Psychology/Psychiatry

Democrats Push for National Ban on LGBT Conversion Therapy

Should Congress be allowed to forbid a private voluntary treatment because it's bad and discredited?

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Bcon Management Inc. / Dreamstime.com

The Supreme Court has declined to consider a challenge to the constitutionality of a California law banning conversion therapy on minors.

Conversion therapy involves the process of trying to change the sexual orientation of a person from gay or bisexual to heterosexual. Decades ago when people believed homosexuality was a form of mental illness, this therapy was considered normal. Now psychologists and psychiatrists know better, and have determined that homosexuality and bisexuality are normal variations of sexual orientation. Furthermore, professional mental health organizations like the American Psychological Association have determined that conversion therapy likely doesn't work and formally oppose its use.

Starting earlier in the decade a handful of states like California began legislatively banning conversion therapy for minors. The laws have typically been crafted as though this were an occupational licensing and business fraud issue. They prohibit state-licensed mental health experts from offering services to change a teen or child's sexual orientation.

Fundamentally, though, conversion therapy isn't a particular set of practices or processes. It is really an idea—that homosexuality can be cured. The idea may be discredited by professional therapy organizations, but there are people out there who believe otherwise, and their beliefs are frequently tied to their religions.

So given that these laws essentially recast an idea as a type of consumer fraud, religious-minded supporters of conversion therapy have been challenging the laws as infringements on their freedom of speech and freedom of religion. They have been rebuffed, and Monday the Supreme Court rejected a challenge of California's law. The court previously turned away a challenge to New Jersey's ban in 2015.

These laws are often written narrowly in scope and in whom they affect. The law prohibits offering conversion therapy to minors, not adults, which is intended to deal with concerns about consent and coercion. Historically, young gay teens have been pushed and even forced into treatment against their will. The laws focus on state-licensed treatment to try to emphasize this is an issue of occupational oversight for the benefit of consumers, not an attempt to censor speech or religion.

Bans on conversion therapy, though, are fundamentally censorship of an idea, and there is a slippery slope and consequences that people with narrow interests in halting abusive treatment of gay and transgender teens simply do not grasp. This isn't a ban on a particular dangerous technique, like electroshock treatment, for example. It's a ban on anything—even just speech—coming from a licensed therapist that suggests homosexuality can be cured. It is dangerous to allow the government to control the classification of speech and to recast speech as something else just because commerce is involved.

For example, some may defend the ban because it affects only minors who have limited abilities to consent or decide for themselves whether they want such treatment. Adults can seek out conversion therapy if they want. It doesn't matter if it doesn't work or may potentially harm them—they're adults and can decide for themselves.

Except Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) and 70 Democratic members of Congress want to take this choice away from adults as well. Lieu is once again trying to get federal legislation passed to classify conversion therapy as a form of consumer fraud and give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the authority to punish anybody who provides it in exchange for money.

To be very clear, this federal law would not be confined to minors. It would affect even adults voluntarily seeking conversion therapy. Lieu's law would forbid advertising or offering any form of conversion therapy that claimed to change somebody's sexual orientation or even "eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions of feelings toward individuals of the same gender" in exchange for money.

It's not a new proposal from Lieu. He's been pushing it for a couple of years now, but it's worth noting given the number of sponsors and supporters and the fact that he has reintroduced it for 2017. When he first started pushing this, a spokesperson from the American Psychological Association (APA) told Reason they could find no other examples of federal regulations banning specific therapeutic treatments.

It's extremely important to understand the can of worms this bill is opening. Conversion therapy is a thoroughly disreputable practice with nothing to recommend it. Anybody who knows middle-aged or older gay people have probably heard either horror stories of abuse or hilariously misguided nonsense that passed as treatment to try to turn them straight. But as long as adults are choosing to consent to this nonsense, it's not the government's place to intercede.

Lieu's law is presenting the possibility that the federal government has the power to veto and censor ideas and concepts that it finds disreputable and reclassifying speech as a consumer trade issue in order to make an end run around the First Amendment. If the federal government can claim the authority to legally declare one idea to no longer be a form of speech, they can do so elsewhere. We've already seen attorneys general across the country attempting to reclassify parts of the debate over climate change science to be a form of legal fraud in order to try to prosecute corporations.

Lieu should be resisted here not because conversion therapy is wonderful and good. It's not. It's a terrible idea. Nevertheless, believing that gays and lesbians can be converted to heterosexuality is an idea that is protected by the First Amendment, and therefore the government has no authority to stop consenting adults from participating in it or the commerce that surrounds it. We are not truly a free people if we are not free to make poor choices.

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  1. We can do it, people. We can ban every Bad Thing ever.

    1. Goodbye, Zeb’s taste in beer!

      1. Aww snap.

        1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

          This is what I do…… http://www.careerstoday100.com

      2. So, I’m the only person in the world that likes IPAs? Is that what we’re going with?

        I hate to break it to you, but it’s you people who are the freaks.

        1. Yes. We need some fun memes, because otherwise it is going to trend further toward humorless, self-important, collectivist mind-reading.

          1. I guess I’m flattered to be the official IPA liker.

            If any of you freaks run into any more cans of Heady Topper, you can send them my way.

            1. I love IPAs. What is your upper limit on IBUs? I’m not sure what mine is, but I do know that some of them get a little too hoppy for even me.

              1. Some do get a bit carried away. My upper limit tolerance can vary a lot from day to day. It also matters what other flavors there are to balance the hops. And some brewers use excessive hops to cover up other shortcomings.

              2. I love IPAs

                See Zeb, even Hitler had Goebbels.

                1. What does that make you? Stalin?

                  1. I obviously represent Churchill in this scenario.

                    1. I have to be in the mood for an IPA. Not even Goebbels wanted to fellate Hitler every day.

                      Oh, wait… mixed metaphor?

                    2. What you should have said was “Not even Hitler wanted Eva to take a dump on his chest every day.”

                    3. Psh. FDR at best.

    2. This is pretty low hanging fruit right?

      If people can just become women even though they have balls, then how come someone can’t just talk themselves out of being gay?

      1. Not sure how serious. But I think the parallel to talking oneself out of being gay would be talking oneself out of wanting to be a woman. I don’t think there are a lot of people out there seeking to become transgendered (current trendy “gender fluid” stuff aside, I really think that’s just the new cool way to tell everyone you are a freaky weirdo).

  2. If this therapy actually worked, I would totally try it, except the other way. I think it would be fun being gay for a while.

    This law banning conversion therapy is stupid and wrong, but is also symptomatic of a larger trend by liberals to stop trying to change people and accept them for who they are, as exhibited by that Lady Gaga song about conservatives, called “Born This Way.”

    1. There is just as much evidence that core political beliefs are hereditary and genetic as homosexuality is.

    2. Can anything be proven about psychology? Not to defend conversion therapy, but 80% of all ‘findings’ in psychological trials cannot be replicated. Psychology is no more a ‘science’ than astrology.

      1. Why do some people like to have sex with things that aren’t members of the opposite sex? Psychology has no idea. They don’t know if you can change it, or not, or if it’s a disorder or a state of being. Seriously, no clue. This type of ‘science’ is, for lack of a better word, mostly bullshit.

