California to ban gay "therapy" for minors

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http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/04/23/469667/california-ex-gay-bill/

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. 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.

Medical and mental health associations that oppose the use of sexual orientation change efforts include the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy."

This is model legislation that applies scientific knowledge to the benefit of the general welfare. Ex-gay therapy has been debunked repeatedly and deserves the marginalization that this bill would implement.

Of course, groups that promote ex-gay therapy insist that the evidence supports their traumatic practices, but it's an empty claim. One of the witnesses at today's hearing speaking on behalf of NARTH (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) cited two studies that have been debunked and disavowed. The intention behind the therapy, as essentially admitted in NARTH's alert email today, is to simply reinforce religious bias against homosexuality. (The same email also mistakenly described the bill's sponsor, Sen. Ted Lieu (D), as openly gay, in an apparent attempt to further bias the group's followers.) SB 1172 is an important step forward to protect gay youth and limit the dangerous impact of such stigma.

So what do you think, Escapist?

I would call this a huge win, personally. Normally you cant confront any religious dogma without being ostracized as some sort of racist, fascist, anti-semite, islamaphobe, etc.

At least 18 years old? Requiring informed consent? Sounds perfectly sensible. I'm in agreement.

On one hand, religious homophobia is extremely stupid. *Insert Leviticus 20:13, 1 Corinthians 6:9*

One the other hand, free markets, freedom, freedom of organization and freedom of speech!

Lol, found an epic cartoon while searching for a stupid picture to illustrate my freedom-rant.
image

But.. children. I support every law that's created to protect children's minds from harmful religious dogma. Yes, you may post "Think of the children!" now.

This is good. Let adults waste money and abuse themselves this way if they want to, but do not let them abuse children.

However, I wonder if it doesn't go far enough. It looks as if the penalty is only vulnerability to a lawsuit. Suppose some asshole parents got together with an unscrupulous quack (as they must be, if they practice this sort of abuse) to abuse their minor child. Could the child run to the police and have the state sue on his behalf?

Gay therapy. Madness. Mentally damaging people isn't a cure:

By attaching electrodes to a boy's testicles I can cure him of heterosexuality! Indeed, through a concentrated plan of group sessions, vigorous physical instruction from a dude who taught himself to be a marine by jumping off his roof and strong moral rhetoric I can cure of him of any sense of happiness altogether!

Sounds like a good idea. I didn't realize that America actully had Gay therapy camps..........
Yeah this law was needed.

Hmm... very very good.

People only being allowed to go to these places once they are 18 will do a great deal to prevent anyone bullying their kids into these places and damage being done.

If people want to change their sexuality... for whatever reason then ok, but only when they are old enough to consent to it.

I'm perfectly okay with this. If an adult is dumb enough to think these places are legitimate and wants to put him or herself through this nonsense, that's their own choice. But parents who force their kids into places like this? That's just a dick move that will do more harm than good, so stopping that is a good move.

It's a decent first step to limit that form of torture. Still, a total ban would've been much better, I mean, it's a form of assault and torture we're talking about, but I see how that would be impossible in the US political climate.

Captcha: Do more sit-ups. 0.o

This can only be a good thing. Yeah, it should have gone much further, but it's a start.

As is often the case, I think California has tackled the right problem with the wrong law.

Banning the practice for essentially anyone who can't give informed consent to undergo it tackles the short term problem for California only. I would prefer that it remain legal, but that the state actively investigates and encourages legal prosecution of any organization that performs conversion therapy on the grounds of false advertising. Because this should not be a case of "Well, someone shouldn't have to put up with that against their will," it should be a case of, "People shouldn't be making money by claiming they can offer a form of therapy that doesn't work."

This wouldn't have the short-term impact that the law they wrote has, but it would help undermine the organizations that peddle this bullshit.

Katatori-kun:
As is often the case, I think California has tackled the right problem with the wrong law.

Banning the practice for essentially anyone who can't give informed consent to undergo it tackles the short term problem for California only. I would prefer that it remain legal, but that the state actively investigates and encourages legal prosecution of any organization that performs conversion therapy on the grounds of false advertising. Because this should not be a case of "Well, someone shouldn't have to put up with that against their will," it should be a case of, "People shouldn't be making money by claiming they can offer a form of therapy that doesn't work."

