Texas Republicans back converting gay people to straight ones

June 8, 2014 • 1:28 pm

Now, if you’re American you’ll know that party platforms, on either the state or national level, aren’t really promises of what that party will do if it gains power. Rather, they’re ideological statements meant to attract voters. Nevertheless, they give you a good idea of what the party wants put out there as its image. And, according to a piece in today’s Independent, the Republican Party of Texas wants a particularly sinister image, one that goes against the very direction that American society is taking:

The Texas Republican Party has endorsed ‘reparative therapy’ for gay people, as other states ban the practice and professional organisations decry it.

Around 7,000 delegates at the Texas Republican Party’s convention ratified a new platform that also included moves to the right on other policies including immigration.

US states New Jersey and California ban licensed therapists from conducting conversion therapy on young people, and the new policy is thought to be partly a response to that move. Republicans supporting the policy have said that it is intended to give potential patients the freedom to choose.

The policy won a vote on Thursday and was confirmed in another vote on Saturday.

The counselling has been condemned by health organisations including the American Psychological Association. Defining homosexuality as an illness is an attempt to discredit growing social acceptance, the association has said, and can harm those that undergo it.

I do know that “reparative therapy’ is widely acknowledged to be ineffective and sometimes harmful. In my view this is because homosexuality is not a “choice” but probably a biologically-based tendency. Since I’m a hard determinist and don’t believe in “free choice” anyway, there are only two sources of homosexuality, as there are for all behaviors: genes and environment (the latter includes both nongenetic effects on physiology, like developmental influences, and external influences mediated through interactions with other people).  All the gay people I’ve known have said the same thing: from a very early age they felt inexorably attracted to people of the same sex. To me, that bespeaks an underlying biochemical or genetic basis and not some kind of “choice” produced by social influences.

The idea that being gay is a choice comes largely from religions’s stupid insistence on libertarian free will as well as Biblical proscriptions against homosexuality.  What I don’t know, and wonder about, is whether gay people who really want to change their sexual orientation will be unable to find help in New Jersey and California. One the one hand it seems that people should at least be able to talk about such feelings, but on the other I recognize that perhaps it is a useless and harmful endeavor to do anything more than talk about it. After all, if reparative therapy doesn’t work, then trying it violates the oath of “first doing no harm.”

If you’re anything but completely blind in America, you’ll know that this country is moving inexorably towards more rights for gays, and that includes marriage. And really, the only opposition to this movement is based on conservative religion, as there’s no convincing reason why gay couples can’t have the same privileges as straight ones. Will it “erode traditional male/female couples”? I wouldn’t care if it did, but I doubt it anyway since how you couple seems to me determined by genes and internal environment rather than what you see around you in society. And those straight couples that dissolve because one member decides he or she is gay, well, those shouldn’t have been couples in the first place.

By making such a stupid and retrograde statement, the Republicans are ensuring themselves a loss in next year’s elections, and wedding themselves to the intolerant past rather than a progressive future.

h/t: Matthew Cobb

96 thoughts on “Texas Republicans back converting gay people to straight ones

  1. On You Tube type: National Geographics reason for homosexuality. homosexuality is a biological variable.

  2. What difference if it is a choice, though? As far as the Bible is concerned, eating bacon-wrapped cheese-stuffed shrimp is at least as much of an abomination as homosexuality. I don’t think anybody disputes that we have a great deal of choice in what we eat, so does that mean we need reparative therapy for those who chose to ignore kashrut?

    But potentially the bigger news here is the anti-Hispanic language. Demographics alone is poised to make Hispanics a very significant voting bloc in the next couple-few election cycles. If the Republicans truly have written them off as they sure seem to have just done, then the Republican Party in Texas is toast.

    Cheers,

    b&

    1. We all know that there is only one type of “reparative therapy” the holy books of the 3 desert dogmas countenance, and that’s death.

      Death by stoning for witches, adulteresses (but never adulterers), homosexuals and apostates.

      Death by burning, hanging, torture because who says that religion can’t keep up with advances in technology.

      And then there are the recent revelations of death by starvation and neglect as yet more atrocities committed by the Catholic church in Ireland come to light.

