Robert Winner

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The "Gay" Cure

The California Senate just passed SB 1172 banning the gay cure. The thought on one side is to protect children from interence in their sexual choice. One the other side are parents and the medical profession that say it interfers with parental authority and also with the therapist - client relationship.

I do not want to ask anyone to choose on the "gay" or "straight" issue.

What I am asking is about the government making decisions that were once considered parental decisions, or is there legislated interference into the medical doctor patient relationship.

I am also asking that this be kept a professional exchange of ideas.

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    Aug 30 2012: I don't think it is the responsibility of the law to tell us how to raise our kids, but it is the responsibility of the law to make sure that anyone who offers a "gay cure" freely states that there is absoluely no scientific basis for such a thing and what they are doing is not medical or psychological but is brainwashing in an attempt to alter some ones behavior. In my country a doctor that claimed to offer a "gay cure" would be struck off.
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    Sep 12 2012: After reading all the comments to this question, it has become apparent to me that perhaps no one in this comment area has actually read the bill in question. It is posted here, uses simple language and conceals no hidden agendas.
    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billVotesClient.xhtml;jsessionid=92ae3bb364aa685801596400e6b3
  • Aug 31 2012: First, if you really want to discuss parental legal rights, you misnamed this debate.

    Parents once had the right to beat their children mercilessly. This is no longer tolerated, and it should not be.

    The essence of this question is, what criteria should be used to legally limit parental rights.

    First, do no harm. Parents should not have the right to harm their children.

    Following that simple principle, others in this conversation have already explained how this applies to the 'gay cure.'
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    Gail .

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    Aug 31 2012: If no one is hurt by the "Gay" cure, then there is no role for government. But as there is abundant evidence for real and great harm of substantial numbers, and as there is growing evidence of sexual orientation being inborn within us, and as harmed people are an inherent threat to the rest of us, government sees a role for itself.

    I agree that it could be a slippery slope. I happen to believe that Christianity has become a threat to the rest of us. Does that mean that I want government to ban a religion? Sure, emotionally. But then I stop and realize that if I did that, I would lower myself to the level of the Christians who are so intensely entangled with the idea of harming innocent souls because God tells them to do it.
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    Aug 30 2012: I'm not entirely sure what you mean by parental choice etc etc.
    But I'll take it from a scientific perspective.
    1) Homosexuality is natural, observed in practically every species
    2)Doesn't harm anyone
    3) Isn't a mental disease
    4) Given 1,2 and 3 it would lead one to say that it doesn't require a cure and so banning something which is probably viewed as a money scandal is right. It's like homeopathy, and I can't stop thinking about the south park episode where Butter's gets sent away to be cured of his "Bi-curiousness".
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      Aug 30 2012: Stewart, From what I read it means the parents right to send their child to a counsellor if they decide to do so. As parents were are charged to perform in the best interest of the child. If the parents are concerned and want to send the kids to counselling that is the issue. Does the government have the right to tell the parents that they cannot do this to their child.

      Thanks for the reply. Bob.
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        Aug 30 2012: "The American Psychological Association 2009 Task Force noted sexual orientation change therapy could lead to self-loathing, drug abuse, risky sexual behavior and suicide."

        The first prominent member of the psychiatric community to give this therapy creedance now talks about how, “It needs to be said that when this study was misused for political purposes to say that gays should be cured — as it was, many times — Bob responded immediately, to correct misperceptions,” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/19/health/dr-robert-l-spitzer-noted-psychiatrist-apologizes-for-study-on-gay-cure.html?pagewanted=all

        Even the Christian community is backing away from this backwards treatment. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47975787/ns/us_news-life/t/christian-group-backs-away-gay-cure/

        Parents should not be allowed to send their children to faith based healers trying to reprogram their sexuality.
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        Aug 30 2012: The problem here isn't the child. It's clearly a huge misunderstanding on behalf of the parents. If anything it should the parents who go see a counsiller and have them actually explain what homosexuality is and how to encourage and support your child with the decisions they make.
        I'm almost certain that there is no link between homosexuality and moral degradation which only further adds to the parents misunderstanding as they probably think there is a link if they want their child to see a counsellor
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    Sep 11 2012: What disease or dis ease does the 'gay' cure address? I'm not gay and I'm gayclueless. Help me understand please.
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      Sep 12 2012: Craig, From what I have read ... The gay cure is about when a parent thinks a kids may be gay or when a kids says they are gay they taken them to a doctor or a counsellor to treat them back straight. I do not have a clue either.