        So to pretend it’s ‘settled’ is an odd choice. I’m not of the opinion it’s ‘curable’, but I acknowledge that as an opinion. Sure, I can point to psycology as the reason why I think that but honestly, for me, knowing a whole lot of gay people is more convincing.

        Even then though, are we sure you can’t change your sexuality? Some people change their sexuality literally at the drop of a hat. Does that make bisexuals less gay, or what?

        Does this not imply that you can change your sexuality, even by the hour? They like to separate out all of these sub-groups, but what proof is there that they aren’t part of the exact same group with a poorly understood manifestation? None whatsoever beyond the case of the individual.

        Just something to think on.

        1. So to pretend it’s ‘settled’ is an odd choice.

          Unless you’re a Statist and “It’s settled.” is a euphemism for “Because I say so.”

        2. Whether or not it’s “curable” is pretty irrelevant (though I’m definitely of the opinion that it’s just part of the normal range of human sexuality). It’s up to the individual to decide if it’s a problem in need of a solution or not. It should certainly be something that consenting adults can seek out if that’s what they think is right for them.
          I think parents who force their children into conversion therapy are being shitty. But I also think that parents need to be given a lot of benefit of the doubt when it comes to how they raise their children, so I’m not sure where I come down on that.

          1. I always wonder if homosexuality is not a form of natural selection.

            Don’t get all upset outrage freaks.

            It just seems like someone who is not naturally inclined to want to procreate might be a form of evolution weeding out people. Kind of like unexplainable neurological disorders or cancers, etc…

            Don’t get all upset outrage police! Just a logical question about how the human body might naturally pick winners and losers strictly from a survivability standpoint.
            Just so I don’t get ostracized by all the crazies out there, I have no problem with gay people. Do what you want. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

            1. I’ve had that thought too. But, as long as the proportion is not too high, the percentage of homosexual people can cruise along indefinitely from generation to generation.

              1. How do they cruise along. Are there sea horse homosexual people?

                1. timbo, in any population of animals breeding generations under normal evolutionary pressures, there will always be variations of traits that are expressed. These can continue to be expressed even if they can have negative effects on fitness.

                  Give a constant rate of the expression of a trait, equilibrium keeps it all in balance. If too much of the variation is expressed and it starts to have a negative effect on fitness, then selection pressure will reduce the percentage.

            2. It’s a reasonable thing to consider. But I don’t think it really holds up except at the most superficial level. If someone is gay and never reproduces, that is natural selection. All natural selection really is is the fact that some individuals reproduce successfully and some don’t. But gay people are perfectly capable of reproducing and often do, whether as sperm donors or recipients, or in the usual way. In the past when being gay was not socially acceptable, lots of gay people (or people who would identify as gay today) got married and had children. And now having children of their own (with the help of surrogates or donors) is becoming quite common.

              1. Fortunately, we do understand genetics slightly better than we understand our brains and thus far there is zero evidence of a ‘gay’ gene.

                Ergo, like pretty much everything else, it’s all in our heads. Kind of like anti-semitism and quantum mechanics.

            3. Look at studies with rats. If you have a pregnant rat, you can greatly improve the chances of the babies growing up to be gay by stressing out the pregnant dame at key points.

              A theory behind this is that the gay rat babies are a reaction to stress (most frequently caused in the wild by resource scarcity) that tries to cut down on long-term population, allowing the individuals in the generation after the next to have a better chance.

              If this same mechanism is part of the answer in humans, it’s most likely a hold-over from when we had much shorter lifespans and such controls over grandchildren populations were timely enough to matter.

              That said, while gay folk may not always have children, or as many children, as their own, we make great uncles and aunts. You get all the resources of a working adult, but a fraction of the expenses. The most common dumping ground for that (especially if you consider historically when families stuck together more) is your sibling’s kids, allowing your genetics to indirectly propagate.

              Also consider Sickle Cell Anemia. You get two genes for it? You have a big problem. You get only one gene for it? Slight malaria resistance.

              Fact is, genetics are pretty complicated and there’s lots of vectors for stuff to get indirectly transferred and “undesirable” traits to stick around. A trait has to be pretty fucking brutal to get weeded out in any timely manner.

              1. When I say that we understand genetics better than we understand our brains, it was meant as a tongue-in-cheek way of saying we hardly understand a single thing about our brains. That’s before you take into account that our brains are biased and easily fooled with simple optical illusions, so even trusting them with the task in the first place is a sign of our irrationality.

                If making gay people was as simple as stressors on a mother combined with some unknown variation of genetics, we would have probably found it already. Not to mention it would be far more prevalent. I fully admit, right up front, that it’s possible even though I find it unlikely. If any kind of particular environmental factors were at play we would see cities slowly become gayer and gayer that can’t be accounted for by population mobility

                San Francisco, I’m looking at you…or should I be looking at Sodom and Gomorrah…AHHH I’M ASS-SALT-ED! (Sorry, had to make the joke.)

                1. Let’s see… we’ve been doing IVF for decades, we figured out surrogate mothers a while back, we’ve got a couple of healthy “three genetic parent” babies, we’re not far off from human trials with CRISPR, probably only a few decades off from artificial wombs that can take a fetus from test-tube conception to term.

                  We can identify all sorts of genetic diseases and within a decade we’ll be able to correct that in-utero, can use genetic testing to warn about late-life health issues, and we’re not far off from drugs tailored to your physiology.

                  As for your insistence on no evidence for a “gay gene” (which any actual researcher will tell you is a gross simplification) we’ve got stress effects, the older brother effect, brain scans showing differences, a whole mess of smoke-in-search-of-guns.

                  On the lesbian side of things (they get so much less press), we’ve got a pre-natal drug (can’t remember the name, starts with “D” something) that makes daughters more femme and much less likely to be lesbians or bisexual.

                  But yeah. We don’t know anything.

            4. I’ve been thinking that a cause of homosexuality might be some genetic feature most of us have but remains dormant until some external catalyst (which could be anything) triggers it, which of course it doesn’t in most cases. (This is just a theory with absolutely no foundation.)

      2. Astrology is at least the more venerable pseudoscience.

        1. Every year, SIV sends a petition to the International Astronomical Union to reinstate the Gallus constellation. Once, he even harrangued an old gypsy woman because she would not put Gallus into his natal chart. She got mad and cursed him to never raise a winning gamecock.

      3. There are some things we “know” about psychology through repeated observation and induction. My bigger concern is citing the American Psychological Association as an authority on this issue. The APA agenda is driven far less by science than it is by political correctness and insurance reimbursements for its members.

    3. Nothing is stopping you from being gay for a while. Just do go it if you want to do it.

      I’m so straight that scientists use me to calibrate their lasers, but I guarantee you that if my eyes were closed a man could get me off as well as a women. Just lay back and thing of England!

      1. Stephen Tyler from Aerosmith said he tried gay sex and didn’t like it.

        Not so fast Stephen. Your gay.

      2. This guy didn’t even have to have his eyes closed, as long as the guy fellating him was out of sight: http://www.newnownext.com/gay-…..w/11/2013/

  3. ANYTHING NOT MANDATORY IS FORBIDDEN

    ANYTHING NOT FORBIDDEN IS MANDATORY

    1. ANYTHING NOT MANDATORY IS FORBIDDEN

      ANYTHING NOT FORBIDDEN IS MANDATORY

      “This is the Happiness and Peace of Mind Commitee” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWIjvPuY2jo (you need to read the subtitles closely)

  4. Sexuality is on a spectrum.
    You will go to prison for telling somebody they can change their sexuality.

    I’m a gay man. Being gay is not a choice. Choosing who you have sex with is absolutely a choice. If a gay man wants to resist his sexual urges and marry a woman and have heterosexual sex, that is fine with me. That man could be perfectly happy with life.

