Trans

Pittsburgh Bans Conversion Therapy for Minors. Is It Professional Regulation or Censorship? (Or Both!)

There are consequences for telling professionals what they're legally permitted to talk about.

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Therapy
Stephanie Swartz / Dreamstime.com

Pittsburgh has joined a handful of states and other cities this week by legislatively banning the professional practice of conversion therapy for minors—that's counseling that seeks or claims to cure gay people of their homosexuality or transgender people of their feelings of being the opposite sex.

The practice is widely discredited by professional counseling and mental health organizations. Not only does it probably not work, many therapists believe it is actively harmful to the mental health of its subject. In America, it's heavily tied to religious efforts to cure followers of unwanted sexual urges, and it is often (but not always) pushed on teens by the parents.

I have been—and remain—a critic of these laws, not because I support conversion therapy (I agree with the mental health experts completely), but because I'm very concerned about the consequences of government control over subjective psychological treatments that are significantly speech-related. This law tells licensed therapists in Pittsburgh that they literally cannot talk to minor patients about a particular subject.

There are a couple of indicators that government is well aware that they're regulating and censoring speech, even as they insist it's about stopping fraud. First of all, the law (as the other laws have been passed) only covers minors. The argument is that the treatment is fraudulent and dangerous, but if adults want to partake in it, go ahead. But minors often get put into conversion therapy against their will by parents and there are consent issues involved (a dynamic we occasionally see in other controversies where parents contradict medical professionals in the appropriate health treatments for children).

Second, the law, like the others, only covers mental health professionals licensed by the state of Pennsylvania. They can't tell non-professionals that they can't talk with gay or transgender teens and tell them they can be "cured," because that would flat-out be censorship. As a result, this law can (and will) be ignored by church-based or religious-based conversion "therapy" treatment that is not provided by licensed professionals.

Thus, the extent that this law really stops any actual conversion therapy taking place in Pittsburgh is not clear. But what it does do is establish a precedent of the government deciding what sort of discussions are legally legitimate by classifying it as "fraud" rather than speech and therefore open to regulation. And so far, the Christian Science Monitor notes, federal judges have deferred to the argument that these laws are regulating professions, not censoring free speech. Their piece also quotes from my previous criticism of these laws as using government regulation to provide scientific certainty to a social science field that is ever-evolving.

Is there a reason to actually care if it stops kids from being abused by their parents? Yes, because why stop there? If a government agency can declare by its authority that a controversial matter is actually "settled" as a legal and regulatory issue, imagine what that could potentially mean.

You don't have to stretch too far. Heck, you don't even have to leave this site. A pack of attorneys general have colluded to target ExxonMobil, attempting to subpoena reams of correspondence between them and think tanks (among them, the Reason Foundation, which publishes this website). Their argument is that the debate and discussions about climate change was actual an organized attempt to defraud people and they're looking for evidence. Ron Bailey noted at the time:

"It's bad enough to politicize science, but to outlaw disagreements over how to interpret science heads down the perilous path toward Lysenkoism, in which only officially approved science is allowed to be practiced and to be discussed."

Is there a better way of handling the junk science of conversion therapy that doesn't violate free speech? Perhaps consider it an issue of informed consent instead when dealing with minors. Supporters of the ban (even some libertarian ones) have countered my concerns by suggesting this is akin to the government banning a cancer treatment that obviously doesn't work and is a scam. Response to fraud is a legitimate government concern, particularly when the result is a health hazard.

To which my response is: Okay, but what if a cancer patient is told that a particular cure doesn't work and wants to take it anyway? People should have the right to do so. The government can help protect against dangerous fraud but it still needs to acknowledge individual agency. A mechanism to inform teens that most mental health experts reject conversion therapy and requiring them to formally consent to treatment leads into the murky waters of compelled speech. But it's preferable to literally banning a professional from talking about a subject.

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  1. So we are going to ban conversion therapy for minors but parents and medical professionals enabling their kids to decide they were born the wrong gender is totally encouraged.

    We live in truly insane times.

    1. I was about to suggest; offer the rabid Porgies a trade; we accept a ban on ‘Conversion Therapy’ in return for a ban on ‘gender reassignment surgery’. After all, the former MAY be fraud, but the latter CERTAINLY is.

      1. Who are you people, seriously? I know rednecks dumb as the farm animals they fuck who are more enlightened than you guys.