      In the article gay rights folks said let them be gay don't stop the process. At least some of the California state law makers seen to agree and want to stop parents from having their kids "treated" for being gay or suspected of being gay. If this passes the parents are just suposed to accept it and move on.

      It appears to be gay rights on one side and parents, docors, and counsellors on the other.

      Craig I think that many of our generation are confused about this whole issue. Bob.
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      Sep 12 2012: It not a cure for anything Gay but a bill to stop parents from pursuing to change their children's or any adults gay condition to a straight condition or convince them that being gay is wrong.

      The bill, which was voted into law, is surprisingly well written and conceals no hidden agendas. It specifically applies to this one condition that mental health practitioners, counselors, etc., are not allowed to tinker with a gay persons acceptance of their gayness or promote the idea that it is in anyway wrong to be a gay person.

      You can read the bill here : http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201120120SB1172
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    Sep 11 2012: It looks like a discussion pertaining to a bill intended to protect, not only gay children but all children is turning into a discussion on the Gay Identity.

    Has anyone considered the spill over ramifications of this bill. Could doctors be forced to not perform circumcision on infant boys? It could be construed that altering their bodies for reasons of ethnic and religious purposes fall under the guidelines of this bill. Has anyone read the bill?
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    Sep 11 2012: Interesting topic.

    Sometimes children are born with physical deformities to which doctors recommend to parents that steps be taken to acclimate the child to a gender orientation. Medical Accidents during Circumcision can lead both Doctor and parents to alter the child's physical appearance to denote a gender that was not intended at birth. Psychological counseling in addition to hormone therapy has been applied to some of these children in the past.

    I wonder if these situations would fall under proposed bills like the Gay Cure, preventing such surgeries from being performed on children?
    In other words: Should parents be allowed to make decisions about a child's gender appearance because of accidents or deformities at birth?

    I'm not informed if such physical modifications are done these days with advancements made in the medical field focused on surgical techniques.
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      Sep 11 2012: John. You have hit on part of the problem. In the world of "never" laws there is always going to be a "what if ...." Some of the other issues are: To what extent are we impowering a child. Has the court assumed the role of Child Protective Services. Some states have a law that allows kids to "divorce" from their parents ... will this become an issue that "divorce" is eligable. Since most ministers are counsellors does this protect the kids from the church .. can a minister be sued for breeching the subject with a kid? There is a ambulance chaser out there right now figuring out all of the possibilities.

      To be honest I am in the wrong generation to understand all of this. I think that this law will cause more problems than it will solve. Another example of to much government.

      When I was a kid I had a lot of confusion also ... Be a pro football player, baseball player, track star, pro golfer, tinker, baker, or candlestick maker ... kids do not have a clue. I went to the military and later became an engineer who watches all of those dreams on TV. Such is life.

      Thanks for the reply. Bob.
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        Sep 12 2012: Good to hear from you Robert.

        I think it does affect the parent child relationship and I believe it is intended for that very purpose. It certainly limits the activities of Mental health practitioners, as defined by the law. It does not, specifically, empower a child over their parents, rather it protects a child from their parents, as do many laws seeking to protect children from unsafe home environments.
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    Sep 11 2012: Sometimes gov has to step in and right wrongs. Emancipation Proclamation ?
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      Sep 11 2012: Helen, Does the Constitution allow for the government to intervene in civil or personal matters. If I read the Constitution correctly it defines four areas of responsibility. However that is not the issue here. This is the state that is considering the law. At what point does this become parental interference. If this passes is there a divorce of the child from parental decisions. I am concerned that this will set a dangerous precidence. Laws are often written with the best of intention and are abused by slick lawyers and those who exploit the citizens.

      The intent here is to advise that we should proceed with caution.

      Bob.
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        Sep 11 2012: Hello Robert, I agree PROCEED WITH CAUTION. People don't change their minds because of a law. There are bound to be repercussions. It took a heart like MLK's to bring to fruition a grave wrong.
  • Sep 3 2012: The law is definitely as bad as it is ill-defined. How can you possibly ban a generic area of psychotherapy ?

