Gay Cure Ban Going Up For Vote in CA

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Alissa_Sal's picture
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Gay Cure Ban Going Up For Vote in CA

'Gay Cure' Ban Heads For Vote In California

When James Guay was 12, he went into a Christian bookstore to look for information on what was wrong with him. He found just one book on homosexuality -- "on how to change it," he recalled. When he brought it to the counter, the clerk asked if it was for him. "She said she would pray for me," he said.

A few years later Guay had a nervous breakdown and told his parents what was distressing him. His father, a pastor, helped him find a licensed "ex-gay" psychologist. The psychologist said he had been gay, but now was married to a woman. He told Guay that change was possible. "It was this newfound hope," Guay said. Within six months to a year, the therapist promised him, Guay could overcome his attraction to men and learn to be attracted to women.

Two months ago, Guay testified at a hearing on a new bill in the California State Legislature that would ban the "gay cure," as this type of therapy is known. The bill is the first of its kind in the U.S., and observers expect it to pass by the end of August. If Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signs it, licensed therapists who try to change the sexual orientation of minors will run the risk of losing their licenses.

"I wanted parents to understand that this therapy is crazy," said Sen. Ted Lieu, the California Democrat who authored the bill.

The passage of SB 1172 would be the latest in a series of recent actions signaling a widespread condemnation of the practice. Almost all mainstream mental health organizations, from the American Psychiatric Association to the American Psychological Association, have renounced it. The World Health Organization has released a statement saying that such methods "lack medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being" of patients. Robert L. Spitzer, a psychiatrist who published a widely cited study supporting the "gay cure" practice in 2003, recently apologized for his work in the journal where the original paper appeared.


"I believe I owe the gay community an apology," he wrote.

For more than three decades, one of the leading forces behind the practice of attempting to change sexual orientation was Exodus International, a nonprofit group. In June, the head of Exodus International declared at its annual meeting that there was no cure for homosexuality and that the promise of one offered false hope to gays. Just a few years before, he and his wife had starred in advertisements saying, "Change is possible."

Still, there aren't any scientific studies showing that the practice actually causes harm. Anecdotal reports of depression, even suicide, abound, and a task force convened by the American Psychological Association found the practice to be both harmful and ineffective. But when the government regulates a behavior, like driving without a seatbelt or smoking, they can usually draw on volumes of data demonstrating that the behavior hurts people. That isn't the case here, and the few remaining supporters of the practice stress this fact.

David Pruden, the vice president of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, a group whose website proclaims that it "offers hope to those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality," sees the bill as a "solution in search of a problem."

He maintains that there are people who can, "with the help of a well trained therapist, move through a process where they grow away from homosexual attraction and move towards heterosexual attraction." He gave the example of a child who is molested by an adult of the same sex. "One suggestion would be you're confused, you're not gay. Now this bill is saying that for a therapist to suggest to someone that they're not gay is somehow illegal or would be wrong."

Mainstream psychological organizations in California were initially opposed to the law for similar reasons, but they withdrew their opposition after working with Sen. Lieu on the language of the bill. "Quite naturally there are many times when an adolescent is exploring their sexual identity and they may want to talk to a therapist about that," said Jo Linder-Crow, the executive director of the California Psychological Association. "We wanted to make sure that legitimate therapy would not be caught up in the definition used in the bill."

The idea of a gay cure goes back to a time when homosexuality was considered a mental illness and "sodomy" a crime. In the years after World War II, as therapy became a widespread practice in the U.S., the idea of psychiatric treatment for homosexuality was seen as a humane alternative to institutionalization or jail. In the '70s, the American Psychiatric Institution removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses, and most psychiatrists and psychologists abandoned the practice. Around the same time, though, Exodus International was formed. Christian groups picked up where mainstream therapists had left off.

It's hard to say why the "gay cure" practice has received so much attention in just the last few months. "People have had these concerns about it for a long time," said Clinton Anderson, the director of the American Psychological Association's office for LGBT issues. "What may be different is a sense that there's a political will, at least in certain places, to do something more signifiant about it."

Anderson says there's no way of knowing how widespread the practice is, or how many psychiatrists perform it. The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, for its part, does not divulge its membership numbers, thought it does say that its members operate in all 50 states and in a number of other countries.
Guay, who now runs his own therapeutic practice for people who have been scarred by experiences like his, spent a year with the ex-gay therapist and then got involved with Exodus International, attending several of their conferences. He started dating a woman, but it didn't work out. "I ended that relationship and began a relationship with a man," he said.