    Everything on the left revolves around this notion that having sex isn’t a choice; that sex is a necessity, like food and water, and humans are incapable of making decisions about who to have sex with.

    1. The first two lines should be followed with a “there is no consistency within modern progressive logic”.
      There are an infinite number of inconsistencies and straight up paradoxes within progressive thought.

      1. The phrase, “modern progressive thought” is an oxymoron.

        1. As is the phrase “modern progressive logic.”

          1. RE: Post-Modernism

    2. But he won’t be perfectly happy. And forcing such a “choice” on kids is abuse.

      1. But this isn’t about the kids. This is about adults. And you fall for the “sex is necessary for human life” trap. I don’t believe that is true, and one can be perfectly content and happy as a celibate.

        1. And you fall for the “sex is necessary for human life” trap. I don’t believe that is true, and one can be perfectly content and happy as a celibate

          I actually do think it is necessary though. It’s a pretty essential human thing to want to do. So much so that people will ruin their lives over it. Consistently, throughout history and across the globe.

          I also believe that yes, there are people who can be perfectly happy celibate- but I think that is yet another place in the three dimensional universe of human sexuality, and plenty of people don’t live there.

          1. Some people do identify as “asexual”, as in, they’re not all that interested in sex, period, whether with men or women. (Or sheep or knot-holes.)

        2. I don’t have a problem banning it in the context of fraud, but I don’t think we’ll be forcing adults into sexual relationships they don’t want anytime soon.

          1. Tony, I’m sure you just can’t wait to tell us which people we will be with to avoid “discrimination”. Fuck off, asshole.

      2. The new standard, nothing is allowed unless it results in perfect happiness…you heard it here first, folks.

        1. Well, then certainly all government is not allowed. It makes me very unhappy, as a routine matter.
          But as noted above, there is no consistency in progressive thought. (‘modern’ being a superfluous modifier)

          1. Surely, surely, you can be made to be happy. If giving you more stuff doesn’t do it, they’ve always got unhappiness conversion therapy for you.

            1. Don’t call me Shirley.

      3. The government will work, TIRELESSLY!, to pass as many laws as necessary until everyone is PERFECTLY happy!

    3. Wait, you are gay and colorblind? God is cruel.

    4. I think there is a debate in saying being gay is not a choice. Maybe it is biological, maybe not. An interesting exception is bisexual people who honestly are attracted to both sexes.

      People who that you cannot debate this topic are just as bad as people who want to ban behavior therapy because it goes against their FEELZ. Most of psychology is talking about problems and medication to solve patient issues. Some of it works and some of it does not.

      I think the evidence is pretty clear that humans are biologically wired for some kind of attraction to the opposite sex for procreation. Without that we all would not be here. With that being said, modern times are easier to survive so having people match up to procreate is not so important. I don’t really care what people do sexually and I don’t think our government should get involved at all.

      I think trying to force a gay person to be straight is like forcing a straight person to be gay. Parents should have a lot of leeway in raising kids as they see fit. Parents fuck up kids all the time with shitty parenting. Its Darwinism!

      1. “I think there is a debate in saying being gay is not a choice. Maybe it is biological, maybe not. An interesting exception is bisexual people who honestly are attracted to both sexes.”
        If you think bisexual people are an “exception”, then you’re confusing behavior with orientation.

        1. That is why I said people who honestly are attracted to both sexes. Do you think those people do not exist?

          I definitely didn’t mean the women who have sex with women because guys like it.

          Its so hard to keep up these days. So is “orientation” the permanent biological factor term to clarify what sex you are wired to be attracted to?

          1. I said bisexual people aren’t an exception because they aren’t. They didn’t “choose” to be bisexual, that’s just who they are.

            A bisexual woman who never touches a dick in her life and chooses to only sleep with women? Lesbian behavior, but still bisexual.
            A gay man that marries young, has some kids, gets divorced and never touches a woman again? Bisexual behavior, but still gay.
            A straight man that marries a woman, prefers to only have sex with women, but once a year has drunken threesomes with his wife and her boyfriend? Annual bisexual behavior, but still straight.
            A straight woman that joins a nunnery and never has sex with anyone, but lusts after Leonardo Di Caprio? Asexual behavior, straight woman.

            And so-on. People tend to be happiest when their long-term behavior matches their orientation, but humans are quite flexible in the short-term.

      2. Being gay means you don’t want to fuck the opposite sex, and it’s not a new thing. When Aristotle talked about the Celts he said that, even though they have very beautiful women, the men universally preferred to sleep with boys. Now, institutional homosexuality and pederasty has as much to do with misogyny as anything, but do you find it as amusing as I that when pederasty started to disappear from Greece, the last holdouts were the “conservative” cities like Sparta?

        1. I find it unlikely that there’s documentation to support such a claim, but I’m definitely not doing a search while at work.

    5. That’s a very good comment, colorblindkid. Very good.

      If I repeated it on a college campus as my own opinion, I would be stoned to death. Or at least fired or expelled.

    6. Everything on the left revolves around this notion that having sex isn’t a choice; that sex is a necessity, like food and water, and humans are incapable of making decisions about who to have sex with.

      That’s because most of us are a lower species incapable of rational though. Only those enlightened ones we reverently call “Progressives” truly have the heightened consciousness to know what is good and what we should choose plus the altruism to bless us with their profound wisdom.

    7. I’m a gay man. Being gay is not a choice. Choosing who you have sex with is absolutely a choice. If a gay man wants to resist his sexual urges and marry a woman and have heterosexual sex, that is fine with me. That man could be perfectly happy with life.

      Consider Tom Robinson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Robinson), a well known gay musician and activist, currently married with a daughter, but still describes himself as “a gay man who happens to be in love with a woman”. So not at at all impossible.

  5. So go to prison for telling someone they can change their sexuality, but don’t go to prison if you tell someone they can change their sex.

    Right

    1. It is about warm feelings not cold logic.

    2. But sometimes these go together. The last I heard, Jenner is still sexually attracted to women. That means the transition was from a straight man (Bruce) to a lesbian female (Caitlyn). Therefore, anyone who told Bruce it was OK to change gender from Bruce to Caitlyn was simultaneously saying that it was OK to change sexuality from straight to lesbian. Therefore they must be both praised and jailed. Let’s flog them in the public square and then give them a nice plaque.

      1. That…is actually the implied logic chain. Ouch. Maybe law shouldn’t be based on the subjective, huh?

    3. But sometimes it’s both. The last I heard, Jenner is still attracted to women. That means the transition was from a straight man (Bruce) to a lesbian women (Caitlyn). Anyone who verbally endorsed this change was simultaneously telling someone that they can change their sex and change their sexuality. The only way you can argue that Jenner’s sexuality didn’t change is to deny that Caitlyn is truly a women.

      Therefore, they must be both praised and punished. Let’s flog them in the public square and then throw a banquet in their honor.