        1. We’re sometimes called The Reality-Based Community.

          1. Just as long as we keep our speech within the bounds of proper civil discourse, we should be okay. Surely no one here would dare to defend the outrageous “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated judge in America’s leading criminal “satire” case? See the documentation at:

            http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

    2. “Pray Your Dick Away”

  2. It’s important to note here that homosexuality actually exists, while “transgenderism” is merely a highly dubious pop culture concept.

    1. Most males are sexually attracted to females, and vice-versa (albeit with more sexual fluidity in females than males)
      Some males are sexually attracted to males, and females to females.
      Some males and females can have sexual attractions to both males and females.
      A few males and females have no sexual attraction.

      Sexual preference is totally in the mind of the individual. And requires no acceptance of facts contrary to reality by others. In other words, if a person says they are gay, it matters not whether I believe it or not. In a free society, it also should not matter whether I believe their behavior in regards to their preference is ok.

      1. HOWEVER,
        Biological sex in mammals is binary:
        Males and females. (with a tiny percentage of genetic and anatomical anomalies).
        Sex is a biological reality that exists independent of a person’s opinion. (Not even arguing against a transsexual who opts to transition. I may have an opinion about that, but externally, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck……)

        Gender is a word which supposedly defines how a person internally feels about what sex they are at that moment or should be. It is completely meaningless to anyone else beyond that person. I don’t care if a biological man thinks today he is a butch, genderqueer with submissive tendencies, or that tomorrow he is asexual, or that Saturday he is a drag queen, or whatever. The only meaningful measure to the outside world is biological sex.

        If I feel inside that I should be 6′ 4″ instead of 5′ 10″, I can either pretend to myself, figure out how to correct my misconception, or attempt surgery to lengthen my body. By all external measures, I am 5′ 10″. That is all that matters to the rest of the world.

        1. No, no, in the name of “tolerance”, the rest of the world must be forced to accept that you are in fact 6″4″ if that’s how you feel.

          1. I’m 6′ 4″ Cis gendered male in love with bear, strictly platonic, I swear.

        2. The only meaningful measure to the outside world is biological sex.

          Do you go around checking people’s genitals or taking genetic samples to make sure? More accurate to say “the only meaningful measure to the outside world is the sex that people present to the outside world”.

          Trans/gender fluid/non-binary has become a bit of a pop-culture phenomenon lately, which I think is getting ridiculous. But gender dysphoria is a real phenomenon. I think you are largely beating up a strawman here. As you say, biological sex is binary (with a few very rare exceptions). And I don’t think that many transgender advocates, or whatever you want to call them, actually claim otherwise. The claim is that certain people will be happier and won’t suffer from body dysphoria if they try to live as much like the other sex as they can. Now, I have no idea if that’s the best way to treat people suffering from such psychological problems. I like to think that treating it as a mental rather than physical problem is better. But I don’t know.

          Anyway, point is transgenderism is a real thing, though often mischaracterized.

          1. “…transgenderism is a real thing…”

            No, it’s not. Sex dysphoria is a real thing. “Transgenderism” is a loony and sexist way to address it.

            1. Sure, whatever. I’m more or less using the terms interchangeably.

              Whatever you call it, such people do exist and many people think that they way to address it is for those people to modify their appearance and sometimes hormones to be more in line with the sex they feel like they should be (whatever that means).

              1. Whatever, it’s their bodies. The problems are that medical professionals are unethically encouraging them to live their delusions instead of trying to find ways to really help them; and that the “transgender” activists want to force everyone else to participate in their delusion by accepting these people as really belonging to the opposite sex and treating them as such for all purposes.

                1. As I said in my original comment, I’m not convinced that transitioning to the other sex is necessarily the best way to approach it. I’m not convinced it never is either. Fortunately, it’s not my problem and I don’t have to decide.

                  But I’m not sure “delusion” is the right word in most cases. Most transgender/gender dysphoric people don’t believe that they are actually, literally the other sex. They know that genetically and morphologically they are one sex. But they subjectively feel that they should be the other. Which are both true facts about their experience.

                  1. Many “gender identity” activists do in fact claim that “transgender” people “are actually, literally the other sex”, and demand that they be recognized as such for all purposes. They are explicit in wanting to make a Thought Crime of disagreeing with that theory.