    This is just more of the gays (a group of self-identifying people, let's remember) trying to be a race-like protected class. Society will eventually wise up and reject this.

    If we're going to ban a type of therapy objectionable to LGBT, why don't we also ban all the attempts by LGBT activists to get access to impressionable pre-teens, through their cynical so-called "anti-bullying" efforts. Most parents would be outraged to know that LGBT radicals are attempting to communicate with their young children, behind their backs, while the kids are away at school. (see massresistance.org for how this went down in Massachusetts)
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      Sep 3 2012: "This is just more of the gays (a group of self-identifying people, let's remember) trying to be a race-like protected class. Society will eventually wise up and reject this.'If you replace the word "gays" with the word "jews" does that make your statement more, or less offensive? What about "black" or "chicano"?People who can be "labelled" wouldn't feel the need to label themselves if we all just accepted that people is people.Now I have to take my son to the therapist because he likes soccer......SOCCER!
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        Sep 3 2012: Actually there is a race-like protected class element creeping within the system,why? because i can recognize it from a mile away,an aspect of myself can see it clearly as my own people have found themselves locked into this rather disturbing and separating system,instead of drawing the peoples together it is unzipping down the middle.

        I have 7 gay family members and all of them are naturals except one,i call her class "The Accolyte" and then there is "The Chameleon" a total effeminate male child that suddenly disappoints everyone and goes off and gets married,mannerisms and voice changes completely to the opposite.I've grown up around gay people,my uncle who is the oldest of the group and has the Queen vampire persona says theres a group that needs to be shot,they're going to drag the rest of us into hell,he's had his fair share of bar brawls in his time.
      • Sep 3 2012: Peter, you've just made my point. You CAN'T replace "gays" with "blacks" in my statement because being black is a real, objective distinction. "Jews" maybe, but only if you're talking about religion, not race. The banal point is that gays are a self-identifying group, for which any rich elitist white guy can sign up. We need to reject their attempts to get race-like recognition, protections, and privileges.

        Finally, being pretend-offended is not an argument (yes, replacing what I said with "black" actually IS more offensive).
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          Sep 3 2012: "Finally, being pretend-offended is not an argument (yes, replacing what I said with "black" actually IS more offensive)."
          Not to me. Maybe black and white is easier to identify over there. Here we have Polynesians Aboriginals Malaysians Indian and Afghanis who are all dark but not "black" racially. Over here you call yourself black if you self identify as a member of one of these groups. Now African is different but the only African friends I have are white.
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          Sep 11 2012: Let's correct a misnomer about Jews. Jews are people who practice the religion of Judaism. You can be European, African or a Former Christian and still be Jewish. People who live in Israel are called Israelis. The people who created the religion of Judaism were the Hebrew people of which not many exist, having been interbred with people of other races and cultures.

          Be careful of how you use the title "Jew". Use it only if you are referring to a person who practices the religion of Judaism.
      • Sep 5 2012: With fractional racial ancestry, you're still talking about an actual objective, inherited trait; which is of course deserving of respect.

        How can people possibly confuse that with LGBT, which is a self-declared, self-identifying stance, for which (as I've said) any rich bored white guy can sign up.

        Incredibly, they've manipulated society to the point where being progressive now MEANS accepting the radical LGBT agenda; and accepting all their strange practices as normal. I worked for a company with practically zero minorities, just lots of rich obnoxious vociferous LGBT types and their hags, and it considered itself "progressive". What a sham.

        LGBT is a mockery of civil rights. Their activists are fascistic. Don't be tricked.
        (see massresistance.org)
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          Sep 5 2012: So the fact that you can tell a gay man from a straight man by looking at their FMRI doesn't suggest to you that there are inherited traits involved. Also the fact that you seem to exclusively denegrate white male gay people suggests you really have little contact with gay people. The majority of my gay friends are female, and none of them are rich, some of them are polynesian men who have been raised in the Fa'afafine tradition of Samoa which is thousands of years old. You also seem to think being LGBT is a new phenemenon, do some research on ancient Greece, particularly Sparta.
      • Sep 6 2012: I didn't say all the gays are rich white snobs. I'm saying that the fact that a rich white snob can self-declare as gay, and get automatic victim status and protections -- equating his shameless privileged self to someone who is visibly identifiable as a minority that has suffered generations of discrimination -- that's wrong.