It was only at that point that he had what a therapist might call a breakthrough."'Oh wait,'" he said, recalling his thinking at the time. "'This feels authentic and right.'"

Thoughts? Should this practice be banned in a therapeutic setting? Does this fall under freedom of religion?

Joined: 08/17/04
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Whether it causes harm or not, I cannot believe that telling someone they are wrong and I don't support a "cure" for being gay. It's not the flu.

mom3girls's picture
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If there is no prove that this is harmful than I do not believe that this should be legislated

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"mom3girls" wrote:

If there is no prove that this is harmful than I do not believe that this should be legislated

With something like this, is there any way to gather evidence other than anecdotal evidence? If the men marry women is that evidence it worked? If a young man commits suicide or suffers from depression is it proof it is harmful?

GloriaInTX's picture
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It absolutely falls under freedom of religion. And the rights of parents to determine what is good for their children.

Open Letter From Parents of Homosexuals and Former Homosexuals to State Senator Ted Lieu of Torrance, California

Dear Senator Ted Lieu:
You claim that “sexual orientation conversion therapy is absolutely illegitimate” and that's why you “want to stop parents from sending their kids to it.” The OC Register quotes you as saying: "The attack on parental rights is exactly the whole point of the bill because we don't want to let parents harm their children…Reparative therapy hurts children, so this bill [legislation SB 1172] allows us to stop parents from hurting their children."

Sponsoring legislation endorsed by the gay lobby to ensure that children only receive gay-affirming therapy is an act of childhood endangerment and an unconstitutional attempt to deny parental rights everywhere, but especially for parents in California and those in your Torrance district. Your bill will turn California into a nanny state by usurping the civil rights of parents who support their child's right to receive therapy for unwanted same-sex attractions, especially when that child has been sexually molested. This smacks of fascism and ex-gay bashing.

As parents of gays and ex-gays, we are ashamed of your willingness to take action against parents, children, and the family in order to support gay activists. It is people like you who endanger children, and not their parents, whom you wish to dictate on how they raise their own children. California is not a socialist state and our children do not belong to the government, subject to the ideology of the state over the objections of their parents.

You endanger youth by denying their right to receive therapeutic help, promoting homosexual behavior to sexually confused youth, and conveniently ignoring the facts about the psychological and physical health risks of sodomy. By your comments, it appears you lack credible knowledge about changeable sexual preference and that you have obtained biased information without consulting the ex-gay community.

Are you aware that the American Psychological Association admitted at its August 2001 conference that no body of evidence existed to prove that sexual reorientation therapies are harmful? In 2009, the APA stated that research on harm from sexual orientation change efforts is limited, and some of the research that exists suffers from methodological limitations that make broad and definitive conclusions difficult. [Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation, p. 67 (APA, 2009)]

This same APA also stated that affirmative approaches [gay-affirming therapy efforts] have “not been evaluated for safety and efficacy." Id. at 91. Therefore homosexual affirming therapy should be included in your SB 1172 as it has not been proven to be safe.

Senator Lieu, since you claim your concern is for the safety of children, please read the 2010 CDC AIDS report: 77% of diagnosed HIV infections were attributed to MSM (men who have sex with men). Of those aged 13 to 24 youth, 89% was attributed to MSM. In fact, MSM aged 13 to 24 youth had the greatest increase in diagnosis (44%). Talk about harm to children! Why do you want to prevent youth from receiving counseling for unwanted same-sex attractions when those attractions can kill them?

http://pfox.org/Parental-Rights-Under-Attack.html

AlyssaEimers's picture
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I agree that parents should be able to do what they feel is best for their children. I can see this easily spinning out of control. Any speaking against homosexuality becoming illegal. Limiting what Pastors can preach on. Limiting what parents can teach in the home. Any time a confused young person goes to therapy they are indoctonated that they are gay even if they are not because it would be illegal to do otherwise.

That said, once a person is an adult, a person should never be forced into this kind of therapy. (Really a child either, but that is the parents choice) If a Pastor or councler is asked their opinion though, they should be allowed to give it. Or if the person WANTS the therapy it should not be illegal.

wlillie's picture
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yep. Covered by freedom of religion. If they can prove that pageants are harmful to kids, they should be able to prove that this kind of cure is harmful.

ClairesMommy's picture
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What's to stop a parent then who doesn't give a crap about religion hiding behind that constitutional right simply because they are just bigoted and can't stand the idea of having a gay child? Nothing to do with religion. I am seriously curious about that.