      It’s the good old days of old time religious theocracy that these republican wackjobs are pining for, let there be no mistake.

      And in that they make common ground with fundamentalists of all religious stripes, who says that ecumenicalism is dead.

      To get a sense of what these sociopaths would do given the power, I recommend the documentary “God Loves Uganda” which shows exactly what havoc these monsters do wreak given the opportunity.

      In Uganda right wing US xtian fundamentalists are allowed to promulgate their gospel of hate, which has been largely rejected and marginalized in the west, with the full co-operation of local government and their target audience is ignorant and poor, making them most susceptible to a ideology that demonizes women and homosexuals, with absolutely no thought or care for the very real consequences in terms of human misery.

      1. Haven’t made it to cheese-stuffed, yet. I’ve never tried making bacon-wrapped shrimp, myself; only enjoyed it when served. I haven’t seen anybody do the cheese stuffing bit, which means I’d have to make it, myself….

        b&

          1. Alas, I can only imagine.

            …though I may well have to do a wee bit of experimentation….

            How were they cooked? Grilled / fried / baked…? Were they battered or in any type of sauce or…?

            And what type(s) of cheese(s)?

            b&

            1. I would recommend partially cooking the bacon before hand to render it a bit, to just before it starts to become unflexible enough to wrap the shrimp. Otherwise the shrimp will be very well done by the time the bacon is edible.

              Like Ant said above, grilling is great for this, though it can be done in a frying pan or broiling in the oven/toaster oven. Baking is ok, but not optimum.

              Some other yummy things to try in various combinations with this are pieces of chicken or goose liver, water chestnuts and scallops marinated in a nice pinot grigio.

              I am now officially hungry.

    2. And if sexual orientation were just a choice, why would a period of grueling therapy be required just to change it? By saying therapy is required, aren’t they already acknowledging that it’s far more difficult than simply choosing?

      1. I suspect they see it as a parallel to addiction in that sense.

        Of course it isn’t at all, but it is my imprassion that that is very much the language they use.

        1. I’m sure they do. I’m just pointing out how conveniently they shift from “choice” to “condition” depending on the what discrimination they need to justify.

          1. But I think they do see addiction as a choice as well.

            Christians live in a world haunted by powerful temptations, and once you give in once, then it’s a constant struggle not to give in again.

            This is largely because so many of the temptations are actually part of a normal healthy life when engaged in responsibly. To be a Christian is in many respects an attempt to try to swim upstream against biology, psychology, and common sense.

            1. “To be a Christian is in many respects an attempt to try to swim upstream against biology, psychology, and common sense.”

              Great sentence!

    3. Late to the party but . . .

      “What difference if it is a choice, though?”

      This has always been my position as well. I’ve no problems at all with opposing the “it’s a choice” people with the “no, it’s not a choice” arguments. That does appear to be the case for the large majority of people, and it directly opposes their arguments. I would bet that, as with most things, there is a spectrum and that for those close to the center (attraction to male / female on either end) that “choice,” such as it may be, plays more of a role. But that is not relevant.

      What I think is relevant is that it just shouldn’t f&&^%#&^$ing matter. It is at base a question of civil rights, and basic decency. The only reason to even look at what the specific issue is, gay/lesbian, is merely to determine if it unduly impact other people. Of course, it does not. The arguments the anti crowd comes up with for how it does unduly affect others are embarrassingly assinine and any court that would give serious consideration to any of them is a sham of a court.

      And this fits right in with the other thing I wanted to say.

      “. . . that this country is moving inexorably towards more rights for gays . . .”

      Now, this is not a criticism of you Jerry, it just struck me when I read that that it is not quite accurate, though it is less harsh than what seems to me to be more accurate. And that is that we as a country are moving towards denying rights to gays/lesbians to a lesser degree than in the past.

    4. does that mean we need reparative therapy for those who chose to ignore kashrut?

      Dieting programs aren’t typically considered evil or wrong, because those who voluntarily do them are not psychologically damaging themselves. The logic would be the same here; ‘reparative’ programs wouldn’t be evil and wrong if being gay were just a behavioral choice.