This wouldn't have the short-term impact that the law they wrote has, but it would help undermine the organizations that peddle this bullshit.

The problem with that is it would be challenged by all the homeopaths, chiropracters, new age healers etc. Who collectively have a fair bit of monetary clout.

ClockworkPenguin:

Katatori-kun:
As is often the case, I think California has tackled the right problem with the wrong law.

Banning the practice for essentially anyone who can't give informed consent to undergo it tackles the short term problem for California only. I would prefer that it remain legal, but that the state actively investigates and encourages legal prosecution of any organization that performs conversion therapy on the grounds of false advertising. Because this should not be a case of "Well, someone shouldn't have to put up with that against their will," it should be a case of, "People shouldn't be making money by claiming they can offer a form of therapy that doesn't work."

This wouldn't have the short-term impact that the law they wrote has, but it would help undermine the organizations that peddle this bullshit.

The problem with that is it would be challenged by all the homeopaths, chiropracters, new age healers etc. Who collectively have a fair bit of monetary clout.

All the more reason to go after them as well. Hell, I bet California could balance their budget on the basis of fining homeopaths and chiropractors who make false advertising claims alone.

Katatori-kun:

ClockworkPenguin:

Katatori-kun:
As is often the case, I think California has tackled the right problem with the wrong law.

Banning the practice for essentially anyone who can't give informed consent to undergo it tackles the short term problem for California only. I would prefer that it remain legal, but that the state actively investigates and encourages legal prosecution of any organization that performs conversion therapy on the grounds of false advertising. Because this should not be a case of "Well, someone shouldn't have to put up with that against their will," it should be a case of, "People shouldn't be making money by claiming they can offer a form of therapy that doesn't work."

This wouldn't have the short-term impact that the law they wrote has, but it would help undermine the organizations that peddle this bullshit.

The problem with that is it would be challenged by all the homeopaths, chiropracters, new age healers etc. Who collectively have a fair bit of monetary clout.

All the more reason to go after them as well. Hell, I bet California could balance their budget on the basis of fining homeopaths and chiropractors who make false advertising claims alone.

Unfortunately California LOVES the new age healing stuff.

You know the stereotype that Northern Californians love healing crystals and stuff? Yeah unfortunately that actually exists. Its normally popular in middle to high class areas filled with people who have more money than sense. However, the main issue is that Californian healthcare is actually worse than Mexican healthcare and much more expensive. Even the rich are having a hard time trying to pay off the hospital bills.

They would kill you by misdiagnosing your illness, then bill extortionate amounts of money your family for the time. California's healthcare system is a big joke, and its the main driving force that allows the new age healing to flourish.

Its either do new age healing and hope for the best, or take your chances with the butchers at the local hospital. No one seems to want to fix this problem.

Against this, if a gay christian teen wants to pursue this, then that's their choice, not the governments. If California is ok with snake oils like healing crystals(as somebody already pointed out), then I see no reason to not allow people to pursue other kinds of snake oils(like pray the gay away).

Volf:
Against this, if a gay christian teen wants to pursue this, then that's their choice, not the governments.

but it's not their choice, it's a choice parents are making for them. that's why the law is specifically aimed at legal minors.

cobra_ky:

Volf:
Against this, if a gay christian teen wants to pursue this, then that's their choice, not the governments.

but it's not their choice, it's a choice parents are making for them. that's why the law is specifically aimed at legal minors.

Like I said, if gay christian teenagers want to pursue pray-the-gay-away places let them. If the teenager makes the choice, why can't they pursue it?

Danyal:
On one hand, religious homophobia is extremely stupid. *Insert Leviticus 20:13, 1 Corinthians 6:9*

One the other hand, free markets, freedom, freedom of organization and freedom of speech!

Lol, found an epic cartoon while searching for a stupid picture to illustrate my freedom-rant.
image

But.. children. I support every law that's created to protect children's minds from harmful religious dogma. Yes, you may post "Think of the children!" now.

