Should gay conversion therapy be banned for minors? | The Tylt
Should gay conversion therapy be banned for minors?
Conversion therapy should be banned because it's been shown to be harmful and has no scientific evidence backing it up. Being homosexual is not a mental disorder and therefore does no one needs therapy to be 'converted' or 'cured'.
Every mainstream medical and mental health group has come out to say conversion therapy is ineffective and dangerous. It absolutely does not work because being gay is not something you can cure. All conversion therapy does is teach people self-hatred and loathing. It teaches people that it's wrong to be themselves, that their feelings are wrong, that they are wrong. We should not be doing this to our children.
Banning conversion therapy creates a system that obtains justice for those who are forced into it. Underground conversion therapy is still a big and relevant issue. Banning the practice gives victims of conversion therapy a pathway to see justice without going through a highly public and agonizing lawsuit. Conversion therapy is widely accepted as bullshit and harmful, so why do we tolerate it?
Passing further legislation is important because many survivors of conversion therapy are unable to advocate on their own. Ferguson was one of the plaintiffs in Ferguson v. JONAH, a successful lawsuit against Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality. As a result of the 2015 suit, the New Jersey-based center shut down. Ferguson said, however, that this victory was the result of a “taxing” three-year process, one in which every facet of your private life (including emails and text messages) is made public. Many survivors, who simply want to walk away and move on, may be unwilling to subject themselves to that.
Some see this as a parent's rights issue. The government should not be a participant in conversations about what is right and what is not for a child. For something so highly personal as children and sexuality, the government should absolutely steer clear. There are already laws on the books that protect children from abusive therapists—the government doesn't need to come in to tell parents how to raise their children.
"If that's the motivation, if that's the basis for the bill, we have laws to deal with this," he said. "What my genuine concern on this bill is is it takes away the right and ability of minors and their parents to seek help they desire."
Owens said he sometimes disagrees with decisions other parents make regarding their children, but it's their choice.
Others argue the government shouldn't be in the business of telling medical professionals what to do, period. Banning conversion therapy is effectively censoring an idea. There's no single set of procedures for conversion therapy. Rather, the ban is on practices that hinge on the idea that a person can be converted from being gay. While that's a false idea that has no basis in reality, it's still an idea. Conversion therapy is reprehensible and over time it will go away as cultural attitudes shift. It's not the government's place to tell people what they can and can't think, no matter how horrible or harmful those thoughts are.
Lieu should be resisted here not because conversion therapy is wonderful and good. It's not. It's a terrible idea. Nevertheless, believing that gays and lesbians can be converted to heterosexuality is an idea that is protected by the First Amendment, and therefore the government has no authority to stop consenting adults from participating in it or the commerce that surrounds it. We are not truly a free people if we are not free to make poor choices.