      1. Damn squirrels.

  6. Should gay conversion therapy be illegal? Sure, I suppose.

    However, you would also need to make certain parts of Islam illegal too right? I mean, now that we’re legislating religion again. Not to mention there are probably some problematic parts of Judaism and the Mormon Church that need to be made illegal as well (well, the parts that aren’t already illegal that is).

    So, yeah. If we’re going whole-hog and throwing Religion liberty under the bus I think we should apply that equally to all religions that seem to have issues with being gay (that being virtually all Non-Eastern faiths). Forward, Comrade!

    /sarc


    1. “Fundamentally, though, conversion therapy isn’t a particular set of practices or processes. It is really an idea?that homosexuality can be cured.”

      As a follow up, all Abrahamic faiths be made illegal since in every last one of them being gay by itself isn’t necessarily a sin but practicing it is (to various degrees, depending on sect). We’ve accepted that telling people not to be gay should be illegal, so this is a goodthink crack down on intolerance and prejudice. Religion must be sacrificed on the pyre of homosexual sex.

      /proglodyte /sarc

      Your sex life is not a basis to restrict someone else’s religious beliefs, or vice versa. Get over yourself.

      1. “Your sex life is not a basis to restrict someone else’s religious beliefs, or vice versa. Get over yourself.”
        I think you’d find that, if there was any assurance that religious folk would honor such a deal, that gay folk would jump on it.

        But we have centuries of religious folk using their religion to justify harassing and attacking gay folk. Heck, having failed to stop gay marriage in the US, many of the worst offenders are now going abroad to try and encourage other countries to reinstate sodomy laws.

        So you want gay folk to agree to that? You gotta give us some reason to believe we weren’t just being chumps.

        1. So gay individuals deserve superior rights to the religious sorts because they have been recently aggrieved as a group?

          Hmm…I wonder…do Christians deserve superior rights because of their treatment in liberal gay-sex Rome?

          Probably not.

          I would also recommend that the next time you’re making a completely bullshit argument that you should not include facts contra to your argument. I’ll leave you to work out the details of how you disproved yourself to you though.


          “…many of the worst offenders are now going abroad to try and encourage other countries to reinstate sodomy laws.”

          Where can you show Christians are infiltrating society’s who are accepting of their gay community with the goal to destroy their open and accepting liberal gay policy one wonders? Most of the world just kills gay people on suspicion alone last I checked. I’d love to see your cite on this one though.

          1. “So gay individuals deserve superior rights to the religious sorts because they have been recently aggrieved as a group?”
            So you just invented that whole-cloth.

            Dude, even if we got “sexual orientation” into the Civil Rights Act (1964), that gives equal rights, not superior rights. Face it, the worst you guys are accusing of us is the least of the things you did to us.

            “Where can you show Christians […]”
            Scott Lively.

            1. Everything in Escher’s thinking is collective, except when expedient.

              He constant lumps people into huge groups (religious folk, gay people, anti-christian people) and then uses pronouns like we and you. He has the idea of collectivist revenge or payback for what “you” did to “us”. He casually put BYODB in his collective by saying “you did to us”.

              And when challenged about “many of the worst [religious folk]”, he mentions one guy that not many people have ever heard of and is not at all representative of “religious folk”.

  7. Damn, Shack, you defend the rights of people who dispute the legitimacy of your sexuality. You are a true liberal (in the classical form). Best columnist at Reason, by far

    1. I’d give that accolade to Sullum and the Jacket.

      1. “the Jacket”

        Surely, you jest

        1. No way, Nick is great. The Jacket is also a great “salesman” for the sheer reasonableness of libertarianism, an approach that wins way more converts that being a screeching ideologue.

          Doherty is also excellent, his Gun Control on Trial is a great and very informative read.

          1. I’m not going to argue the point, but I wholeheartedly disagree. Nick is the first person to insult other libertarians (Walter Block and Ron Paul to name a few) and then get butt hurt when his ever evolving ‘principles’ cause others to call him a ‘cosmo’.

            He turns away more people than squishy moderates that he gains

    2. I had the same thought. Good on ya Shack!

      It seems to me that the vast majority of people do not have a similar ability to separate self from general ideas.

    3. Damn, Shack, you defend the rights of people who dispute the legitimacy of your sexuality. You are a true liberal (in the classical form). Best columnist at Reason, by far

      I would say a bit to the contrary. This is the one issue where Scott, despite not liking or not stereotypically fitting the side he’s on, is unabashedly on the correct side.

      It’s a distinct difference from (e.g.) anti-gay wedding cake bakers, whom he respects as private business persons, but still encourages to see that their business rights do not necessarily or always trump gay rights.

      I don’t recall he precise stance on the Ivy Tech case but generally recall him to be on the ‘A lesbian is the same thing as two gay men ipso facto gay marriage is protected under the CRA.’ side of things.

      Certainly better than Gillespie’s frequent anti-Christian, or just plain anti-Tradition/Conservative panic but still exceedingly anti-liberal in some/many cases.

      1. I’m not saying I agree with Shack on everything, but overall, he’s pretty damn solid. And, frankly, he puts a lot more skin in the game by taking this position than some heterosexual taking the same stance.

      2. I thought he was also pretty consistently on the right side of the cake baking debate as well.

        1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Scott come down even partly on the side of gays vs bakers.

          1. More than once Scott has done some masky-slippy stuff where equates/juxtaposes free association with gay rights as though the latter were in any way a thing comparable to the former. Also, more than once, he’s justified it by saying this blog/libertarians aren’t his only audience.

            I’m not saying he needs to be lynched or have his libertarian card torn up and tossed in his soup, just that there are better and/or more libertarian writers at Reason.

            Moreover, I fully acknowledge his status as undisputed king of alt-text.

            1. equates/juxtaposes free association with gay rights as though the latter were in any way a thing comparable to the former

              That could also be because that’s the current state of the political debate on the matter and not a revelation of his true intentions.

      3. Having just spent far too much time looking up his previous statements on relevant matters, he sided with the State of Kentucky in the Kim Davis case, but when it comes to state contractors (Catholic Adoption Agencies), any state licenses (bakers, florists, photographers, counselors), state universities (Eastern Michigan Universty) and so-on, he’s solidly in the “the state cannot preclude anti-gay Christians from taking state money or receiving state endorsement”.

        Yep, that’s right. If a state is paying someone else to provide a service on behalf of the state, then Shackford thinks the state shouldn’t be able to require that that contractor serves gay people.

        1. Oh, you’re one of the “a business is forced to get licenses from the state therefore the state can control whatever that business does” crowd.

          1. Hey, if folks want me to stop supporting non-discrimination laws that cover gay people, my criteria isn’t complicated. Repeal the parts of non-discrimination laws that cover religion.

            But while that’s some simple criteria, it’s not easy. In fact, its so difficult that there isn’t any serious effort, anywhere, to do so. So I guess I’m stuck supporting fair-play.

            1. Hey, if folks want me to stop supporting non-discrimination laws that cover gay people, my criteria isn’t complicated. Repeal the parts of non-discrimination laws that cover religion.

              That’s all it takes to shut you up?

              Let’s get moving on this, people.

            2. I’m actually not sure what you mean by Repeal the parts of non-discrimination laws that cover religion.

              Could you give some examples?

            3. There’s that sticky issue with the First Amendment explicitly protecting the religious that does not apply to one’s sexuality.