        And it's wrong that "progressiveness" now *primarily* means championing such privileged mean shameless deviant snobs.

        It's a mockery of civil rights. A shameless farce.
        We need to reject the LGBT activists at every turn.

        [ Apparently *still* no charges for nor any meaningful news coverage on Larry Brinkin, by the way :
        inquisitr.com/263218/gay-rights-activist-icon-larry-brinkin-arrested-on-child-pornography-charges/
        ]
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      Sep 12 2012: Lint Porter; it is the area of generic psychotherapy that is supporting the law and advising it's passage.
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    Sep 2 2012: I am always against such simple minded bureaucratic legislature, So of course I'm against it, however that doesn't necessarily mean that I am for the gay cure either. The root of the problem is not whether to ban or not to ban, the root of the problem is that our institutions still classify homosexuality as a disease and this is why such this absurd practice, the gay cure, is occurring in the first place. When we cease to perpetuate homophobia in our society we will begin to accept the idea that homosexual inclinations are not harmful. Because in modern society there is still a stigma against gay individuals, there is a rational basis for homosexual neurosis and anxiety. If I came out of the closet as a gay man, I would have to deal with stigma and rejection so it's very normal that I as the homosexual would feel a great deal of anxiety about being gay. If such stigma were to be eliminated in society, homosexual anxiety would simply be reduced to a irrational phobia (for instance over exaggerated fears, like irrational fear of water or heights) and it could be treated as such.
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      Sep 12 2012: Everything you say in your comment states that being gay is wrong and can be cured.
  • Sep 1 2012: Parents have no rights anymore. We live in a world where kids will call the cops on their own parents. It's not that parents don't want to be tougher, it's that our society frowns on it. All of this goes on while saying that we need to be tougher on kids.
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      Sep 1 2012: Dan, Point well taken. I was an engineer in Texas and a local kid got swats at school that left bruises. Child protection was notified that the kid was bruised up and took the kid away from the parents. Once it was established that the bruises were from the school and the parents did not beat the kid he was returned. It was alright that the school could beat the kid ... as long as it was not the parent.

      There are good parents and bad parents. I agree that laws should protect the children. The real question is at what point is the government butting into parents territory.

      Thanks for the reply. Bob.
    • Sep 3 2012: Yes, kids can now call the cops on their own parents, and some of them do. That is what I call a major achievement of our society. Compare this situation to when parents had all the rights, including beating a child and selling a child into slavery.

      Actually, parents do have rights. We live in a society where people routinely have children without bothering to learn anything about parental rights. Raise your children to learn about legal rights of all sorts, so they will be prepared when legal issues arise. Especially make them aware of laws about falsely reporting crimes.
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    Aug 31 2012: Is homosexuality even a disease, let alone a detrimental one?

    Though if 90% of the population is homosexual, then that becomes a problem in terms of lack of reproduction...
    • Sep 5 2012: The *concept* of homosexuality as a real, objective trait is a disease in our society -- a contrived piece of liberal idiocy.

      "Homosexual" would mean that there are people who reproduce with the same sex. No such thing !
      No, they reproduce just like us. They are equal as individuals. But their relationships are NOT equal.

      It's a practice; a very strange and subversive practice.

      So definitely no to redefining marriage (marriage!!) ... and parents are correct to try to steer their children in a healthier direction.
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        Sep 5 2012: In that case, "homosexual" was the wrong term that I used. Whatever the term for the definition of sexual attraction of the same sex, that's the term I meant to use.

        And the other argument against this would be, you can't force someone to be someone who they are not. To deny their impulses, feelings, and thoughts, is to deny their humanity.
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          Sep 5 2012: Homosexual is the correct term. Homo=the same and sexual= what sex you are, therefore a homosexual relationship is a relationship between two people of the same sex, it doesn't specify the purpose of the relationship. Some people appear to belive that the only reason you have sex is to reproduce, even though man is just one of many species known to have sex for social reasons.
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        Sep 6 2012: You don't have to have sex to be in a homosexual relationship, just like you don't have to have sex to be in a heterosexual relationship. The terms describe the genders of the people in the relationship, not the nature of the relationship.
    • Sep 6 2012: No, it's not the correct term, Peter; because it's not *sex*. You and the rest of society have been TRICKED into calling what they do "sex".