  3. A pox on both houses. Why should states ban, as opposed to decline to pay for, any damn “treatment” one might want. And why should politicians try to push or pressure for or pay for these same “treatments” ?

    1. “any damn “treatment” one might want.”, and this is why the FDA was formed in the 1930s

        1. Any treatment that you might want for yourself, as a matter of personal choice, for ill or will, is automatically applied to parents treating their children with the same ‘medicine’. Surely, there must be some means for oversight in this matter, especially when we know there are lots of wacky ‘treatments’ out there that are harmful, and illnesses that are dangerous if they are untreated.

          1. If I get hair implants because I am bald, children all over will get hair implants?

            We already have rules for what you can do to kids. Maybe we should here too. But I am talking about adults. And I deny you have any more right to try to control my sexuality and how I deal with it than Texas Republicans do.

            If I convince you 12 step programs don’t work will you want to ban AA?

            1. The bans on this pseudotherapy apply to kids. Adults can still do any stupid thing they want to themselves.

        2. I can’t find any reference to Federal Bureau of Eugenics. Can you provide a link to document that?

          Many states had Eugenics board, and there was a privately funded Eugenics Record Office, so your point still stands.

    2. The state should ban any treatment – drug or talking, doesn’t matter the type – which is expected to cause damage without any positive benefit. Snake oil salesmen should not be allowed to sell poison as medicine, and it doesn’t matter whether the poison under consideration is a chemical or a form of therapy.

  4. wedding themselves to the intolerant past rather than a progressive future.

    Yes they surely will, but of course that won’t matter to them, as long as the marriage is a heterosexual one. 🙂

  5. That garbage is here too, if not in the open. Media dragged it out from some churches recently, among them the leader of the largest in my hometown.

    The man, it often is, would try “conversion therapy praying”. As if there was something inherently wrong with (minority) sexual behaviors.

    To their credit, a national representative declared it quackery when the church did it, and was appalled it was still present. (I take it they may have tried to weed it out when they sanitized the church for a secular society. But I have no evidence either way.)

    ************

    Re gender and environment, there have been societies where homosexual behavior has been the accepted norm in certain circumstances. Often a mentor-adept situation was deemed deepened by it, I think:

    “The roots of Greek pederasty lie in the tribal past of Greece, before the rise of the city-state as a unit of political organization. These tribal communities were organized according to age groups. When it came time for a boy to embrace the age group of the adult and to “become a man,” he would leave the tribe in the company of an older man for a period of time that constituted a rite of passage. This older man would educate the youth in the ways of Greek life and the responsibilities of adulthood.”

    [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_ancient_Greece ]

    “Nanshoku relationships inside monasteries were typically pederastic, that is, an age-structured relationship where the younger partner is not considered adult. The older partner, or nenja (“lover” or “admirer”), would be a monk, priest or abbot, while the younger partner was assumed to be an acolyte (稚児 chigo?), who would be a prepubescent or adolescent boy;[6] the relationship would be dissolved once the boy reached adulthood (or left the monastery).”

    “From religious circles, same-sex love spread to the warrior (samurai) class, where it was customary for a boy in the wakashū age category to undergo training in the martial arts by apprenticing to a more experienced adult man. The man was permitted, if the boy agreed, to take the boy as his lover until he came of age; this relationship, often formalized in a “brotherhood contract”,[11] was expected to be exclusive, with both partners swearing to take no other (male) lovers. This practice, along with clerical pederasty, developed into the codified system of age-structured homosexuality known as shudō, abbreviated from wakashūdo, the “way (do) of wakashū”.[12] The older partner, in the role of nenja, would teach the wakashū martial skills, warrior etiquette, and the samurai code of honor, while his desire to be a good role model for his wakashū would lead him to behave more honorably himself; thus a shudō relationship was considered to have a “mutually ennobling effect”.[13]”

    [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_Japan ]

    So, more or less ritualized, whatever that says on the innate reactions of the participants and/or the environment influence. I’m sure there are many other tribal et cetera examples than the ones I have happened to stumble on.