              If you are talking about eliminating all civil rights protections for the religious. Sure, but why stop there? Why not completely repeal all protected class status? Why single out the religious? That seems bizarre and driven more by animus than anything

              1. It sure seems like animus to me. And EscherEnigma refuses to make any distinction between government power and private actions.

                WakaWaka, similarly, the 1st Amendment also only applies to government power.

              2. I think it just occurred to EscherEnigma that the gay agenda took the entire wrong tack from the get go. They should have made a church, after all. Then they would have all the rights!

                1. Nah, just squirrels eating my posts.

                  There’s that sticky issue with the First Amendment explicitly protecting the religious that does not apply to one’s sexuality.
                  First Amendment (1791) is 100% fine with me putting a “No Christians” in my “Tenant Wanted” ad.
                  It’s the Civil Rights Act (1964) that I would be sued under.

                  Same for only hiring Hispanic gardners or an “Irish Only” pub.

                  The First Amendment doesn’t apply nearly as much as many people think. Most of the stuff that stops individuals from discriminating against other’s religion? Is the CRA.

                  “If you are talking about eliminating all civil rights protections for the religious. Sure, but why stop there? Why not completely repeal all protected class status?”
                  Minimum criteria. You want to take on all protected class stuff? Knock yourself out.

                  “Why single out the religious? That seems bizarre and driven more by animus than anything”
                  Call it animus if you want, but that’s the only group in the US making serious and sustained state-level attempts to get exceptions to non-discrimination laws are religious groups.

                  So to put it simply, if it’s so important to them that gay people aren’t protected by non-discrimination law, then they should be willing to give up the same.

                  Call that “bizarre” or “animus-driven” if you like, but no one’s going around with “Racial liberty” or “National Origin Liberty” laws. When they do, I’ll reconsider my criteria.

                  1. Fair enough, I suppose. I only take issue with that type of view Escher because in my view you shouldn’t need extra carve out’s when there was already a constitutional amendment that covers everyone. Extra carve out’s cheapen the entire concept for equal civil rights for everyone.

                    One thing you will absolutely need to realize is that the more powerful the state becomes, the more traction the religious exemption will get since it applies to the state. This should be obvious. Ergo government growth is one of the most serious threats to you personally in this arena.

                    I recognize that not everyone see’s it that way, but that’s because there are a lot of really stupid people in the world.

                    Call that “bizarre” or “animus-driven” if you like, but no one’s going around with “Racial liberty” or “National Origin Liberty” laws. When they do, I’ll reconsider my criteria.

                    Have you seriously not noticed that these are actually things? They just have nicer names, such as Affirmative Action or Immigration & Citizenship.

                    1. “[…]you shouldn’t need extra carve out’s when there was already a constitutional amendment that covers everyone.”
                      You used a keyword: “shouldn’t”.

                  2. Actually, it’s the Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968) that you’d be sued under, not the CRA of 1964.

    4. Damn, Shack, you defend the rights of people who dispute the legitimacy of your sexuality.

      It’s almost as though if an individual isn’t automatically part of a collective.

  8. So what if you are a gay man or woman who really wants to be heterosexual? Could you not seek counseling for this because whoever you talk to would be breaking the law? I’m not sure that such people exist- I am quite happy being hetero and have never thought for one second that I would want to change that, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some who wish they could change their sexual orientation.

    1. I’m in a committed relationship with a man now, but there were times when I considered just starting a family with a woman because I wanted a family. I’m not an animal. I can easily control my sexual urges and don’t think sex with men is essential to my happiness. I obviously chose not to follow this path.

      I obviously agree with banning the practice for children, but if adults wants to go to therapy to suppress their homosexual urges, psychologically speaking this is no different than going to a therapist to suppress pedophilia urges. Not a popular opinion, I know, and I’m not equivocating the two from a morality standpoint. I’m just saying that they are both sexual preferences hardwired in our brains, and if an adult wants to try and learn to suppress their urges, they should be able to.

      1. colorblindkid, you’re hitting it out of the park with your comments on this thread. Thank you.

        A person could think of this stuff as a cost/benefit analysis.

        Gay relationship. Pro: More satisfying sex life. Perhaps more profound love of the partner. Feeling comfortable in your own skin.

        Hetero relationship. Pro: Easier access to family life. Easier to pass on your genes. Enjoying the love of your kids and their lives. Grandbabies.

        And so on. It is not for someone else to put their thumbs on the scale of the pros and cons.

      2. If you want kids, just do what many people do, go drinking with someone with opposite sexual organs from you and have sex. Chicks are attracted to gay guys, so all you have to do is make sure the equipment works. Chances are, the chick will get knocked up and you have yourself a kid.

        Drunken sex just seems to help those pregnancies happen.

      3. I obviously agree with banning the practice for children,

        I’m just saying that they are both sexual preferences hardwired in our brains

        So if, as a parent, I see whatever indicators that suggest my kid might prefer sex with children, the high road is to keep quite until he/she’s 18 and then let him seek out conversion therapy that may be banned by then?

        I’m not equating the two, just making the point that child abuse is already illegal and already hard to definitively identify with great sensitivity and specificity. Creating an effective hate child abuse law is only going to shit-fill the waters further.

        Your stance is still inherently progressive and based largely in nonsense. If it’s hard-wired (non-heritable), no amount of therapy (short of death) will resolve it. You don’t go through therapy and develop an 11th finger. If it were hard-wired but malleable (heritable), youth would be the time to perform it (as is advocated by gender conversion… idiots, cults, brainwashers, politicos, etc.). But we know it’s not hard-wired because even more habitual, long-standing, and critical aspects of the psyche aren’t.

        1. mad.casual, if you inherit something, that does not mean it’s malleable. It generally means it’s not malleable in a particular individual. Over time and generations, the trait can definitely change.

          I think the idea here is that if you choose a different path than your brain is wired to follow, you will have to actively work at controlling your impulses. But everybody does that to some degree. It’s up to a person to decide what path is best for them.

          1. mad.casual, if you inherit something, that does not mean it’s malleable. It generally means it’s not malleable in a particular individual. Over time and generations, the trait can definitely change.

            I think you’re confusing inherited traits and heritability (maybe my poor example). There’s also lots of convolution as I’m arguing from a stance that I believe to be untrue or oxymoronic. Either way, I didn’t mean to equate malleable with heritable as much as connote the unknown malleability/variability of the behavior/trait. Also, more critically I don’t think or know that you’re disputing, that we can identify, treat, and even cure known genetic or even just behavioral psychopathologies, so the notion that something like sexual preference, with less apparent genetic and fundamental/biological or environmental basis, is hardwired is false.

          2. Yeah, you’re confusing statistical heritability with genetic inheritance, microevolution vs. macro. A trait must be heritable before it can be selected for/against. You can’t select for/against one-handedness or 7-fingeredness because those traits both aren’t common and aren’t genetic. However, due to environmental reasons, not all traits always express their full variability. If you had two breeds of pigs or even pigs and cattle and all you had to feed them was corn you wouldn’t have any awareness of the adaptability or heritability between breeds or even species with regard to food sources. Only when food became more plentiful or varied would you be able to see that one breed or species thrived while another wilted.