                    I’m sure “delusion” is the right word in many, perhaps most, cases.

                  2. “Fortunately, it’s not my problem and I don’t have to decide.”

                    Unfortunately, we are increasingly compelled to act and speak as if we have decided. That makes it everyone’s problem.

        3. “I am 5′ 10″. That is all that matters to the rest of the world.”

          It doesn’t matter to me.

        4. “Sex is a biological reality that exists independent of a person’s opinion.”

          It’s only one of countless biological realities, just one that elicits strong feelings and people tend to get hung up on.

  3. EVERYTHING NOT MANDATORY IS FORBIDDEN.

    EVERYTHING NOT FORBIDDEN IS MANDATORY.

  4. A mechanism to inform teens that most mental health experts reject conversion therapy and requiring them to formally consent to treatment leads into the murky waters of compelled speech. But it’s preferable to literally banning a professional from talking about a subject.

    I would think that any number of professional associations could make part of their code of ethics a requirement to reveal contested efficacy about therapies. As Shackford points out, if this treatment is really quackery done by people who are not certified by the state or a private professional service, it won’t matter.

    1. I don’t think the therapy community wants to get into discussing contested efficacy of therapies. They might have to discuss things like psychological outcomes for gender reassignment surgery too.

  5. So she didn’t sweat the small stuff ? things like her middle daughter Mia’s insistence on changing her clothes multiple times a day, or her tantrums. Or even her announcement, around the time she turned 3, that she was a boy.

    But what seemed like an elaborate game of make believe soon became more serious when Mia’s moodiness and behavioral issues increased, and a preschool teacher asked Lemay whether she’d ever considered the possibility that Mia wasn’t pretending ? that the child really believed she was a boy.

    That moment started Lemay on a journey she’d never expected to take ? one of consulting with doctors and psychologists and the transgender community, and one that eventually gave her and her husband the understanding they needed to give Mia the choice of whether she wanted to continue her life as a boy.

    Mia, not even yet in kindergarten, declared that she did want to be a boy, that she always wanted to be a boy, and that she wanted to be a boy named Jacob.

    […]

    “It was a very painful experience for me and I wanted to bring it out, because I think a lot of parents are afraid to transition their children, because they fear they will be seen as bad parents.

    http://kuow.org/post/mother-co…..nder-child

    1. “Bad parents”? What an extreme understatement. “Transitioning” is a monstrous thing to do to a child.

    2. “…that the child really believed she was a boy.”

      So at what point is it ok to feed another’s delusions, and at what point is it not ok? I am asking a serious question.
      If a 5 year old believes they are an alien sent to Earth as a bayb from a doomed planet and are here to inspire mankind to greatness through their god-like powers, EVEN WHEN THEY DON’T HAVE THOSE POWERS, who are we to convince them otherwise?

      5 y.o. girl: XX chromosomes, has a vagina. Is a boy, EVEN WHEN SHE DOESN’T HAVE XY, PENIS or TESTICLES.

      What is the difference?

      1. As I posted in a previous thread on this very subject, my 3 yr old girl did the exact same thing when she was three. I didn’t immediately run to talk to transgender activists, counselors and doctors, I shrugged and went on with my normal routine. She figured it out and she’s a perfectly healthy 14 yr old Labrador Retriever.

      2. So at what point is it ok to feed another’s delusions, and at what point is it not ok?

        I’d say it has to depend on what the outcome is likely to be. If going along with someone’s “transition” means they will be happier and more able to function in the world, then why not?

        But little kids get all kinds of crazy ideas. I was a cowboy named Crompo, visiting my parents for a while when I was around that age. Seems way too soon to even consider

      3. So at what point is it ok to feed another’s delusions, and at what point is it not ok? I am asking a serious question.

        My brother had an imaginary friend who was being used as a scapegoat. Then, one day, the imaginary friend died in a car accident. Dad seized the opportunity to make sure the scapegoating was done too. Though I don’t remember it, I apparently didn’t just ‘gradually stop pretending’ either. Apparently, we aren’t entirely alone.

    3. What do you want to bet the mom kept trying to push gender norm stuff on the little girl because “girls can’t like superheroes and trains” or some such bullshit?

      1. Yep?”transgenderism” is the most extreme form of sexism.

        1. It boggles my mind cause I love playing princesses AND transformers with my 4 y/o. Hell, most of the time she makes them play together.