And, while we all have the right to make decisions that we believe are in our children's best interest, those decision aren't necessarily viewed as being in the child's best interest by social services, courts, and law enforcement. No parent can make a decision for a child that intervenes that child's human rights.

Alissa_Sal's picture
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I'm torn on this one, and not just because of the whole gay issue. Yes, I do believe that part of this is an infringement on freedom of religion, and on parents' rights (despite the fact that I think that a "gay cure" is a crock.) The problem that I have with it is that it appears to have no back up that it is effective, and may or may not be harmful. To take it apart from the gay issue (because I admit that is a subject that is close to my heart and therefore I may be biased about) I think about what if it were something other than homosexuality, like what if someone were treating depression using practices that have not been proven to give any results....should that be illegal? I can think of reasons yes that have nothing to do with religion, mostly that it may hinder the person from getting treatment that is actually beneficial. In the case of gay therapy, if gay therapy truly is ineffective, I can see how that might hinder their progress in simply moving on with their lives and trying to accept themselves with who they are. I don't know if that is a strong enough reason to make it illegal, but I do think that there is at least a case to be made about whether in general any treatments that are not shown to be effective should be legal.

GloriaInTX's picture
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"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

What's to stop a parent then who doesn't give a crap about religion hiding behind that constitutional right simply because they are just bigoted and can't stand the idea of having a gay child? Nothing to do with religion. I am seriously curious about that.

And, while we all have the right to make decisions that we believe are in our children's best interest, those decision aren't necessarily viewed as being in the child's best interest by social services, courts, and law enforcement. No parent can make a decision for a child that intervenes that child's human rights.

Ok lets say you have a 10 year old son who has been molested by a man. Do you think its ok for it to be illegal for him to talk through with a therapist the feelings he may have as a result of that experience whether he might be gay or if it just what happened to him that is making him feel that way?

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Ok lets say you have a 10 year old son who has been molested by a man. Do you think its ok for it to be illegal for him to talk through with a therapist the feelings he may have as a result of that experience whether he might be gay or if it just what happened to him that is making him feel that way?

That's not what the law says. The article (quoted again below) talks about how therapists themselves worked to help refine the language to make sure that the normal theraputic process is not at issue.

He maintains that there are people who can, "with the help of a well trained therapist, move through a process where they grow away from homosexual attraction and move towards heterosexual attraction." He gave the example of a child who is molested by an adult of the same sex. "One suggestion would be you're confused, you're not gay. Now this bill is saying that for a therapist to suggest to someone that they're not gay is somehow illegal or would be wrong."
Mainstream psychological organizations in California were initially opposed to the law for similar reasons, but they withdrew their opposition after working with Sen. Lieu on the language of the bill. "Quite naturally there are many times when an adolescent is exploring their sexual identity and they may want to talk to a therapist about that," said Jo Linder-Crow, the executive director of the California Psychological Association. "We wanted to make sure that legitimate therapy would not be caught up in the definition used in the bill."

I don't think that talking through sexuality issues is what is being banned here, just specific "gay cure" therapy.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

That's not what the law says. The article (quoted again below) talks about how therapists themselves worked to help refine the language to make sure that the normal theraputic process is not at issue.

I don't think that talking through sexuality issues is what is being banned here, just specific "gay cure" therapy.

Ok lets take it a little further and say this boy has homosexual feelings as a result of what happened to him and expresses a desire for the therapist to help him work through methods to stop feeling that way. The therapist uses some of the same methods that are identified in the gay cure methods. At what point does it become illegal?

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Ok lets take it a little further and say this boy has homosexual feelings as a result of what happened to him and expresses a desire for the therapist to help him work through methods to stop feeling that way. The therapist uses some of the same methods that are identified in the gay cure methods. At what point does it become illegal?

Do you think people develop homosexual feelings after being molested? Like, they weren't gay before?

Alissa_Sal's picture
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Yeah, I would agree with Jessica that I'm not sure if there is a ton of evidence out there to suggest that being molested typically results in homosexual feelings. But if your case were true...I would hope that the therapist wouldn't use therapeutic methods that have been proven to be ineffectual and potentially harmful no matter whether it was illegal or not. I think the therapist should ideally talk through the issue with the patient and help them come to their own decisions about their sexuality, and I do think that should be (and most likely is, again, because therapists were careful about the wording on this one) legal.