            Skin color or even race is a highly heritable trait but generally, in the frame of race/society/environment, considered less malleable than (homo)sexuality*. If someone can effectively convert race, either by applying suntan oil to appear more black/ethnic or by, despite skin color, acting less racial/ethnic, then the notion that sexuality is hard-wired is moronic. Eye color is generally less heritable than skin color. The notion that your (homo)sexuality is as hard-wired as your eye color is utterly unfounded and moronic.

            *I say (homo)sexuality as the heritability of heterosexuality is a significantly different dispute. The sexuality of the species is, undeniably, hetero.

      4. Why ban it for children?….Some children are raped by men & confused & do not really want to be a homo….They need the help for sure!!

    2. If it’s like the Cal. statute, but applied to all ages, then a counselor could still legally give you what you want as long as that counselor is NOT a state-licensed therapist.

    3. So what if you are a gay man or woman who really wants to be heterosexual?
      Then you’re going to talk to your priest, your priest will give you a quack to talk to, you’ll spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on therapy that doesn’t work, and come out of it even more miserable then when you started.

      Face it, they’ve tried everything. Talk therapy, hit-a-pillow-with-a-racket therapy, prostitution therapy, umpteen kinds of drugs, electroshock therapy. The closest any of them have gotten to a long-lasting change is castration.

      There’s a reason that in the US most of the old “you can change!” folks have swapped over to “you can be celibate!”

      But hey, maybe one day someone will find something that actually works and isn’t horribly unethical. But I suspect we’ll get designer babies first.

      1. Then you’re going to talk to your priest, your priest will give you a quack to talk to, you’ll spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on therapy that doesn’t work, and come out of it even more miserable then when you started.

        Your ability to perfectly divine the future of other peoples’ mental states is profound. I’m dying to see you so you can read my palms and tell me if I’m going to get lucky this weekend.

        1. “Your ability to perfectly divine the future of other peoples’ mental states is profound.”
          Perfect? Nah.

          99% reliability? Yep.

          It’s not hard to do when something consistently fails as often as “conversion therapy”. But hey, you’re free to try if you want.

        2. “Your ability to perfectly divine the future of other peoples’ mental states is profound.”
          Perfect? Nah.

          99% reliability? Yep.

          It’s not hard to do when something consistently fails as often as “conversion therapy”. But hey, you’re free to try if you want.

          1. “It’s not hard to do when something consistently fails as often as “conversion therapy”.”

            You mean something like quitting booze?

            1. AA’s 12-step program, while by-far the most popular alcohol-cessation program, is not the only one. There’s lots of other treatment plans, including ones that have actual science behind them and proven track records of success.

              But here’s the thing… even AA has a better track record then any “gay conversion therapy” program out there.

      2. So, because something doesn’t work that is a cause to ban it. Interesting point of view you have there. Do you ever ask yourself what the goal of it might even be? Is the goal to make them stop being gay or is the goal to help them stop practicing homosexuality? I suspect it’s the former, when it should be the latter, but that’s my opinion and I’m not a member of their club.

        You see, those are discreet goals. I’m no expert on conversion therapy, for all I know it’s a house of horrors, but if no one is being directly harmed by it then I don’t see an issue with the church trying to help it’s members deal with what they consider to be a sin.

        Did going to church camp, even when you didn’t believe in god, do anyone any particular harm? It would seem that Escher believes it does. Hell, maybe he’s right but I think it’s well demonstrated that you can’t make someone believe in a god and if there is no god why do you care about being gay? Should we outlaw god, while we’re at it? That’s definitely the first step to something, but maybe not what you intend.

        1. So, because something doesn’t work that is a cause to ban it
          Nah. Someone asked a “what if” and I answered based on historical results.

          The rest is you assigning positions I haven’t claimed and don’t intend to.

          Just because someone disagrees with you on some things doesn’t mean they disagree with you on all things.

  9. I can’t help but wonder if you started having some rock-ribbed conservatives expressing their unhappiness at constantly being the butt of late night TV talk show jokes and being treated like dumb rubes by their more sophisticated friends and coworkers coming forward and undergoing “political conversion” therapy to become left-wingers…whether people like this congressman would start pushing to make such practices illegal.

    Left alone, the “gay conversion therapy” thing will probably die out as a thing, anyway, as fewer and fewer people give a crap what anyone’s sexual orientation is.

    Apart from underage teens being coerced by family members, why not just let adults make up their own minds about seeking out such “therapy?”

    For that matter, it the concern is really about credulous adults becoming the victims of consumer fraud, why are they not going after practitioners of “crystal healing” or palmistry and such? In those cases, they don’t seem to have an issue with an adult willingly handing over money to a fortune-teller. It’s considered “entertainment,” I think.

    1. While we’re at it, let’s ban homeopathy, multivitamins, chiropractors, electronic abdominal bands, organic food, and acupuncture, all of which rely entirely on health claims with zero scientific basis.

      BTW, I actually see a chiropractor even though I acknowledge all current scientific studies says it’s BS. I don’t care if it’s just a placebo effect. I have a bad lower back and feel better after going.

    2. Hmm…so what we’re really saying is that if a parent doesn’t give their child a transsexual operation at the age of 10 years old that they’re being abusive to their child. Or is this only true if it has a religious connotation? I really question this ‘sure for adults, no for kids’ theory on this one. It’s akin to saying that teaching children any kind of religious morality or ethos is akin to child abuse.

      What is abusive about sending one’s child to gay conversion therapy before they’re 18? Will it demonstrably screw them up worse than growing up in a household where their parents routinely tell them that they are the spawn of satan and are going to hell? Because if you’re sending your kid there, this is probably part of the routine. And those are their parents guy. How is some stranger going to be worse? Honest question.

      Therefore we find ourselves at the crossroads where any religious family that teaches a code of morals outside of the mainstream secular society are defacto banned. Nice.

      1. Who better to force a transsexual operation on some teen than their parents, especially if these parents are ‘religious?’

        1. Which religion espouses that view, one wonders?

          Although one would also note that this would likely run afoul of the ‘irreversible harm’ issue, much like Islamic genital mutilation. Personally I’d say Jewish circumcision is also a candidate but many would disagree there.

          I do like how you conflate surgery with therapy though, although if I’m being totally honest the American Psychological Association agrees with that view last I checked so perhaps that’s the religion you refer to.

          It would seem obvious that a mental therapy, of any kind, would not cause the same type of harm as a surgery that can not be physically reversed but perhaps this is just my opinion.

          1. “It would seem obvious that a mental therapy, of any kind, would not cause the same type of harm as a surgery ”

            Surely that’s doubly true if this ‘mental therapy’ is mere quackery. Irreversible quackery, as you imply.

  10. Ted Lieu…Received perfect 100% ratings from Planned Parenthood, NARAL ProChoice and Equality California.

    Because Ted wants you to have a choice. Ted wants the government to keeps its laws off your bodies. Except when he doesn’t.

    Unadulterated hypocrisy.

    1. Only the bad laws though.

  11. “We are not truly a free people if we are not free to make poor choices” uhhm, that ship’s already sunk.

    1. On that note, I am also trying to keep the USS Liberty afloat.

  12. It seems like there is no sanity in this debate. Is it possible that something could involve both a preference and a choice?

    1. It seems like there is no sanity in this debate.

      That’s because abusing children is already illegal. Everything else is literally trying to draft legislation by climbing into the heads of people you don’t understand and/or don’t like.