          1. Do the transformers transform to princesses? ‘Cause that would dovetail nicely with this story.

          2. Talk about “more than meets the eye,” huh?

      2. That’s an interesting question.

  6. Trying to persuade a boy that he is in fact a boy, not a girl with a penis and balls = professional misconduct

    Mutilating a boy’s genitals to “conform” to his delusions that he’s a girl = the very height of professional responsibility

    1. It is incredibly fucked up, isn’t it?

      1. The absurd fantasy that you’re responding to? Yeah.

    2. Shouldn’t that be: Trying to persuade a boy that he doesn’t like other boys but does, in fact, like girls = professional misconduct?

      I thought conversion therapy was the asinine idea that you can make someone change who they find sexually attractive.

      1. You’re using yesterday’s definition.

        The article – and I was somewhat surprised to see this – has a more up to date definition, thus:

        “Pittsburgh has joined a handful of states and other cities this week by legislatively banning the professional practice of conversion therapy for minors?that’s counseling that seeks or claims to cure gay people of their homosexuality or transgender people of their feelings of being the opposite sex.”

        1. see the part after the “or”?

        2. Wait, I was supposed to RTFA?

          What the hell man!

      2. That’s silly. Everyone knows that’s the role of alcohol.

      3. “… you can make someone change who they find sexually attractive”

        But don’t people change their sexual behavior quite commonly in response to their environment?

        For example, people who go to prison (or same-sex schools) quite commonly engage in homosexual activity in that environment and then eschew it otherwise.

        Is conversion therapy about changing proclivities or behavior?

  7. I’m gonna guess that calling for the government to get out of the gender business is likely to get you attacked by an angry mob of tolerant people.

  8. Really, at the end of the day, psychology is as much a science as alchemy. We label far too many things as ‘sciences’ today. Sociology, political science, etc. These are not sciences. There are ‘a priori’ science, which is primarily just math and ‘a pastori’ science, which is what we dub the ‘hard sciences’. Everything else that is called a ‘science’, like psychology, is just guess work masquerading as some sort of discipline.

    Hat tip: Kant

    1. and ‘a pastori’ science

      Like sheep herding and cow tipping?

      Or did you mean ‘a posteriori’?

      1. He meant “Tacos al pastor”

        1. Ah, I don’t go to church so that’s probably why I missed it.

      2. That’s a pretty hard niggle

        1. Who you calling a niggle?

          1. DenverJ

        2. Who you calling a niggle?

          1. DenverJ

        3. Who you calling a niggle?

          1. Jesus Christ. This only happens to me with really dumb comments.

            1. Skwerlz’ Law

      3. I assumed he was referring to pasta science. I myself am a certified linguineist.

    2. There also needs to be a category for practical/statistical “sciences” like medicine or economics. This might be a subcategory of a posteriori but there’s still a discernible difference between, say, Newtonian physics and pharmacology in terms of certainty.

      Psychology, sociology, and some other fields should belong in this category but they have been overrun by ideologues and “reformers” and don’t adhere to any kind of experimental practices.

    3. Everything else that is called a ‘science’, like psychology, is just guess work masquerading as some sort of discipline.

      This is what bugs me about Scott’s ‘I agree with the experts.’ stance even from a ‘scientific’ aspect. It’s not ‘I agree with the evidence.’ where people can and do routinely switch preferences. It’s ‘I agree with the experts because they agree with me.’ The TQIA end of the spectrum is reaping the seeds of the crop sewn at the LGB end of the spectrum. It’s brutally obvious that you’re working almost entirely on whim and faith when a pre-adolescent claims to be the opposite gender. But this sort of disconnect can rather directly be seen in the arguments put forth in favor of homosexuality. We have no idea what the cause is, but we can be sure that nobody could or would ever want to be converted one way or the other (despite it’s known occurence), that would be crazy!

      Nobody should be forced to convert but that doesn’t mean people converting or the ‘study’ thereof is junk science (unless the entire field, including the mental health ‘experts’ he agrees with, is junk).

      1. There was a study linked awhile back by one of the commenters about “conversion therapy”; the results were that about 10% of the original study group claimed to have effected a lasting change in orientation from gay to straight after 10 years. Now, said survey was conducted by the same people pushing the “therapy” (Exodus, maybe?), and it’s notable that about half the study group dropped out and 40% of the study group ended up somewhere between “I’m still trying to change” and “I just don’t have sex at all anymore” after 10 years. But it was, at least, a more serious approach to the topic than I’ve seen from the “conversion therapy is abuse” side. Although, the study group was all adults, no teenagers, and not super young (30+) at that, IIRC.