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It was this newfound hope," Guay said. Within six months to a year, the therapist promised him, Guay could overcome his attraction to men and learn to be attracted to women.

If being gay is a choice, why would we need a cure? Just choose not to be attracted to men. I mean, as a woman, I should be able to go to some sort of therapy to teach me to like women, right?

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

If being gay is a choice, why would we need a cure? Just choose not to be attracted to men. I mean, as a woman, I should be able to go to some sort of therapy to teach me to like women, right?

Man, there are some days when my husband is tough to live with and being such a "guy" that I would KILL for that kind of therapy lol.

ClairesMommy's picture
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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Ok lets say you have a 10 year old son who has been molested by a man. Do you think its ok for it to be illegal for him to talk through with a therapist the feelings he may have as a result of that experience whether he might be gay or if it just what happened to him that is making him feel that way?

When my brother was 10 he was molested. A whole bunch of boys were molested by the same man. So, yes I'm slightly prejudiced in these situations because your example is an illegal act - sexual abuse. Being gay isn't against the law. I do not believe that pedophiles can be rehabilitated to prefer adult members of the opposite sex. The man who molested my brother said that the look and smell of women just made him physically ill. And, he was married with 2 children. Oh, and after he was released from prison, swearing that he was all better as a result of all his intense therapy and would never do it again, he was brought up on new charges.

I don't believe that being gay is a choice and I don't believe that any amount of therapy or coaching to learn to like the opposite sex will ever work. I think it will make the situation worse for the gay person. I am trying to picture myself sitting in a room with someone who is trying to convince me that I can learn to not be attracted to men anymore. It's comical. It's ingrained in my DNA - the attraction to men. Nobody could ever coach me to bat for the other team. Gays and lesbians feel the same. Why wouldn't they?

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"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

I don't believe that being gay is a choice and I don't believe that any amount of therapy or coaching to learn to like the opposite sex will ever work. I think it will make the situation worse for the gay person. I am trying to picture myself sitting in a room with someone who is trying to convince me that I can learn to not be attracted to men anymore. It's comical. It's ingrained in my DNA - the attraction to men. Nobody could ever coach me to bat for the other team. Gays and lesbians feel the same. Why wouldn't they?

So you are saying that the people who have been changed by treatments such as this are lying or what?

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So you are saying that the people who have been changed by treatments such as this are lying or what?

Yes. I think they're lying to themselves and to everyone in their lives. I believe that sexual orientation is determined like hair or eye colour. To deny it may work on the surface and temporarily, but I don't believe that anyone can every be 'cured' of their sexual preference. What a shame for those who have convinced themselves that they really are straight.

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"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

Yes. I think they're lying to themselves and to everyone in their lives. I believe that sexual orientation is determined like hair or eye colour. To deny it may work on the surface and temporarily, but I don't believe that anyone can every be 'cured' of their sexual preference. What a shame for those who have convinced themselves that they really are straight.

Why is it a shame if they are happier that way?

ClairesMommy's picture
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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Why is it a shame if they are happier that way?

On this point we will go around and around. I believe they are definitely not happier that way. We will have to agree to disagree here I think.

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"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

On this point we will go around and around. I believe they are definitely not happier that way. We will have to agree to disagree here I think.

You are right. It is unbelievable that someone could be happier living a normal life. I mean they say they are happier but deep down in some way they must be miserable because you believe they are.

In a WorldNetDaily article, Michael wrote about why he believes he mistakenly took on a gay identity: “When I was about 13 I decided I must be gay because I was unable to handle my own masculinity.” He went on to blame his father for that, which is consistent with the ex-gay narrative that same-sex attraction among boys is often a result of a deficit of masculinity, usually caused by a fissure in the father-son bond.

Michael told me that he has no same-sex sexual desires today, a claim that I found hard to believe. Many ex-gays admit to struggling with same-sex attraction years after they’ve rejected a gay identity, and a handful of high-profile leaders in the movement have been humbled by public slips or “relapses,” a word borrowed from the language of addiction recovery. (Many ex-gays see same-sex attractions as a kind of addiction, one with no “cure” but with the possibility of freedom with God’s help.) In our XY days, Michael told me that he had no sexual attraction to women. Had he learned heterosexuality?

Yes, he insisted, adding that he has dated two women since coming out as ex-gay (both before enrolling in Bible school). Michael didn’t want to divulge much about the sexual nature of those relationships, saying only that neither had been “particularly godly.” “There was a part of me that was like an excited teenager,” he told me. “Whatever God has in store for me next will hopefully involve courtship and getting married.”