    2. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter if it is a choice or not. People can fuck whoever they want, however they want, for whatever reason they want, as long as it is by mutual consent. The same goes for any type of therapy.

      1. “The same goes for any type of therapy.”

        It’s not therapy though, it’s quackery. My rule of thumb, if it’s covered under a health insurance plan, it’s therapy. If not, it’s something else.

        1. So your rule of thumb is usually whatever is mandated by the state that insurance companies cover?

          1. Rolfing, for example. It’s typically not covered by health insurance. Therefore not therapy. Heart surgery would be an example of therapy. You probably know more about what states mandate what so I should let you answer your own question.

        2. It’s not therapy though, it’s quackery. My rule of thumb, if it’s covered under a health insurance plan, it’s therapy. If not, it’s something else.

          It’s all quackery though. Chiropractic care is/can be covered. (Non-)Smoking Conversion Therapy is covered as long as it’s not vapor. Catholic School Left-to-right Conversion Therapy, though more effective and not without consequences, is not covered.

          1. A lot of insurance plans actually specifically exclude smoking cessation stuff from coverage for some reason. Maybe they got the memo about smokers costing less because they die sooner.

            1. Agreed, quackery (or decision-making based on economics rather than clinical therapeutics).

        3. All therapy is quackery; if not in function, than in form.

  13. Fundamentally, though, conversion therapy isn’t a particular set of practices or processes. It is really an idea?that homosexuality can be cured.

    Not “cured”, as it’s not a pathology. But sexuality CAN be changed. I think much of the controversy around this a fundamental misunderstanding of what gay conversion therapy is. It’s NOT about who you are attracted to. As a straight male I am attracted to women who are not my wife. But that does not mean I act on that attraction. Why should gays be any different? That’s essentially what gay conversion therapy is, convincing gays not to act on their attractions.

    It might not be right, it might not be politically correct, but it’s not the brain washing the media makes it out to be.

    1. Not a pathology? I wasn’t aware that most psychologists could even agree among themselves on a definition of mental health, let alone mental illness. And why would anyone want to take very seriously anything most of them have to say anyway, considering that probably half the members of the field originally got into it either to try and figure out their own hang-ups or else how to manipulate others?

    2. Yes. Every human being, every day, suppresses some kind of desire to do something.

      If a homosexual adult decides that he would rather lead an external heterosexual lifestyle, it seems like he would have to work at suppressing his attraction to the opposite sex.

      If “gay conversion therapy” helps him, then of course he should be free to pursue it.

    3. Nah.

      I can see why you’d be confused, as a lot of the folks that used to push conversion therapy have swapped over to promoting celibacy, but conversion therapy really is about making gay people straight.

      1. I quit smoking, yet every day I think about having a smoke. Does not mean i wasn’t “cured” of smoking.

        1. Depends on if you ascribe to the disease model of addiction or not.

          That said? I was gay when I was still a virgin, and 95% of my friends were straight while they were still virgins. So it’s not like sex has ever been a necessary component to sexual orientation.

          1. Depends on if you ascribe to the disease model of addiction or not.

            No it doesn’t. The disease model dictates that he would be an addict but not a smoker.

            I was gay when I was still a virgin… so it’s not like sex has ever been a necessary component to sexual orientation.

            This is an unequivocal lie and an idiotic one at that as it conflicts with other factoids in your construct. In no reasonable way would anyone make anything remotely resembling a *similar* claim about any other ‘classification’:

            -It’s not like driving has ever been a necessary component to being a racing enthusiast.
            -It’s not like clinical practice has ever been a necessary component to being a medical doctor.
            -It’s not like murder has ever been a necessary component of abnormal psychology.

            And I’m going to put this tersely and nicely so it fits in under 1500 chars.: Lots of people’s life work over centuries went into defining and categorizing sex, sexuality, mating, partnering, and socio-biological constructs. Your lie whitewashes all of it. You might as well be denying the Holocaust or explaining how Aryans really are the master race. After all, they were Nazis or Terrorists before they ever killed anyone. So it’s not like mass murder has ever been a component to radical ideology.

  14. It is really an idea?that homosexuality can be cured.

    My homosexuality was cured by watching the documentary Pumping Iron.

  15. “That’s essentially what gay conversion therapy is, convincing gays not to act on their attractions.”

    Why call it conversion therapy if its goal is not to convert, but persuade? For that matter, why call it therapy?

  16. Reminds me of these people:

    http://www.deseretnews.com/art…..proar.html

  17. Is conversion therapy OK if the therapist says your still gay but intends to cure you from having gay sex? If not, it would seem “sex addiction therapy” and even “abstinence education” would be banned too.

    1. You know, I know a therapist who specializes in “cuckversion therapy,” so I can get you an appointment to see if you can get your cuck-ness cured, cuck.

      1. The bitch is back. Why not remark or criticize his comment rather than just insulting him? Are you too dumb to make a rational argument? Serious question

        1. SIV’s cuck-ness is a serious issue that consistently needs to be brought up.

    2. Counseling celibacy is not the same as conversion therapy.

      1. But the distinction is hard to make and there is much overlap between the two.

        1. There really isn’t.

          Conversion therapy says “we can make you straight! You’ll want so much pussy!”
          Celibacy counseling says “nah, you’re gay, and you’ll probably always be gay. But we can help you not act on it.”

          Regardless of your views on the morality of either, Celibacy counseling is at least honest.

  18. Hrm… tell you guys what. I’ll worry about Lieu to the exact degree I’ll worry about Conservative/Republican efforts to annul my marriage. And you guys keep arguing that’s a silly thing to worry about, so I guess I’m done with Lieu.

    That said, all this comes down to a basic question: can the government have standards of association that gay-hating Chirstians can’t meet??

    Kim Davis? The state can have standards that preclude anti-gay Christians from some elected positions.
    Eastern Michigan University? The university cannot have standards for their degree program that precludes anti-gay Christians.
    Catholic Adoption Services? The state cannot have standards for state contractors that preclude anti-gay Christians.
    State-licensed counselors? The state cannot have standards that preclude anti-gay Christians.

    It seems to me that the line Shackford and Reason are drawing is that the state itself can have standards that preclude anti-gay Christians. But one step removed, and the state cannot have standards.

    Let’s consider the reverse. Can the state have standards that prohibits anti-Christians? Oh, wait. States are required by law to preclude anti-Christian folks from all sorts of things.

    1. Kim Davis? The state can have standards that preclude anti-gay Christians from some elected positions

      No. It’s not about the people holding the positions. It’s about government power itself. The government may not discriminate in its issuance of marriage licenses. Issuing marriage licenses is a requirement of the clerk position. If you can’t perform the duties of the job, you don’t get hired or you get fired.

      But one step removed, and the state cannot have standards.

      What kind of standards? You seem to think that the fact that the state licenses businesses gives the state plenary power over what a business does and how it operates. You seem to want “standards” that intrude on the freedom of conscience.

      In a free society, private entities can preclude whoever they want.

      States are required by law to preclude anti-Christian folks from all sorts of things

      Example please.

      1. What kind of standards?
        Even if we ignore business licenses where I’m more sympathetic, I gave two examples apart from that.

        Shackford and Reason are against a state university requiring that students in a graduate counseling program adhere to professional standards of ethics if those standards are a challenge for anti-gay Christians.

        Shackford and Reason are against a state considering whether a contractor would serve all the public when it’s contracted to provide services to the public on behalf of the state.

