Earlier this week, President Obama said he supports a nationwide ban on “conversion therapy. Let’s be real, “conversion therapy” or as it is also known “reparative therapy” is an euphemism for brainwashing. It’s supported by the religious right who operate under false assumption that sexual orientation is a life style choice.
When the President supported a nationwide ban on “Conversion Therapy”, he mentioned the idea of state solutions.
So where does your state stand on this issue?
Only two states (New Jersey and California) along with DC have banned “conversion therapy.”
Just hours before the White House announced its support for a nationwide ban on “conversion therapy”, Colorado’s Senate voted along party lines to kill a bill that would have banned this harmful “treatment” in the state.
The Bill’s sponsor, Rep. Paul Rosenthal, D-Denver, vowed to reintroduce the bill at a later date.
Hawaii’s version died in Committee last year. At the time, State Senator Suzanne Chun said she had trouble even finding enough sponsors for a bill that obliterates the faux Christian right’s destructive fiction that being LGBT is a disease and can be cured with a little brainwashing.
In 2014, Maryland’s sponsor of a bill to ban “conversion therapy” withdrew his bill. In a joint statement with Equality Maryland, Baltimore county delegate John Cardin said,
Minors or anyone advocating on their behalf can file a complaint with a board, triggering a vigorous investigation,” “If the investigation uncovers proof that a licensed health care professional violated the standard of care, then the board has an array of regulatory tools to keep this from happening again.
Virginia’s version of a ban on “conversion therapy” died in January – just 6 weeks after it was introduced. This came after a group of “conversion therapy” activists erected a deceptive bill board on 1-95. The bill board depicted male twins, one was straight and the other is gay. The message behind the bill board was the existence of identical twins with different sexual orientations proves that people aren’t born gay. In fact, the model featured on the bill board is Kyle Roux, who is gay and is not a twin.
There are 15 states currently considering passage of law to ban this discredited “therapy.”
This year Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Vermont introduced bills to ban “conversion therapy”
After a similar bill failed in Illinois‘ House by a vote of 44-51 in 2014, a similar bill was introduced earlier this year. It was approved in committee and will be voted on in the House later this spring.
Iowa’s first openly gay legislator, Senator Matt McCoy, introduced a bill banning conversion therapy for minors in January. The bill passed in committee, solely supported by Democratic members. Every Republican voted against it. The Des Moines Register predicts the measure will fail. Opponents of “conversion therapy” will keep lobbying and hope to win approval for a ban in 2016.
In Nevada, an Assembly committee reviewed a bill to ban conversion therapy on minor children and would allow minors who were subjected to it to sue. However, the committee has not acted, either way, on the bill.
Last summer, New York’s Assembly passed a law banning conversion therapy on minors by a vote of 86 to 28. Republican Senate Leaders refused to put the bill to a vote before the legislative session ended. According to (source) the bill had the votes to pass, which explains why Republican Senate Leaders didn’t want to put it up for a vote. Because that would mean actually listening to and respecting the will of the people.
In March, Oregon’s House of Representatives voted to outlaw conversion therapy by a wide margin of 41-18. Now the State’s Senate is considering the bill.
After several failed attempts to ban conversion therapy in Rhode Island, it is likely that the latest attempt will have similar results. Last Month, The state’s Senate Committee of Health and Human Services decided a measure to protect children from the dangers of Conversion therapy should be “held for further study.”
Believe it or not, a bill opposing conversion therapy was introduced in Texas’ legislature. This took LGBT advocates by surprise since last summer the Texas Republican Party decided to recognize “the legitimacy and efficacy of “conversion therapy” or as it is also known, “reparative therapy” and “treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle.”
On the flip side, Oklahoma lawmakers tried pushed a bill to allow conversion therapy.
Proponents of brainwashing the gay away argue a ban would deny parents the “right” to choose “appropriate” treatments for their children. Sure, if you overlook details like the documented proof that “conversion therapy” is bunk and is harmful the fact of the matter is “conversion therapy” is not in the best interests of the child. It is the child who matters here.
In Parnam v. J.R., the Supreme Court recognized that states can limit parents’ rights when their children’s physical or mental well-being is in danger. ”conversion therapy” is brainwashing and in some cases, uses methods that I would argue are forms of torture. Some of the “treatments” include: electroshock, having ice coils or heat coils bound to the child’s hands.
The fact of the matter is you cannot pray or brainwash the gay away because sexual orientation is not a choice. Even if a parent chooses to reject facts, based on their “strongly held” religious beliefs, they shouldn’t be allowed to force their child down a road debunked “therapy” that has and will continue to cause psychological harm to the child.
Image is screen grabbed at Liberal America
Ms. Woodbury has a graduate degree in political science, with a minor in law. She is a qualified expert on political theory with a specific interest in the nexus between political theories and models and human rights.
Based on her interest in human rights and the threats that authoritarian regimes are to them, Ms. Woodbury’s masters thesis examined the influence of politics on the enforcement of international criminal law was cited in several academic studies.
Published work includes case summaries for the War Crimes Research Office.
She has an extensive background doing legal research in international and domestic law.
Ms. Woodbury’s work for politicusUSA includes articles on voting rights, the right to asylum and other civil/human rights.