    1. That was interesting. There are other tribal cultures that practice homosexuality among males. I am not sure if these are really the same group, but they have different names.
      Sambia Tribe
      Etoro People
      X

      Also, I learned it is not unusual in some countries to see men holding hands or kissing as just a normal act of friendship or greeting.

      1. I’m obsessively interested in understanding bromance. You see it displayed mostly among very alpha males. I suspect it is a way to signal to one another that they aren’t going to compete with each other. The “hey you’re all right” kinda thing. It is the weirdest thing to witness as a female and when it starts to happen, you know work is not going to get done with those guys in the group because all their attention will be spent posturing with each other.

        I find it makes the regular guys nervous as well.

        1. I’m barely comfortable when lifelong friends encroach for a bro’hug, let alone much beyond a handshake in a professional environment.

          1. We are strange creatures, indeed. I for one will go in for the admittedly comical guy hug + handshake plus a couple whacks on the back, all while intoning greetings in a slightly deeper than usual voice. And oh, yes, pelvises as far apart as possible. But I never thought of myself as an alpha male. Not even beta, most times.

        2. I think it is more working together – the idea of the “wolf pack” beloved of the Hangover films…

    2. Traditional initiation of pubescent males in indigenous Australia and New Guinea typically involves sexual penetration. How can he become a man unless someone puts man stuff into him? Such ceremonies can extend over months, during which the boys are sequestered in a remote location with specially qualified older men.
      (Sometimes in neighbouring societies, there were heretics who believed it was enough to apply the stuff externally. Religious wars were fought over this, you may be sure.)
      I don’t know if this is documented explicitly in Wikipedia (I doubt it) or elsewhere, but Secret Men’s Business is the stuff of academic gossip, and oblique references in anthropology texts. Mainstream media is in denial about the whole matter as far as Australia’s concerned, for example when the well-informed and admirable Fred Hollows expressed concern that traditional practices could lead to spread of HIV in indigenous society, the Murdoch (and other) press systematically misrepresented what he was talking about.

      1. It’s less of a secret, as far as published myths and discussions by anthropologists go, that traditional initiation of pubescent females in the same societies also involves sexual penetration by older males.
        Because (as Pinker quoted in one of his earlier, funnier books) Men are slime.

    1. Yes, there is; it’s known as “Oz Therapy” and involves the implementation of a brain, a heart, and some courage.

      It almost never succeeds, though, as the republican body usually rejects the brain.

      1. I thought you were going to suggest a trip to Australia to learn how civilized countries run their social systems. Of course it wouldn’t work now we have the execrable Tony in charge.

        1. Oh yes.
          At first I just considered him a laughable buffoon but have recently realised he is our very own version of Dubya.
          How embarrassing that he is meeting with the POTUS to explain climate change isn’t happening.

          1. He is here is canada right now telling my PM that he tried to emulate him because he admires him as a successful conservative. Belch. Stephen Harper is such a cold fish and just embarrasses me.

  6. the state bans against reparative therapies apply only to minors. adults can still pursue that line of needless self-torture.

    i thought the consensus of the psychological community was that sexual orientation cannot be changed, that there are, in effect, no ex-gays. all that can be done is learning techniques for not acting on one’s sexual attractions.

    almost all the major ex-gay organizations/scam artists that have been claiming for decades that change is possible have now admitted change doesn’t happen and have been shutting down or else making more modest claims of helping clients learn to live with attractions that are unwanted because they conflict with a person’s religious ideology.

    more main-stream psychotherapists tend to help clients (including adolescents) accept their attractions and work through the unnecessary guilt that leads to self destructive behaviors.

    it’s somewhat ironic that the new meme being pushed by the radical anti-gay industry (frc, nom, et al.) is the hysterical claim that christians who oppose same-sex marriage will now be rounded up (in boxcars) and sent to re-education camps (Tony Perkins, Brian Fisher, even NRO’s Ed Whelan). the reality, of course, is that it’s the christo-fascist establishment that has been sending lgbts to be “re-educated” for decades. in those cases the reeducation could include electro-shock aversion therapy and even lobotomies.