        1. Further caveats: selection bias, no control

          1. Your definition of selection bias is that people can change their behavior through therapy, but only if they want to change their behavior?

            What a revelation.

    4. Everything else that is called a ‘science’, like psychology, is just guess work masquerading as some sort of discipline.

      Now if you truly want to start from the philosophical underpinnings of science, this is a truer statement. It’s all guesswork, some is just more formalized. And some fields have not yet been overrun with people who aren’t interested in those philosophical underpinnings.

      1. I’d strike out “masquerading” too. Science is largely about guessing, but in a disciplined and methodical way (most of the time).

  9. Yinz don’ wanna convert an’ ‘at?

    1. Oh my god, is THAT where scrapple comes from?

      1. Pretty sure that’s eastern PA. Western PA is known for French fries on salad, and one of the country’s least comprehensible local dialects.

        1. Scrapple is a more eastern PA thing. And Scranton can give Pittsburgh a run for there money with gibberish, ainnah ‘r naw?

          1. Crap, that should be ‘their’. Or dur, in Scrantonese.

            1. Funny how that accent never made an appearance in The Office.

              1. There is a fine line between awkward humor and wanton cruelty, and including that accent would have blown right past it.

  10. We’re all special, in our own way.

    Some of us just happen to be more specialer.

    1. You are just as unique as everyone else.

  11. “The practice is widely discredited by professional counseling and mental health organizations. Not only does it probably not work, many therapists believe it is actively harmful to the mental health of its subject.”

    Well, if experts say so, then what we want for ourselves doesn’t really matter.

    Because if being an expert means anything, it’s that they’re smarter about our own qualitative preferences than we are ourselves. If it weren’t for experts, I wouldn’t know what to eat, what to wear, who I wanted to fuck, . . .

    To really keep us safe and happy, maybe they should strap us all down in a rubber room and put us on a dopamine drip.

    1. If it weren’t for experts, I wouldn’t know what to eat, what to wear, who I wanted to fuck, . . .

      Somebody needs to tell jesse that gay conversion therapy doesn’t work. It doesn’t matter how many guys he sleeps with, he’s still straight.

  12. This must really just be virtue signaling by Pittsburgh’s city council. Doesn’t Pittsburgh have suburbs?

    1. It does. And they … tend to be a bit more conservative than the city.

  13. Anybody else watch Westworld?

    I don’t buy the stuff about how trauma is central to our psyche. I’d be just as conscious and authentic without the heartaches.

    One of the central observations of Christianity is that our suffering should be pointless. If the Romans imprison you, crucify you upside down, or boil you in oil, you’re not supposed to learn anything from it. Past trauma isn’t an excuse for any choice you make–unless it has driven you insane.

    See Jesus of Nazareth, Paul, MLK, the freedom riders, Gandhi, Desmond Doss, any one of a zillion Buddhist monks, and the original Arab spring protestors for examples.

    Maybe it is my Christian upbringing, but being a victim of your trauma is a choice, and much of the trauma we subject ourselves to, we subject ourselves to by choice. We shouldn’t be protected from ourselves like this.

    When we don’t want our suffering to mean nothing, sometimes, we cling to pain because it’s all we have left of whatever we’ve lost. We think that pain gives our lives meaning. If some people hate themselves for being gay, that’s their choice. That’s how a lot of people decide to be who they are.

    Maybe that’s a terrible thing. Maybe that’s what it means to be human. Either way, . . .

    No one should be forced into treatment like this–least of all children. But people should be free to traumatize themselves in this way. Kids should be free to traumatize themselves this way with the permission of their parents, too.

    1. Yeah, I’ve been digging Westworld.

      I’m not so sure I completely buy the trauma being crucial to consciousness, or at least genuine seeming personalities, either. But given that no one really knows what consciousness is or requires, it’s an interesting attempt to explain how artificial consciousness could come about.

      I think that connection to one’s own past is probably important to being the sort of conscious being that we are. And that is also a strong theme in Westworld. I see the trauma thing as more an easy way to at least simulate the kind of reflection and memory that makes up so much of our psyche and personalities.