        “You seem to want “standards” that intrude on the freedom of conscience.”
        You see what you want to see.

        “Example please.”
        CRA (1964).

        1. Your passing, wave of the hand examples do very little.

          Please, your example is CRA (1964)? That is completely non responsive. How does that “require the state to preclude anti-Christian folks”?

          Call me dunder-headed if you want, but I actually don’t know.

          1. “Please, your example is CRA (1964)? That is completely non responsive. How does that “require the state to preclude anti-Christian folks”?
            See, I was going to answer this, but then I checked and whataya know…
            “It sure seems like animus to me. And EscherEnigma refuses to make any distinction between government power and private actions.
            WakaWaka, similarly, the 1st Amendment also only applies to government power.”

            Seems like your ignorance is feigned and you’re perfectly aware of how the private/government actions are impacted by the First Amendment and the CRA.

            1. No, I really do have the question.

              You’re saying that the CRA requires the government to “preclude anti-Christian folks from all sorts of things”

              In what way? I just want a specific example.

              1. All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.
                (b) Each of the following establishments which serves the public is a place of public accommodation within the meaning of this title if its operations affect commerce, or if discrimination or segregation by it is supported by State action:
                (1) any inn, hotel, motel, or other establishment which provides lodging to transient guests, other than an establishment located within a building which contains not more than five rooms for rent or hire and which is actually occupied by the proprietor of such establishment as his residence;
                (2) any restaurant, cafeteria, lunchroom, lunch counter, soda fountain, or other facility principally engaged in selling food for consumption on the premises, including, but not limited to, any such facility located on the
                premises of any retail establishment; or any gasoline station;
                (3) any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium or other place of exhibition or entertainment; and
                (4) any establishment (A)(i) which is physically located within the premises of any establishment otherwise covered by this subsection […]

                1. Well ok, I figured it would be something like that.

                  You think that the absence of a specific protection for “anti-christian” people constitutes an actual requirement that the government “preclude” them from the things listed.

                  My mind boggles.

                  ANYTHING NOT MANDATORY IS FORBIDDEN

                  ANYTHING NOT FORBIDDEN IS MANDATORY

  19. I think that if it were possible to change sexual orientation, my soon to be ex-wife would have turned me gay by now.

  20. Does this include young children being convinced they’re transgender by their activist parents?

    1. Right. And given hormone therapy at a very young age. It seems exactly the same to me.

      1. It is 100% the same. There are some chilling cases of munchhausen by proxy in regards to very young children (less than 4yrs old) being declared transgender.

        I don’t see a distinction.

        1. It’s not exactly the same. One does real physical harm, and the other amounts to ineffective indoctrination.

          If these places are doing surgery, then they’ve crossed some lines and need to be investigated for breeches of other laws that don’t have religious exemptions.

          1. They’re not doing surgery, they’re convincing their kid who’s barely post-toddler-hood that they suffer from gender dysphoria, then using them as props for high profile legal challenges. Mom gets on the interview circuit etc.

  21. its perfectly okay for California schools to teach kids to be gay, which the state does, but its not okay to reverse the States misinformation. soon it will be illegal to disagree about global warming or about or anything else they deem. Soon they will tell parents they can’t teach religion at home because it practices moral judgement. don’t Laugh several European countries already do this, If I recall it is Norway and Germany

  22. Logic question:

    It’s totally fine (read: socially acceptable) to live a heterosexual life and then tell everyone you’re homosexual.

    Then, it must be totally fine to live a homosexual life and then tell everyone you’re heterosexual. Right? No-one will scream at you and threaten your life because your choices completely destroy the foundation on which they built their beliefs.

    …Right?

  23. FAKE NEWS ALERT: Conversion Therapy does WORK, as evidenced by thousands of people who have become happy heterosexuals from undergoing treatment!…It is the Pro-LGBT media that has mislead people saying it is a faulty & dangerous therapy!…it does not fit their Pro-LGBT narratives!

    It is just like the Gender-Confused lobby saying that gender is fluid, etc…Except when one goes from tranny to straight, then it’s not!!!

    1. Oh god, I hope this guy is for real… please let him be for real.

      1. Of course I’m for real & me is also 100% right, Porcupine!!!

    2. DOnny Dilbert: Please provide backup for the above statement. Either in a peer-reviewed journal of medicine or psychology/psychiatry, or in _anything_ that will satisfy WP:RS (look that up in Wikipedia)

      You are making an assertion that contradicts the current consensus among those who are supposed to know what’s going on. It is up to you to provide evidence for your assertion.

      1. Goodness, the squirrels are at it. Just google “A longitudinal study of attempted religiously mediated sexual orientation change”

    3. YES Donny EXACTLY

  24. There’s an entire industry of which a large portion is devoted to trying to make people change their desires: advertising. Much of advertising is just a matter of informing people where to get a product or service they already wanted, but much of it is also about trying to get you to want something. Obviously people do change their desires, but in most cases even the people whose desires have changed about something can’t tell you why. The ad industry would invest heavily in a techology that could reliably change people’s desires; none exists yet. So this is vastly bigger than just GLBT conversion.

  25. This is an area that has bothered me, too. On one hand, people _should_ be allowed to believe what they wish and to say what they choose. On the other, we don’t allow harmful treatments(*) in the licensed professions — medicine, chiropractic, psychotherapy.

    There are two problems with “conversion therapy”:

    1. Minors are often forced into it by parents. It may happen that a minor desires the therapy on his/her own, but how can be distinguish that from “permission” given by parents and/or parental pressure on the minor?

    2. Many forms of “conversion therapy” involve very unpleasant things — showing photos of the “wrong” sex and administering electric shocks or other forms of pain. Doing this to somebody whose sexual orientation is inborn and unchangeable (which _is_ the current psychiatric consensus) could induce various forms of neurosis or even psychosis (PTSD for example).

    “First, do no harm”

    Given the combined problems of #1 and #2, how would you write a law to prohibit _only_ harmful therapies while allowing, frex, “talk therapy”, religious counseling, etc.?

    That said, I agree with Shackford that banning the therapy for adults is (a) a bad idea, and (b) unconstitutional.

    (*) Or, usually, even harmless but useless treatments. Charging for these is considered fraud. However, useless but harmless substances _can_ be sold as “nutritional supplements”, and I think a doctor, herbalist, psychotherapist could probably _recommend_ same (but not _prescribe_ it).

  26. So sexual orientation is fixed, but nothing else is (IQ, sex roles). Tabula rasa except where politically expedient.

  27. Does anyone have a link to synopsis of studies showing conversion therapy is bogus?
    We’re dealing with social sciences here so I’m going to be skeptical of these conclusions, where let’s be honest, for many if not all researchers, the results of their ‘experiments’ could only be one way.

    If sexuality is a spectrum than it would seem reasonable that those individuals who may just be on the gay side would not be as resistant to the straight life.

    Given the complexity of being gay or straight, I doubt any definitive conclusions can be made with the dearth of objective research into the subject.

  28. Will they ban OTHER bullshit therapies or just this one bullshit therapy?

  29. NO national ban on conversion-therapy for the mentally ill.
    They have every RIGHT to be normalized.

  30. But they’ll happily support kids getting pumped with hormones and getting bits lopped off, because they obviously know what they’re doing.

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