    1. “christians who oppose same-sex marriage will now be rounded up (in boxcars) and sent to re-education camps”

      They see themselves in everyone. Surely the liberals would do the same things they would, but in reverse, they think. Projection!

  7. I’m wondering… Since “conversion” therapy is now known to be both ineffective and damaging, can the kids who were pressured into getting it sue their therapists once they’ve turned 21?

    Or will the Texas legislature write laws prohibiting lawsuits against such malpractice?

  8. What does anyone expect from a state that refuses to pass a law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets? Obviously, legislators are more interested in Texas residents’ use of their genitalia rather than the use (and protection) of their brains.

    1. There’ a poor taste joke in there somewhere about the importance of brain injury as a recruiting tool for the Republican party.

      1. The Texas GOP is also the group whose platform opposed the teaching of critical thinking in schools a few years back. So joking aside, you aren’t too far off.

        The good news is that the Texas party leaders are extreme even for the GOP. So just because they do something like this, is no reason to expect othe state GOPs will support reparative therapy.

        1. Do you suppose other state GOP’s are less radical in their heart of hearts, or simply that the Texan one is in a political environment where they can afford to let it all hang out there in the platform?

          1. I think the Texas GOP leaders are really that radical. I doubt many other GOP leaders would, for example, come out against teaching critical thinking skills. Another example: the Texas group has also called for the repeal of the 17th amendment (election of Senators). Not too much support for that (AFAIK) in the national GOP.

            1. Ah, but there is a conservative movement for repeal of the 17th (analysis of this movement, including why it actually does not serve the state’s rights intent of conservatives, is at the Slate link. I don’t agree with Slate because I think the movement is as much about returning voting rights to 1820’s enfranchisement requirements — which substantially reduces the current Democratic Party’s voting rolls — as it is a state’s rights vs federalism issue.

              Over the past year, an increasingly central plank of conservative and Tea Party rhetoric is that constitutional change is needed and that the 17th Amendment in particular, which gives state residents the power to elect senators directly, should be repealed. (Previously, senators were selected by the state legislatures). Hard-right figures across the country, from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to Georgia Senate candidate Rep. Paul Broun to a steady drumbeat of state officials, have now called for repealing the amendment and giving the power to select senators back to the state legislatures. Radio host Mark Levin’s book The Liberty Amendments, calling for repeal, among other constitutional changes, was the best-selling book on constitutional law last year. Clearly this is an idea with legs.

              This boomlet of energy for repealing the 17th Amendment is not the first in recent memory. Back in 2010, repeal was similarly endorsed by a bevy of conservative bigwigs from Justice Antonin Scalia to Gov. Rick Perry to now-Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). Back then, support for repeal was mocked in Democratic campaign ads as kooky, but perhaps it’s time to concede that it is no longer a fringe idea. Given the ascendance of the right flank of the GOP, it’s worth taking the argument for repeal seriously.

              http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2014/02/conservatives_17th_amendment_repeal_effort_why_their_plan_will_backfire.1.html

  9. The idea that being gay is a choice comes largely from religions’s stupid insistence on libertarian free will as well as Biblical proscriptions against homosexuality.

    I don’t think so. I think it comes from bigotry, which is itself comes from being taught and/or some kind of ‘ick factor’ when heterosexuals think about homosexuals. The the factors you cite are, I think, rationalizations for bigotry. The biblical procriptions are pure cherry picking, of course. Christians are at least as hateful and selfish as anyone else, despite biblical proscriptions to the contrary. And no heterosexual Christian really believes they could suddenly decide to be attracted to members of the same sex as an act of “free will”.

  10. If it works, their next platform plank will be in favor of skin bleaching therapy for black people. Our ex-Mormon friends may be able to chime in profitably here.

    1. I think Mengele’s studies survived the war. They can continue with the studies to turn brown eyes blue. Perhaps it just doesn’t work on gypsies and Jews, but could be tried on Native Americans & blacks. (White people with brown eyes should be presumed to have made a choice, and they should be sent to reeducation camps instead)

        1. I realize that I have no idea what colour eyes I have, other than that they are not blue or brown…!

          1. What does your mirror tell you? Some people’s eyes change colour according to the light, but if your eye colour is unique, you’re one in seven plus billion!