      1. I think the idea puts the cart before the horse. The more ‘conscious’ you are, the more acutely or ‘deeply’ you experience trauma. Compare the philosophical agony with which human beings can respond to intangible misfortunes to the confused nonchalance with which many animals respond to violent maiming, suffering, and death.

        Or, in the words of Dostoevsky, “to be acutely conscious is an honest to god disease.”

    2. So, if trauma is a source of consciousness, does that make rape a ‘consciousness-raising’ activity?

      1. That’s the implication I think they were trying to make.

        Without ruining it for anyone who hasn’t seen it, the trauma we experience is apparently consciousness raising. When we’re being raped and murdered repeatedly by forces beyond our comprehension and control, that’s what makes us authentically conscious. You must have trauma to transcend in order to achieve transcendence.

        God bless the traumatizers?

        I don’t think so!

        Altruism emerged as an advantage in the survival of the fittest. People thrive in societies where their rights are respected.

        1. Where does Job fit into this?

  14. Seems to me the solution is rather than banning conversion therapy, allow LGBT minors subjected to treatment against their will to sue their doctors and parents.

    1. I don’t think doctors are usually involved. The pandora’s box of “minor children suing parents” should not be opened. If it is a problem, then emancipation or change in guardianship is the answer.

    2. Should we allow teens to sue their parents generally for things they don’t like? Or don’t like ex post?

      I make one of my kids take piano lessons. I make another kid exercise 5 times a week. Am I a judgment waiting to happen?

      If I send one of them to drug counseling and he later decides that he’d rather be an addict, am I liable?

  15. But wouldn’t conversion therapy be a good place to meet hookups? Is that secretly what they’re trying to ban?

    1. You jest, but I’ve heard stories about what goes on at church “support group” meetings. Here’s a link to an article by a journalist who infiltrated a “conversion” camp:

      Undercover at Conversion Camp

  16. If libertarianism does not demand the protection of minors from objectively demonstrable harm, then it demands nothing at all.

    Enough with the thinly veiled “children are the property of their parents” faux-freedom-fighting.

    1. Trying to persuade a boy that he’s really a boy = “objectively demonstrable harm”?

      1. He’s aware he has a penis. Depending on his age, he’s aware that he possesses a Y chromosome too. So the only thing you could possibly be advocating is for doctors to enforce gender conformity against the kid’s will. For the sole reason that it makes you uncomfortable to think about. FREEDOM! YOU LOVE FREEDOM!

        1. You’ve got it backwards. “Transgenderism” is an enforcement of gender conformity.

            1. I doubt that.

          1. Wrong. Learn science.

            1. Wrong. Learn logic.

    2. objectively demonstrable harm

      Meeting the burden of proof for this is a bitch.

    3. “… objectively demonstrable harm”

      LOL.

  17. I shall continue to pray the gay away.

  18. Having a concern about homosexuals receiving this type of therapy, or any type related to it is understandable. Their sexual orientation is almost certainly biological and has been present from birth. On the other hand, not treating body dysmorphic disorder properly is unethical.

    1. Isn’t all complex human behavior — from school grades to substance addition to proclivity for violence — almost certainly substantially genetic?

      Does this mean that counseling or therapy to change any such behavior is unethical?

    2. Don’t conflate transgender people with those who suffer from body dysmorphia. It is not the same thing.

      1. It is the same thing.

        1. Body dysmorphia covers any and all types of feeling your body is the ‘wrong’ shape, ranging from thinking you’re overweight when you look like a concentration camp inmate, to feeling like you should have more or fewer limbs.

          Suffering from it is optional. I tend to find my case merely mildly annoying: I’m aware I don’t have the anatomy in question, but I’m equally aware that my brain did not receive that particular memo.

    3. Evolution says that something “biological and present from birth” – i.e. genetic – in such a small percentage of the human population and so directly related to procreation, would have died out thousands of years ago.
      There is now surrogacy and in-vitro fertilization to allow homosexuals to pass on that gene, if it existed, but it has been far too recently devised to allow something that would naturally have become extinct – the genetic homosexual – to even exist.
      Looking back to the dawn of human existence, before the earliest of humans even associated the sex act with reproducing, those attracted, physically, to the sex that they could not possibly procreate with, would have lost the “reproducing that gene” game, very quickly.
      There has to be another explanation for the unnatural urges of homosexuals, since the overwhelming natural drive in all species is to reproduce.
      Thus the belief that therapy can have results that bring the homosexual back to what is within the bounds of nature.
      It should come down to how effective is any kind of therapy, but we don’t treat the person, who thinks they are Napoleon Bonaparte, like the Emperor of France. We try to bring them back to reality.

