WASHINGTON, DC, December 19, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A U.S. congresswoman has reintroduced a resolution urging states to ban therapies designed to help young people overcome unwanted same-sex attraction.
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-CA, called sexual reorientation therapy “quackery” and said her “Stop Harming Our Kids” resolution was a bid to encourage states to introduce laws similar to ones passed in California and New Jersey, which ban conversion therapy for minors.
“These practices have been rejected by every mainstream mental health association as neither safe nor effective,” Speier stated in a press release announcing the resolution.
“These efforts frequently increase family rejection,” Speier claimed, “which we know make LGBT youth 8.4 times more likely than straight youth to report attempting suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, and 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs.”
Speier originally introduced the resolution a year ago but said that she now has bipartisan support in states across the country, as well as the backing of numerous homosexual lobby groups.
“Unfortunately, proponents of bans on conversion therapy tend to circulate myths that take on a life of their own in order to denigrate those who may disagree with them,” said Arthur Goldberg, co-director of JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing), a faith-based, nonprofit organization that offers assistance to men and women seeking to resolve their sexual conflicts, including unwanted same sex attractions. “For example, the total lie perpetrated by a transgendered person before the New Jersey legislature who provided false testimony by claiming as her personal story a fictional movie plot by Rue Paul.”
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Despite Speier's claim that an American Psychological Association Task Force concluded that sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical health risks to gender-confused children, organizations engaged in helping people who want reorientation therapy say banning the practice leaves those seeking this help with no recourse.
“The bill is a classic example of reverse discrimination that subjects former homosexuals or those who seek to leave behind their homosexual ideation to an increasingly hostile environment,” Goldberg told LifeSiteNews.com.
“It is unbelievable how those who claim to believe in diversity and tolerance seek to deny individuals the freedom to seek their own path in life when discussing homosexual issues,” Goldberg said. “Those who have made the personal decision to leave homosexuality should be permitted to exercise their right of self-determination without legislative interference.”
Last year, JONAH was slapped with a lawsuit by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which claimed that homosexuality is permanently fixed and that people cannot be helped in overcoming their unwanted same-sex attractions.
But the University of North Carolina’s National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health surveyed 10,000 teenagers and found that the vast majority of 16-year-olds who reported only same-sex sexual attractions reported only opposite-sex sexual attractions one year later.
“Because these surveys produced such unexpected results, similar studies were soon replicated all over the Western world,” Robert Carle, a professor of theology at The King’s College in Manhattan, wrote in Public Discourse. “The outcomes were almost identical, with population-based samples now reaching into the hundreds of thousands.”
Charles LiMandri of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF), which acted as lead defense counsel for JONAH, said the SPLC's position is inconsistent with numerous scientific and medical opinions and studies finding that sexual attraction is influenced by many factors, both environmental and biological.
LiMandri remarked that even certain gay activist groups claim that sexual attractions can be fluid and change throughout people’s lives, and that SPLC's allegations also ignore the thousands of people who have already benefited from programs, such as those offered by JONAH and others, “many of whom are now living their life-long dreams, including traditional marriage and children.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center is one of the lobby groups named by Rep. Speier as supporting her resolution.
Joseph La Rue, legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom told LifeSiteNews that, “Every person has a right to know the truth that life change is possible for those who seek change.”
La Rue said that “politicians shouldn’t be able to outlaw hope and the professionals who provide it. And politicians shouldn’t be dictating decisions that families should be free to make. Children, in particular, should have a safe environment to seek the help they want without fear. “
“People deserve to know the truth about the many men, women, and children who have chosen to change their lives and shouldn’t have their choices limited by intrusive politicians,” he said.
Congresswoman Speier's office did not reply to LifeSiteNews.com's request for a comment.