          2. Mine used to be blue but now I think they are green so I put that on my passport. I suffered a momentary identity crisis when I did.

  11. I bear witness that there is no choice in sexuality. I could not choose my orientation; it grew in my mind from my earliest childhood right along with my feelings about everything else.
    I have personally watched a baby, surrounded by nothing but heterosexuals, grow up to be most definitely gay. All could see early on that his orientation was emerging as naturally as any other feeling, and that there was no stopping it.

  12. This is the Texas Republicans, so I am quite certain that by “making such a stupid and retrograde statement, the Republicans are [NOT] ensuring themselves a loss in next year’s elections, …” For many years now, Republicans have held every statewide office in Texas and nothing about that will change in the upcoming elections.

  13. Having been rejected and/or proven wrong in most of their other doctrines, the TeaOP is continuing their ongoing attempt to align themselves firmly with fundamentalist Christianity (creeping closer to the point where they are one and the same)in the desperate hope that somehow a powerful, new “voting bloc” will be created, They’re counting on the traditional religiosity of Hispanic-Americans to “trump” their distaste for the Tealiban’s immigration views, in vain, I think- or they perhaps are still just in their usual state of denial (“We can ignore what everybody wants, or thinks, and STILL control this country”).

    I read of a study done in the 60’s on overpopulation in rats: a group of rats were given unlimited food and water, but a limited amount of space. The results were intriguing and, agree with me or not, I think there’s parallels with what’s going on in our society today. When a certain population density was reached, male rats became more aggressive and even attacked females while some became completely withdrawn; many female rats neglected or even killed their offspring, and some male rats rejected females altogether and sought sex with other males! Could it be that our species has already reached a “tipping point” in population stress that we’re not even aware of, and what we’re seeing are just the inevitable “side-effects?

    I also theorize that a part of our brains accepts what we see on TV and the media as actually occurring in our personal “space”, which could exacerbate the stress. It would be interesting to see some experiments in which individuals were bombarded with images of crowds, and see if it produced the same kind of behavior changes that actually BEING in a crowded environment produces.

    1. How about a study subjecting people to non-stop Fox News?

      OTOH, that would not pass ethics standards.

      1. There is already a self-selected demographic whose only source of information is Fox news.

        The goods “news” is that the average age of this demographic is 68 so this is a problem that’s going to take care of itself in short order.

    2. I doubt that there is any significant difference in incidence of homosexuality in current day societies than at any time in the past. It would definitely be interesting to study that question though.

      It seems like it would be really difficult to gather good data from the past, especially from periods/cultures that had strong anti-gay leanings.

  14. The Texas Republican platform is always good for a chuckle or a tear, depending on one’s mood. A few years ago they had a plank stating explicitly that they were against critical thinking as an educational goal, and against teaching things that challenged a child’s pre-established beliefs.

  15. How many of these Republicans would mind if their daughters were going to marry an “ex-gay”. Not so willing in that case to concede reparative therapy really works, I would think.

  16. Why would libertarians care if someone is gay?

    They should be honest enough to call these places “reeducation camps” and divulge their list of all the other people they want to lock up.

    1. “Why would libertarians care if someone is gay?”

      I suspect that most libertarians are not, in fact, libertarians.

      1. I think that mainstream libertarians are best described as ‘fiscally conservative, but socially liberal’. On the subject of personal matters, like sexual orientation, I think they would say it is no ones’ beeswax.

        1. I was referring to the fact that many people claim the libertarian label, but aren’t really libertarians. They hate government interference when it means helping poor people, but are quite fond of government interference when it promotes their personal views.

    1. This is interesting, and of course there should be a genetic basis for sexual orientation. However, as the molecular biologist Dan Graur ‘Judge Starling’ commented here on this report, it does not yet look like researchers are on the right track for finding ‘gay genes’. The key problem is that in identical twin studies if one brother is gay, then the other brother is statistically less likely to also be gay.

      1. “if one brother is gay, then the other brother is statistically less likely to also be gay.”