I asked Michael if he’d heard the news that Ben had recently married in Canada. He blinked twice, and his body tensed slightly. “No, I didn’t,” he said. “To a man, or to a woman?”

“To a man. Were you holding out hope that he would marry a woman?”

“You have to understand something,” he said, leaning forward in his chair. “I don’t see people as gay anymore. I don’t see you as gay. I don’t see him as gay. God creates us heterosexual. We may get other ideas in our head about what we are, and I certainly did, but that doesn’t mean they’re the truth.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/magazine/my-ex-gay-friend.html?pagewanted=all

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Many ex-gays admit to struggling with same-sex attraction years after they?ve rejected a gay identity, and a handful of high-profile leaders in the movement have been humbled by public slips or ?relapses,? a word borrowed from the language of addiction recovery. (Many ex-gays see same-sex attractions as a kind of addiction, one with no ?cure? but with the possibility of freedom with God?s help.)

I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around this. From what I know about addiction, you can be born with a predisposition toward it. It takes more than just that to become an addict though. Some people have absolutely no desire to try crack; others are curious. Those who keep using it got something out of it - a high, feeling good, acceptance, etc. They may become addicted. They may go into recovery at some point to get sober. But for many, it is a constant part of their life from that point on. They may relapse over time or struggle with their addiction.

Step 1 We admitted we were powerless over our addiction?that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 2 Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

So I can't make the leap with substituting attraction to the same-sex for crack. If we are really going to compare it to addiction, then we would have to accept that some people are born with a predisposition for attraction to the same sex. Step 1 is admitting we are powerless over attraction to the same sex.

It makes me also wonder if we would allow this "excuse" for straight people. No one seems to dispute that we were born straight and God made us straight. So would it be okay if I go through therapy to help me not be attracted to Brad Pitt but then when I meet him, I relapse and act on my feelings?

You are right. It is unbelievable that someone could be happier living a normal life. I mean they say they are happier but deep down in some way they must be miserable because you believe they are.

Normal and happy are relative terms and self-reported. You are no better a judge as to the happiness of people than anyone else. That's why the PP said we should agree to disagree on that one.

GloriaInTX's picture
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So you are saying that sex can't be an addiction? Or that all addiction has to be inborn? There are many people who say they are addicted to pornography. Are they somehow born with the predisposition to want to watch pornography?

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"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

What's to stop a parent then who doesn't give a crap about religion hiding behind that constitutional right simply because they are just bigoted and can't stand the idea of having a gay child? Nothing to do with religion. I am seriously curious about that.

And, while we all have the right to make decisions that we believe are in our children's best interest, those decision aren't necessarily viewed as being in the child's best interest by social services, courts, and law enforcement. No parent can make a decision for a child that intervenes that child's human rights.

This. Kids should be free to discover who they are without pressure to conform from bigoted parents. I'm all for therapy to deal with traumatic experiences or to explore one's sexuality in a no-pressure kind of way. This "therapy" does nothing more than tell a child, your feelings are wrong and you are broken, and that is nothing but discriminatory and can't be allowed even in the name of parental rights.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So you are saying that sex can't be an addiction? Or that all addiction has to be inborn? There are many people who say they are addicted to pornography. Are they somehow born with the predisposition to want to watch pornography?

But being gay is not just about having sex. It's not an addiction to having homosexual sex. I can be straight and not be addicted to sex. I can watch porn without having a porn addiction. You can be gay and be celibate and you can be gay and have a normal healthy sex life.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So you are saying that sex can't be an addiction? Or that all addiction has to be inborn? There are many people who say they are addicted to pornography. Are they somehow born with the predisposition to want to watch pornography?

I'm not saying you can't become addicted to sex. But that's not what this is. This is calling an attraction to members of the same-sex an addiction.

No, not all addiction is inborn. The predisposition to become addicted is inborn. Genetically some people have addictive personalities. If they engage in behaviors that could lead to addiction, they are more likely to become addicted. But what you quoted is akin to saying that thinking a strawberry daiquiri looks yummy is an addiction in itself.

I'm not sure where pornography comes into all this. Getting addicted to porn goes back to the addictive personality. The desire to watch porn isn't an addiction in and of itself. A 17 YO young man wanting to sneak a peek at PPV is not addicted to porn.

Spacers's picture
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"wlillie" wrote:

yep. Covered by freedom of religion.

