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Steve Weatherbe

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Democrats introduce bill to ban LGBT ‘conversion’ therapy

Steve Weatherbe

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Democrats in Congress are reviving a bill banning “conversion” therapy that helps people deal with unwanted sexual attractions, but it appears to have little chance of passing.

Several states and at least one Canadian province have anti-conversion therapy laws rooted in the confusing ideological premise that sexual attraction is immutable but gender is fluid. However, the last Congressional attempt by the Democrats got nowhere against the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. A capital insider told LifeSiteNews that this would be the likely fate this time, too.

“The Republicans won’t ever let this come to a vote,” predicted the staffer with a conservative Christian think tank. “It would only make them look bad.” This was borne out of a pro-gay Washington Post story headlined “‘LGBTQ people were born perfect’: A new bill would ban conversion therapy nationwide measure.”

The source said the best chance the measure had was as an amendment the Democrats snuck into a money bill at the last minute.

The Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017 would allow prosecution for fraud of any psychotherapist charging a fee for “conversion” therapy to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Its definition of conversion therapy includes “any practice or treatment by any person that seeks to change another individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, including efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same gender.”  

Underlining the ideological confusion at the heart of the LGBT crusade against conversion therapy, it then exempts therapy that helps a person “undergoing a gender transition.”

The bill’s preamble justifies the measure with the claim that “the national community of professionals in education, social work, health, mental health, and counseling has determined that there is no scientifically valid evidence … that conversion therapy is effective or that an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity can be changed by conversion therapy.”

Both the bill and the Post article sweepingly include both conventional cognitive or “talk” therapy, which is the treatment of choice for those who willingly seek to change their own abnormal sexual attractions. Both discredited aversion methods used in the past to deter with electric shocks convicted child molesters and homosexuals when their activities were deemed criminal.

Neither the bill’s framers nor the news story consider the possibility of people wanting such treatment. “LGBTQ people are born perfect,” the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA, told the Post. “There is nothing to treat them for.”

Nonetheless, an organization of licensed therapists exists who do treat clients wishing to be freed of same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria (as discomfort with one’s biological gender is termed by the psychotherapeutic community). The Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity calls its members “principled advocates for persons with unwanted sexual attractions.”

A leading practitioner was Dr. Joseph Nicolosi. “Gays don’t like the idea that their lifestyle is based on childhood trauma and that this trauma is treatable,” Dr. Nicolosi told LifeSiteNews before he died a month ago. Nicolosi said he and his team at the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic in Encino, California, have successfully treated “thousands” for same-sex attraction, including many teens.

The treatment includes talk therapy with EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). This was developed after the Vietnam War to treat Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome to de-traumatize combat memories. Nicolosi’s treatment premise was that homosexuality is caused by a weakened sexual identity flowing from an inadequate identification with the patient’s parent of the same sex.

There is research indicating people can change their sexual orientation, especially with religious motivation, but two who conducted such research, psychotherapists Robert L. Spitzer and Warren Throckmorton, were attacked by their professions until they recanted.

Also resisting the LGBT machine is the American Association of Christian Therapists. During the successful campaign for California’s version of the anti-conversion therapy bill (sponsored by Lieu as a state senator), the AACC issued a statement indicating it was neither for nor against conversion therapy. “However, what does alarm us is the blatant disregard for faith values and the unnecessary restrictions that will be placed on clients and their families.”

The AACC noted that “thousands of children … are devastated by sexual abuse every year and the trauma of the experience frequently leaves them anxious and confused about their sexual identities. They must be given the unrestricted opportunity to freely discuss the nature of the abuse and any same-sex attractions that may have developed because of it.”

There is evidence that same-sex attractions experienced during the teenage years are often abandoned. After surveying 10,000 teenagers, the University of North Carolina’s National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health reported that the vast majority of 16-year-olds who reported only same-sex sexual attractions reported only heterosexual attractions a year later.

Concludes the AACC, on behalf of its 50,000 members: “The intent of this misguided legislation is one thing, but the potential effects on the practice of counseling and other unseen consequences are alarming.” 

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