      We can't let activists control our language; or we'll all start thinking like them (this is already well underway). As soon as we agree that perverse acts are "sex", then we have to treat it as normal, include it as part of "sex education", and all the rest of the problematic consequences.
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    Aug 31 2012: The government has legislated on many issues that was once "parental decisions" or "a medical doctor-patient relationship".
    You are no longer allowed to sell your children... many years ago that was a parental right.
    Many things previously thought of as a cure - burning witches if many people in a town fell ill - has now been proven wrong and harmful and there is legislation making it illegal.
    You are no longer allowed to burn people.

    The people against this legislation are arguing from an unscientific point of view - and forgetting basic human rights.

    The "gay cure" is not a cure... not medically speaking.
    The main purpose of the legislation is to prevent harm, and make sure everyone has their own free - including children, who have the right to not being treated for non-illnesses or in other ways abused physically or mentally.
    Adults who wants to be "treated" for their sexuality can seek a therapist... they do not offer a cure, but therapy. And as long as it is harmless and voluntary, people can do what they want.
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    Aug 31 2012: Robert, in terms of your request for a thoughtful exchange of ideas, every thread here deserves no less, and we should all be working to preserve that everywhere.

    May I ask a question? Are there any medical professionals still who believe that this is medically valid practice? I was under the impression that this course of action had been entirely debunked medically.
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      Aug 31 2012: Valid question. From what I read I think the issue was not that it served a purpose but rather that the legislature was interfering with the doctor patient relationship and the second issue was parental rights.

      As I do not have a stake in this issue I decided to vent the subject to the community. Almost everyone has made a comment on the condition and not addressed the legislation.

      Additionally , someone added religious counsellors. Would this legislation enter into the state VS religion arena. Interesting comment I had not considered.

      Thanks for the support on the keep it professional comment. This subject could so easily go south.

      Thanks for the reply. Bob.
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        Aug 31 2012: The reason I asked my question was that, if there are no licensed doctors who believe such therapy is medically valid, the issue of interfering with doctor and patient relationship may be moot.

        Along similar lines, not being an attorney, I don't know where the line is drawn when it comes to protecting children. For example, alcohol cannot be sold to minors in the US, even if a parent were to give permission. Is the consensus now within the medical profession that children should be protected from this therapy as they are protected from alcohol because the downside risk is well-recognized and the benefits entirely unsupported?
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        Aug 31 2012: I actually apologize for being harsh, I didn't mean to make fun of you, I just think it's a funny issue. Sometimes I forget, how different living in LA, and NY your whole life is, from living almost anywhere else in America. If an issue effects 5% of the population here... you never stop hearing about it, hehe. Also, it effects a couple people you know.

        So, I know way more about these programs than anyone not impacted by them should. I'm way too polite to people with pamphlets. In general though, most of the scientific community is against the practice of therapy for trying to influence sexuality, simply because it often just teaches them to repress and pretend.

        Also, it's another one of those weird institutions, where... Who chooses that job? "I'm going to teach kids how not to be gay"... A couple of the places have been involved in lawsuits and scandals, that were very unseemly. It's just one of those things that pop up on local news every year or so, when you live in a city of 30 million people.

        I think most of the people, and parents especially, mean well, but it's not a majority of the medical community that supports this practice. Maybe a large portion of the psychiatrists in your district, even state support this... but, honestly, it is because in a small town, so few people are willing to be openly homosexual, and psychiatrists, still don't know how to deal with it.
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    Aug 30 2012: The "Gay" Cure, lol... "On the other side are parents and the medical profession"... The medical profession? Really, all of it, is on the side of the "Gay" Cure? Everything we have learned about human, and animal sexuality, in the study of biological science, suggests that sexuallity exists on a spectrum. Homosexual, and asexual animals have been found and studied throughout history.

    The medical community, is not on the side of the gay cure... Religious parents, and religious doctors, who went to private religious colleges, still refuse to accept biological science on the issues of sexuality, as they see it entirely within the realm of moral code.
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      Aug 30 2012: Hi Dave, I think the problem they see is the patient - doctor relationship is being legislated.

      Thanks for the reply. Bob