What about the child's freedom of religion? I knew at a pretty young age that I wasn't a Christian and I believe my life would have been far better if my mom had stopped trying to force her religion on me. What about a child's freedom from persecution, which is what "gay cure therapy" really is? What about the child's right to freedoms of speech & expression? Do those magically appear on his or her 18th birthday? I don't think so, they are developed over time and should be nurtured by the parents, not trampled by the parents' own viewpoints.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

But being gay is not just about having sex. It's not an addiction to having homosexual sex. I can be straight and not be addicted to sex. I can watch porn without having a porn addiction. You can be gay and be celibate and you can be gay and have a normal healthy sex life.

And you can be gay and change your mind. As this man did.

To Ricky with love: You can resist

Spacers's picture
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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

And you can be gay and change your mind. As this man did.

To Ricky with love:?*You can resist

And I know about a dozen gay men who would tell you that that one man is wrong, that they *did* want to change their mind and couldn't. Because it's not about what they want to be, it's who they are. Many of them are very religious people who believe this is how God made them. Funny how you all worship the same God but think he makes people in different ways. :?

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"Spacers" wrote:

And I know about a dozen gay men who would tell you that that one man is wrong, that they *did* want to change their mind and couldn't. Because it's not about what they want to be, it's who they are. Many of them are very religious people who believe this is how God made them. Funny how you all worship the same God but think he makes people in different ways. :?

How is he wrong if it happened to him? He isn't the only ex-gay.

PFOX - Personal Stories

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around this. From what I know about addiction, you can be born with a predisposition toward it. It takes more than just that to become an addict though. Some people have absolutely no desire to try crack; others are curious. Those who keep using it got something out of it - a high, feeling good, acceptance, etc. They may become addicted. They may go into recovery at some point to get sober. But for many, it is a constant part of their life from that point on. They may relapse over time or struggle with their addiction.

I do believe this is a valid comparison. You are born with a predisposition to either an attraction to males or females. Not everyone that has homosexual tendencies acts on that attraction. Whether or not you think it is right or wrong homosexuality is not accepted by a majority of people at this time and there are many who would not be happy going against the grain in this way. If they make a willful choice that they think they would be happier straight, they should be allowed to try this counselling. (I have heard many people on here state that they knew of many who were gay that wished they were not in debates about whether or not homosexuality is a choice.) My mother had a predisposition to be left handed. She was born in a time when it was not as accepted to be left handed. She was taught from an early age to be right handed and even to this day she is right handed.

"Spacers" wrote:

What about the child's freedom of religion? I knew at a pretty young age that I wasn't a Christian and I believe my life would have been far better if my mom had stopped trying to force her religion on me. What about a child's freedom from persecution, which is what "gay cure therapy" really is? What about the child's right to freedoms of speech & expression? Do those magically appear on his or her 18th birthday? I don't think so, they are developed over time and should be nurtured by the parents, not trampled by the parents' own viewpoints.

Parents make many thousands of decisions for their children. If they are allowed to play a sport, what schools they will go to, what they can wear, what kind of movies they can watch. At what age they are allowed to be in a relationship. If they will be allowed to use profanity. It is what it is. We each get to raise our children as we see fit. Unless a court comes in and takes away parental rights a parent generally decides what religion a child is going to practice until they are old enough to decide that themselves. Legally in this country, the government has decided that is age 18.

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There's no cure for being gay because being gay is not an illness.

Some people may be happier suppressing their true natures and pretending to be straight, because their lives are easier. Their parents are proud of them, their peers stop judging them, they fit into the world better and don't get harassed for what they are because they're pretending to be something else. If that is what they need to do to survive & thrive, I find that sad but I don't fault them for it. It can be very difficult to be gay in this world, depending on where you live.

But they're not cured because they're not ill. And not acting on being gay doesn't make you not gay. People who are not in relationships and haven't had sex yet are still straight or gay (or bisexual). It's not the act that makes you gay. I was straight long before I had boyfriends or was sexually active.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

There's no cure for being gay because being gay is not an illness.

You are correct. It is not an illness it is a behavior.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

But they're not cured because they're not ill. And not acting on being gay doesn't make you not gay. People who are not in relationships and haven't had sex yet are still straight or gay (or bisexual). It's not the act that makes you gay. I was straight long before I had boyfriends or was sexually active.

So I guess anyone who had one homosexual thought in their life is forever deemed gay no matter what relationships they have afterward?