.
Danyal, this is off topic, but your picture was EPIC.
Thank you for a great laugh.



About the topic:
These are great news. People are free to educate their children as they see fit but these camps hurt the children and sometimes ruin their lives till the point where the become a republican representative with three kids and a wife, finding themselves in gay clubs looking for a hook-up.

Volf:

cobra_ky:

Volf:
Against this, if a gay christian teen wants to pursue this, then that's their choice, not the governments.

but it's not their choice, it's a choice parents are making for them. that's why the law is specifically aimed at legal minors.

Like I said, if gay christian teenagers want to pursue pray-the-gay-away places let them. If the teenager makes the choice, why can't they pursue it?

Because ex-gay-therapy does not work.

Because there is no way to prove that it is the teenager's choice and not their parents forcing them to do it.

Because it is inherrently harmful to the teenager's metal health.

If they want it, they can wait until their 18 to undertake it. There's a laundry list of treatments, "Treatments", procedures, and other such things you can't legally do as a teenager.

Volf:

cobra_ky:

Volf:
Against this, if a gay christian teen wants to pursue this, then that's their choice, not the governments.

but it's not their choice, it's a choice parents are making for them. that's why the law is specifically aimed at legal minors.

Like I said, if gay christian teenagers want to pursue pray-the-gay-away places let them. If the teenager makes the choice, why can't they pursue it?

I'd presume the logic runs similar as to why you can't get married without consent, vote, smoke or a whole bunch of other things before you're a legal adult. Regardless of the individual's level of maturity.

Does the bill include private 1-on-1 counselling or other guidence or does it only ban institutions?

captcha: roast beef....is delicious with mustard, cheese, spanish onion and tomatos :-)

Shaoken:

Volf:

cobra_ky:

but it's not their choice, it's a choice parents are making for them. that's why the law is specifically aimed at legal minors.

Like I said, if gay christian teenagers want to pursue pray-the-gay-away places let them. If the teenager makes the choice, why can't they pursue it?

Because ex-gay-therapy does not work.

Because there is no way to prove that it is the teenager's choice and not their parents forcing them to do it.

Because it is inherrently harmful to the teenager's metal health.

If they want it, they can wait until their 18 to undertake it. There's a laundry list of treatments, "Treatments", procedures, and other such things you can't legally do as a teenager.

You didn't read my post did you? I said the "therapy" was a snake oil. As for consent, how do I know that a teenager likes the a certain kind of music, or likes a certain kind of fashion and it isn't their parents forcing them? Simple, I ask them if that is what they want.

If a kid can operate a machine that can kill multiple(a car), they can choose to go to a pray-the-gay-away place.

Gordon_4:

Volf:

cobra_ky:

but it's not their choice, it's a choice parents are making for them. that's why the law is specifically aimed at legal minors.

Like I said, if gay christian teenagers want to pursue pray-the-gay-away places let them. If the teenager makes the choice, why can't they pursue it?

I'd presume the logic runs similar as to why you can't get married without consent, vote, smoke or a whole bunch of other things before you're a legal adult. Regardless of the individual's level of maturity.

Does the bill include private 1-on-1 counselling or other guidence or does it only ban institutions?

captcha: roast beef....is delicious with mustard, cheese, spanish onion and tomatos :-)

Again, if a teenager can operate a machine that kills people(see:car), then they can consent to this.

Volf:

Shaoken:

Volf:
Like I said, if gay christian teenagers want to pursue pray-the-gay-away places let them. If the teenager makes the choice, why can't they pursue it?

Because ex-gay-therapy does not work.

Because there is no way to prove that it is the teenager's choice and not their parents forcing them to do it.

Because it is inherrently harmful to the teenager's metal health.

If they want it, they can wait until their 18 to undertake it. There's a laundry list of treatments, "Treatments", procedures, and other such things you can't legally do as a teenager.

You didn't read my post did you? I said the "therapy" was a snake oil. As for consent, how do I know that a teenager likes the a certain kind of music, or likes a certain kind of fashion and it isn't their parents forcing them? Simple, I ask them if that is what they want. If a kid can operate a machine that can kill multiple(a car), they can choose to go to a pray-the-gay-away place.