        That’s not what the article says. It reads:

        If a gay male has a monozygotic twin, the twin is more likely to be straight than gay.

        That statement leaves room for the possibility that the brother is still more likely than the average population to be gay, but less than 50%.

  17. What I don’t know, and wonder about, is whether gay people who really want to change their sexual orientation will be unable to find help in New Jersey and California.

    I saw a thread on a gay discussion forum that asked “If there were a pill that would change you to heterosexual, would you take it?” Interestingly, most people said “no”, because their sexual orientation was such a core part of their identity it would almost be like suicide.

    1. I’d prefer a pill that would change bigots into decent people that actually cared about the welfare of other human beings.

      1. I sometimes worry that bigotry is such a core part of bigots’ sense of identity that taking the Decency Pill would amount to suicide.

  18. Might as well convert blue eyes to brown eyes… the only way that would work is by wearing brown contact lenses. By the same token, the only way to convert gays to straight is by gays putting on the garbs and behaviours of straights.

  19. I had a psychiatry student who told me in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy that I was gay because I saw my parents having sex when I was very young. It was statements like this that led me too question all the rubbish I was being told. On the same day my GP prescribed me the antipsychotic seroquel, I quit the DBT.
    I think my being gay is genetic and had absolutely nothing to do with something I saw as a child, if I saw anything at all. I was very suggestible in DBT as I was not on seroquel. I was being treated for incorrectly diagnosed neuroses, rather than the actual psychosis.

    I recently watched a documentary called ‘Undercover Doctor: Cure Me, I’m Gay’ featuring gay UK doctor, Christian Jessen of “Embarassing Bodies” fame. Jessen puts himself through things like aversion therapy that do nothing for him other than making him violently ill. He started off gay and ended up gay. He also spoke to some people who had been through the “cures” and were also still gay.

    Nothing can change me from being gay and I am happy with that.

  20. People, whether straight or gay, who experience feelings of wanting to change their sexual preference can talk about those feelings with actual therapists. Any good therapist would welcome a discussion of such feelings and would try to help a person resolve them by exploring what the source(s) of the feelings is, and how they affect the patient’s view of themselves.

    An ethical therapist would not, however, try to work to change the client’s orientation, nor hold out hope that that could be done, since, as was mentioned above, that is recognized as impossible.

  21. Ah yes, but I think you missed the upside: under this platform, if you “chose” to be gay and undertake reparative therapy and become not-gay, you get an assault rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition absolutely FREE! 😀

  22. There is more TeaTaliban insanity in the Texas GOP platform than just reparative therapy, as I learned from today’s Weekly Sift. A lot more:

    The platform of the Texas GOP is always a good read. This year’s proposed version endorses quack “reparative therapy” to cure gays, plus (according to Steve Benen)

    complete elimination of the Voting Rights Act; policymakers at all levels should deliberately “ignore” climate change; public schools should end sex-ed and start promoting Christianity; abortion should be banned; English should be the official language of Texas and of the United States; open-carry laws should apply to gun owners statewide

    The San Antonio Current has the raw quotes, but they left out some of the best stuff:

    All federal enforcement activities in Texas must be conducted under the auspices of the County Sheriff with jurisdiction in that county. … We believe the Environmental Protection Agency should be abolished. … we urge Congress to withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom, and the Bill of Rights … We strongly support the Electoral College. … We support the adoption of human embryos … We unequivocally oppose the United States Senate’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. … We oppose any laws regarding the production, distribution, or consumption of food. … We pledge our influence toward a return to the original intent of the First Amendment and toward dispelling the myth of separation of church and state. … we support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions. … We believe the Minimum Wage Law should be repealed. … We support the return to the time-tested precious metal standard for the U.S. dollar. … We support the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations and the removal of U.N. headquarters from United States soil.

    If you live somewhere else, you might just shake your head and say “Texas”. But as voters have discovered in North Carolina and a few other states, Texas is just where right-wingers feel free to let their freak flag fly. Give Republicans a big enough majority in your state legislature, and crazy stuff will start showing up there too.

    vvv http://weeklysift.com/2014/06/09/making-peace/

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