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I do believe this is a valid comparison. You are born with a predisposition to either an attraction to males or females.

so if you are born with a predisposition to be attracted to the same sex, Angel isn't that being born gay and (b) how does that make you an addict? I was born predisposed to like men. Does that make me addicted to men?

Not everyone that has homosexual tendencies acts on that attraction.

Exactly. You can be born predisposed to addiction. But how can you be considered an addict if you have never acted on it? It's just not helping the "gay cure" cause to call it an addiction. Admitting you are powerless over your attraction to the same sex?

Whether or not you think it is right or wrong homosexuality is not accepted by a majority of people at this time and there are many who would not be happy going against the grain in this way. If they make a willful choice that they think they would be happier straight, they should be allowed to try this counselling. (I have heard many people on here state that they knew of many who were gay that wished they were not in debates about whether or not homosexuality is a choice.)

With their consent. Freedom of religion doesn't apply to parents making decisions in all areas of their minor children's lives. Blood transfusions, medical privacy with regards to reproductive rights, come to mind.

My mother had a predisposition to be left handed. She was born in a time when it was not as accepted to be left handed. She was taught from an early age to be right handed and even to this day she is right handed.

Do you not find that odd that she had to be "taught" to be something we weren't "taught" to be?

I really just don't get how if we are all born a certain way why anyone would need to be "taught" to be the way they were supposedly born.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

You are correct. It is not an illness it is a behavior.

No it is not. You can be gay without any "behavior".

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

So I guess anyone who had one homosexual thought in their life is forever deemed gay no matter what relationships they have afterward?

Is that what I said? One homosexual thought? No. Same for one heterosexual thought. It's not about ONE thought. And you know that.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

so if you are born with a predisposition to be attracted to the same sex, Angel isn't that being born gay and (b) how does that make you an addict? I was born predisposed to like men. Does that make me addicted to men?

Exactly. You can be born predisposed to addiction. But how can you be considered an addict if you have never acted on it? It's just not helping the "gay cure" cause to call it an addiction. Admitting you are powerless over your attraction to the same sex?

With their consent. Freedom of religion doesn't apply to parents making decisions in all areas of their minor children's lives. Blood transfusions, medical privacy with regards to reproductive rights, come to mind.

Do you not find that odd that she had to be "taught" to be something we weren't "taught" to be?

I really just don't get how if we are all born a certain way why anyone would need to be "taught" to be the way they were supposedly born.

I personally do not think being attracted to a person of the same sex is a sin. It is acting on it that is the problem, but no more so than any other sin such as premarital or extramarital sex.

No, parents do not have absolute rights when it comes to their children. I know of a family that just lost all of their children. The courts deemed them unsafe and removed them from the home. However in the case of religion, we do have the right to raise our children however we see fit unless a judge comes in and says otherwise.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I personally do not think being attracted to a person of the same sex is a sin. It is acting on it that is the problem, but no more so than any other sin such as premarital or extramarital sex.

No, parents do not have absolute rights when it comes to their children. I know of a family that just lost all of their children. The courts deemed them unsafe and removed them from the home. However in the case of religion, we do have the right to raise our children however we see fit unless a judge comes in and says otherwise.

Or the voters...

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Or the voters...

How do you mean? Do you mean that the voters will take away freedom of religion? Or that voters will make a law banning parents from teaching their children that homosexuality is wrong? Not being snarking, just trying to figure out exactly what you are referring to.

(No, parents do not have absolute rights when it comes to their children. I know of a family that just lost all of their children. The courts deemed them unsafe and removed them from the home. However in the case of religion, we do have the right to raise our children however we see fit unless a judge comes in and says otherwise.)

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

And you can be gay and change your mind. As this man did.

To Ricky with love:?*You can resist

He didn't change his mind as much as he is saying he "resisted" his homosexual temptations. Much like I may resist the temptation to have a glass of wine if I'm driving. Doesn't mean I don't really want that glass of wine and it doesn't make this man any less homosexual.

I won't deny that gay people don't HAVE to act on their urges but why shouldn't they? I get to act on my sexual urges but I'm lucky because I'm attracted to men? So I can be "natural" and have sex with the type of person I want to but they don't? I call b/s on that.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

He didn't change his mind as much as he is saying he "resisted" his homosexual temptations. Much like I may resist the temptation to have a glass of wine if I'm driving. Doesn't mean I don't really want that glass of wine and it doesn't make this man any less homosexual.

I won't deny that gay people don't HAVE to act on their urges but why shouldn't they? I get to act on my sexual urges but I'm lucky because I'm attracted to men? So I can be "natural" and have sex with the type of person I want to but they don't? I call b/s on that.

