suicide.

Conservative religious groups and some Republicans argue that banning conversion therapy would hinder parents’ right to provide psychological care for children experiencing gender confusion.

Anybody see a problem with this article? 

I have problems with the state getting involved in religious practices, but that happens all the time (ganja anyone?  how about multiple wives?).  But the religious groups involved won't admit this is religious ~ they call it psychology, which nobody with a degree believes.  The state can regulate that, but I'd prefer they didn't.  I don't want the state involved in decisions involving fetuses and consistency requires I not support this.  On the other hand, the government has a responsibility to prevent quacks from selling snake oil to gullible citizens.  Yes, this is one of those situations with many hands, and there's always another argument "on the other hand."

What is clear and wrong and I want to know if this is AP's interpretation, or if they're quoting "conservative religious groups and some republicans" but somebody doesn't know that nothing in the six paragraphs has anything to do with gender.  And if someone says "we need 'conversion therapy' to cure gay teens of their gender confusion," I'd be the first to sound the buzzer and say "game over.  Thank you for playing.  No parting gifts for you."


  1. Meg
    It is nice to see your Libertarian roots showing. I simply feel that governmental intrusion into so many aspects of society and life is so often unwarranted, uncalled for, unhelpful, tyranical and counter productive.

    I will concede that I tend to be somewhat of a skeptic regarding many forms of psychological treatment and analysis and the idea of 'conversion therapy' tends to stick in my craw. I do not like the government being the 'Big Brother' and interferring with parental duties and options or interferring in the doctor patient relationship. Sexuality and gender issues, at least in my humble opinion, do not lend themselves to control by legislative fiat by the heavy hand of government.

    The AP, once again showing its political bias could not even use proper prose in taking a cheap shot at 'conservative religious groups and some Republicans'. You did good work in calling out the AP on their poor reporting.


  2. I would find it so much more satisfying to read an article reporting that in future no reputable psychiatrist will ever perform such an assault on a child ever again because it is wrong in California or anywhere else.

    ~~~ le sigh ~~~


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