Right, because it's totally impossible for parents to bully/coerce a child into going and lying. And most snake-oil treatments don't leave you with permament psychological damage, which the state has a vested interest in avoiding since they end up having to pay for it in the long run.

And again, your analogies and comparisons fail. A teenager has to go through months of training and demonstrations before they are legally allowed to drive a car without supervision.

EDIT: The state also has a vested interest in protecting the well being of minors. These camps harm the mental well being of minors. Hence, government is right to get involed. Unless you want to try and argue that if a teenager (let's say 13) wants to have sex with a much older man, the state has no business interfering? Of course not, so you yourself acknowledge that there is a line involving minors where what they want to do is irrelevant.

Shaoken:
Because it is inherrently harmful to the teenager's metal health.


Sorry. That typo was just too good to pass up on. Carry on.

Skeleon:

Shaoken:
Because it is inherrently harmful to the teenager's metal health.


Sorry. That typo was just too good to pass up on. Carry on.

I think that this is the only cure after going to such "therapy"....

Shaoken:

Right, because it's totally impossible for parents to bully/coerce a child into going and lying.

Strawman. A persons religion can convince them that they should pursue this.

Shaoken:
[And most snake-oil treatments don't leave you with permament psychological damage, which the state has a vested interest in avoiding since they end up having to pay for it in the long run.

Call it snake oil, call it pseudo-therapy, or whatever you like. I only use the term snake oil to convey that I don't think that "gay therapy" works.

Shaoken:
And again, your analogies and comparisons fail. A teenager has to go through months of training and demonstrations before they are legally allowed to drive a car without supervision.

My point is that teenagers do make major decisions and they are not treated completely like children. As such, a 16year old should be allowed to choose this kind of therapy.

Shaoken:
EDIT: The state also has a vested interest in protecting the well being of minors. These camps harm the mental well being of minors. Hence, government is right to get involed. Unless you want to try and argue that if a teenager (let's say 13) wants to have sex with a much older man, the state has no business interfering? Of course not, so you yourself acknowledge that there is a line involving minors where what they want to do is irrelevant.

I'll agree that a 13year old shouldn't go through this kind of therapy, but a 16year old should be allowed to make the choice.

Volf:
*snip*

Hell, any music that reasonably lets you do the "metal hand salute" would qualify, and Electric Six does so quite often, I think, despite how mushed up their music styles may be, although this particular song is more topical of course. That said, I like "Gay Bar Part 2" better, not least of which because it has nothing to do with a gay bar and the band basically says that they only named it that because the "little shits" (as in some of their fans) demanded another part. You've just gotta respect such trolling and randomness.

Volf:

Shaoken:

Right, because it's totally impossible for parents to bully/coerce a child into going and lying.

Strawman. A persons religion can convince them that they should pursue this.

Not a strawman. Kids go to these camps already because in most cases the parents force them to go. So in your example, what steps do you take to ensure that it is actually what the kid wants and not what their parents are forcing them to do.

Shaoken:
And again, your analogies and comparisons fail. A teenager has to go through months of training and demonstrations before they are legally allowed to drive a car without supervision.

My point is that teenagers do make major decisions and they are not treated completely like children. As such, a 16year old should be allowed to choose this kind of therapy.

Except again, in that case the Teenager can't just say "I want to drive a car" and the state gives them a liscence. They have to go through a very specific set of circumstances to prove they can handle it, because as you pointed out the car gives them the potential to negatively impact others. They have to prove

Likewise, this "therapy" does the same by damaging their mental health, which the state will in one way or another end up paying for, be it from the person harming themself, requiring counsiling, and a whole mess of other things that stops them from being good workers and paying their taxes. And the state also has a responsiblity to protect the well-fare of minors, that responsblity doesn't end just because the minor wants to preform self-harmful actions. If a teenager cuts themself every night, and the parents know about but do nothing, child services will still take that child away.

So the point stands; the State is always involved in this level of decisions.

Shaoken:

Volf:

Shaoken:

Right, because it's totally impossible for parents to bully/coerce a child into going and lying.