Exactly. Because it's NOT a behavior. It's NOT an illness. It's just who you are. You can resist it if it serves you because you are surrounded by intolerant people who think homosexuality is wrong and your life sucks being gay around them, but it doesn't make you not gay.

And yes to the second point too. It's okay for me to have sex with my husband but not for my gay friends to have sex with their spouses? Really? That's a moral issue? And needs "curing"? Please.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Exactly. Because it's NOT a behavior. It's NOT an illness. It's just who you are. You can resist it if it serves you because you are surrounded by intolerant people who think homosexuality is wrong and your life sucks being gay around them, but it doesn't make you not gay.

And yes to the second point too. It's okay for me to have sex with my husband but not for my gay friends to have sex with their spouses? Really? That's a moral issue? And needs "curing"? Please.

Well obviously that is a point we will continue to disagree on because I don't believe you are born gay, no more than you are born a alcoholic or peadophile or a rapist or a murderer. There is no evidence to prove otherwise. There is no gay gene.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Well obviously that is a point we will continue to disagree on because I don't believe you are born gay, no more than you are born a alcoholic or peadophile or a rapist or a murderer. There is no evidence to prove otherwise. There is no gay gene.

Love your comparisons. Not. Would you compare being hetereosexual to being a pedophile or a rapist or a murderer? Do you believe you were born straight?

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

Love your comparisons. Not. Would you compare being hetereosexual to being a pedophile or a rapist or a murderer? Do you believe you were born straight?

Those are all behaviors. Just like being gay is a behavior. To ask if I as born straight is kind of a trick question. I think I was born a female. You are born either a male or female. Designed for each other. There is no straight or gay when you are born. You follow God's plan or you don't. That is behavior.

Mark 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Those are all behaviors. Just like being gay is a behavior. To ask if I as born straight is kind of a trick question. I think I was born a female. You are born either a male or female. Designed for each other. There is no straight or gay when you are born. You follow God's plan or you don't. That is behavior.

So you have no inclination one way or the other? You're not attracted to men? Or you are equally attracted to women?

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Those are all behaviors. Just like being gay is a behavior. To ask if I as born straight is kind of a trick question. I think I was born a female. You are born either a male or female. Designed for each other. There is no straight or gay when you are born. You follow God's plan or you don't. That is behavior.

So Gloria, using your example isn't heterosexual sex/attraction also a behavior? Are you saying I could just snap my fingers and stop being attracted to my husband or finding the UPS guy kind of cute? I don't find the woman who delivers my mail hot but the last UPS guy....absolutely! Wink I guess we'll disagree because it seems awfully weird to me that all these gay people just like being gay for the heck of it. I also think God has individual plans for us. We're not sheep. We don't all have to do the same thing. That is our purpose for this round on earth.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

So Gloria, using your example isn't heterosexual sex/attraction also a behavior? Are you saying I could just snap my fingers and stop being attracted to my husband or finding the UPS guy kind of cute? I don't find the woman who delivers my mail hot but the last UPS guy....absolutely! Wink I guess we'll disagree because it seems awfully weird to me that all these gay people just like being gay for the heck of it. I also think God has individual plans for us. We're not sheep. We don't all have to do the same thing. That is our purpose for this round on earth.

Absolutely. Through your experiences you have learned to become attracted to certain types of men. Some are attracted to men with muscular bodies. I don't really find that attractive myself. Some like blondes, some brunettes. And just because you find someone attractive doesn't mean you are forced to act on that attraction because you can't help yourself. If you are married you probably shouldn't be flirting with the UPS guy even if you find him attractive.

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Well, I'm not flirting with him. Just took the package he had for me lol. Just kidding though. Although that is a good debate question as I don't think flirting is necessarily a harmful thing in a marriage either.

And I didn't learn to be attracted to different people it was just a part of me. I remember my first "crush" I was like 3 or 4 and it was my cousin's neighbor. I've consistently been attracted to similar looking guys my whole life. Tall guys, dark hair, dark eyes. Nobody told me that was the way to go. It wasn't experience as how much experience do you have as a preschooler or an elementary school kid.

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And how about being attracted to men in general? Gloria, are you equally attracted to women but you have just chosen to ignore that?

Since I'm pretty sure I know the answer to that one (although feel free to surprise me). . .do you think you could just switch and train yourself to be romantically and sexually attracted to women? And stop being attracted to men?

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