  19. This is just a weapon of the pro-gay community and politicians pandering to them for votes. I think this law is wrong any which way one looks at it. A parent has the right to get whatever help they deem necessary for their children. What’s wrong, gay community? Afraid you’ll lose a member????

    1. You’re assuming that it’s effective, which it isn’t. What’s wrong, homophobe? Afraid you’ll lose your intentional ignorance?

  20. Pittsburgh has joined a handful of states and other cities this week by legislatively banning the professional practice of conversion therapy for minors?that’s counseling that seeks or claims to cure gay people of their homosexuality or transgender people of their feelings of being the opposite sex.

    Counseling a minor that they’re straight and helping them understand any contradictory feelings – totally illegal
    Counseling a minor that they’re gay and helping them understand any contradictory feelings – totally legal

    1. No one can change a straight person to a gay person from counseling any more than the opposite. That’s an invalid comparison.

      1. You cannot deny that, for some, there may come a time when there is some confusion – likely around the time of puberty – when what Dan says becomes critical to which direction that person goes.
        The current zeitgeist is towards homosexuality, which, if carried to the extreme, means destruction of the human race through lack of procreating.
        Hmmm? Doesn’t that sound like what the “environmentalists” want?
        Aren’t they, generally on the same side of things?

        1. You’re projecting, retiredfire. “Confusion” about this is very rare. Nearly all of us experience nascent sexual attractions long before puberty, and when we reach puberty, it’s crystal clear who turns us on and who doesn’t. Any “confusion” about that usually stems from denial. Come out, retiredfire. It’s OK now.

  21. The difference here is that minors are being FORCED into this hackery by their parents and guardians, and misguided into it by religious organizations that exert authority and influence over their lives and their parents’ or guardians discretion, and the minors themselves have NO legal say in the matter. That’s exactly why these laws are necessary. If intentionally ignorant adults were not ruining the lives of the children they’re charged with protecting, yes, it WOULD be an unnecessary law. But this goes directly to the Harm Principle. This does harm to others against their will. That’s a violation of their rights and must be ended. The entire practice itself does harm to others who don’t have the facts. That should not be legal, either.

    1. In virtually every aspect of life, minors have no say in matters. It is because their position as underdeveloped psyches requires that someone with the maturity and experience of later years is tasked with making those decisions – they are called parents.
      Minors are not “little people”, but children and are, rightly placed under the control of their legal guardians, who will make all kinds of decisions that the child may not like.
      That you think this particular decision is “harmful” has no bearing on what anyone else thinks and “laws” like this put government in control, where they don’t belong.
      How would you feel if the government did the opposite and required therapy for anyone having homosexual tendencies? Some could say that encouraging homosexuality, considering what the lifestyle has developed into, is “harmful”.
      Fuck off, slaver.

  22. Friends of mine in the LGBTetc community have pointed out to me that conversion therapy includes such fun activities such as being severely electrocuted; participants therein apparently have an incredibly high suicide rate as well.

    I see no mention of either of those things on this page, so I figure the additional information might help some of you consider your positions on the subject.

    That said, I also don’t think transitioning for minors is necessarily appropriate, either. From what I’ve seen, transitioning is a drawn-out and difficult process that should not be taken on so lightly that a parent should prescribe it for their dysphoric child.

    I’m not gonna tell people experiencing that stuff what to think or do, in any case.

    1. You phrase it as if your friends say it is always part of the therapy. I doubt that, seriously. EST is not widely considered as effective in the mental heath community, but is it a good scare tactic, as is the claim that “participants have an incredibly high suicide rate”. Homosexuals, in general have a high suicide rate, as well as a rate of self-destructive behavior, so you just trotted out another meme.
      Not, really helpful in considering positions.
      The belief that one has “transitioned” their own gender preference is along the lines of when homosexuals “realize” they are attracted to members of their same sex, and has thus become something that has to be supported, to maintain a semblance of consistency.
      There’s not much more to it than that.

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