Strawman. A persons religion can convince them that they should pursue this.

Not a strawman. Kids go to these camps already because in most cases the parents force them to go. So in your example, what steps do you take to ensure that it is actually what the kid wants and not what their parents are forcing them to do.

Shaoken:
And again, your analogies and comparisons fail. A teenager has to go through months of training and demonstrations before they are legally allowed to drive a car without supervision.

My point is that teenagers do make major decisions and they are not treated completely like children. As such, a 16year old should be allowed to choose this kind of therapy.

Except again, in that case the Teenager can't just say "I want to drive a car" and the state gives them a liscence. They have to go through a very specific set of circumstances to prove they can handle it, because as you pointed out the car gives them the potential to negatively impact others. They have to prove

Likewise, this "therapy" does the same by damaging their mental health, which the state will in one way or another end up paying for, be it from the person harming themself, requiring counsiling, and a whole mess of other things that stops them from being good workers and paying their taxes. And the state also has a responsiblity to protect the well-fare of minors, that responsblity doesn't end just because the minor wants to preform self-harmful actions. If a teenager cuts themself every night, and the parents know about but do nothing, child services will still take that child away.

So the point stands; the State is always involved in this level of decisions.

I'll be honest and say that I don't know how you would make sure its their choice.

------

Ok, then I would have the teenagers go through some classes first that would inform them about the "therapy" and let them know what their getting into before they make a serious commitment to this program. They would be given a chance to back out of the classes at any time they change their mind.

Fuck you religious extremists! Damn, I'm proud of California. Question, though: Can families just send their minors to gay therapy camps in different states?

Volf:
I'll be honest and say that I don't know how you would make sure its their choice.

It's a moot point.

------

Ok, then I would have the teenagers go through some classes first that would inform them about the "therapy" and let them know what their getting into before they make a serious commitment to this program. They would be given a chance to back out of the classes at any time they change their mind.

Except no; this therpay has no other outcome but the damage to the teen's mental health. Under no circumstances should a state allow a child to come to gaurenteed harm. It as been repeatedly proven that such therapy has no benifits and will only result in mental health issues down the road, so why the fuck would a state allow that to happen to children?

Name one instance where the state has allowed a teenager to engage in an action that is gaurenteed to harm their mental health?

Volf:

cobra_ky:

Volf:
Against this, if a gay christian teen wants to pursue this, then that's their choice, not the governments.

but it's not their choice, it's a choice parents are making for them. that's why the law is specifically aimed at legal minors.

Like I said, if gay christian teenagers want to pursue pray-the-gay-away places let them. If the teenager makes the choice, why can't they pursue it?

Because the rest of society knows better, apparently, and minors don't have rights. Frankly, I think denying minors the ability to consent to this makes a lot more sense than denying minors the ability to consent to some other things they can't legally consent to.

Yes, this is a paternalistic law. There are many paternalistic laws regarding minors. This one seems to target a procedure which causes actual harm, at least.

Shaoken:

snip

Again, if it can be shown that the teen has chosen to go through with this therapy, they should be allowed to go through with it. If the state is so concerned with people doing things that harm them, why are people allowed to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or each cheese burgers?

I am happy with this. They force kids into this and more often than not it does indeed lead to them trying to harm themselves.
Gay teens do that anyway even WITHOUT the ex-gay bullshit.

Volf:

Shaoken:

snip

Again, if it can be shown that the teen has chosen to go through with this therapy, they should be allowed to go through with it. If the state is so concerned with people doing things that harm them, why are people allowed to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or each cheese burgers?

To my knowledge, teens aren't allow to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes in the US.

And a minor actually can't give enforceable legal consent. Until you're 18 in most states, all contracts they enter into (with the exception of certain contracts for "necessities" such as food and clothing) can be voided at any time at the minor's election, hence the regular "you must be 18 or older" refrain you hear for just about everything. What this law effectively does is, in the case of consent waivers for "gay therapy" organizations, turn that "can be voided" into "is void" and thus illegal (it's a little bit more complicated then that, but this is what is happening in simplified terms).

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