“The Legislature has no business telling parents how to raise their kids, Wagner said, nor is it appropriate for a bunch of legislators without medical training to judge the effectiveness of a particular therapy. ‘I’m not a doctor,’ the assemblyman said.”
Reyes also noted that “three experts consulted by the Orange County Register said they were not aware of the California State Legislature ever outlawing a specific kind of therapy.” (I can only imagine what kinds of professional therapies take place in California, all without legal interference.) And Marc Mason, administrative manager at the Board of Behavioral Sciences, which licenses counselors and therapists in California, stated that “Therapies themselves are not regulated. We regulate individuals or licensees, and we do not have the ability or statutory authority to ban a certain type of therapy.”
Even the leftleft-leaning, pro-gay-activist, American Psychological Association (APA) “‘does not approve or ban’ therapies,” according to Rhea Farberman, an APA spokeswoman. “The association has said that sexual re-orientation efforts are not effective, but hasn’t designated such therapy as an ethical violation.”
Lieu, however, states that, “The facts show that you cannot change someone’s sexual orientation, and when you try to do that, it harms them. The only (legitimate study showing) that highly-motivated homosexuals can change their orientation was conducted by Robert Spitzer (a renowned psychiatrist). He retracted his study this past year, noting that there was no scientific reasoning to back up his findings. So, there is no factual proof that this type of therapy works.”
This, of course, is nonsense. First, there are thousands of former homosexuals who testify to significant or even complete change in their sexual orientation, be it through religious conversion or professional therapy or both. In this age of so-called tolerance and inclusion, why are they ignored or mocked or ridiculed? Why should we believe the testimonies of gays who tried to change but couldn’t while refusing to believe the testimonies of gays who did change? Second, there are actually decades of professional studies documenting the possibility of change (for a detailed discussion, see my book A Queer Thing Happened to America). Third, Spitzer did not retract his study, nor did he discover that his findings were scientifically inaccurate after further research. He simply apologized for the study after suffering years of ugly and unrelenting attack from gay activists and their allies.
But all this is secondary to the larger matter at hand, namely the extraordinary attempt of the government of California to tell parents and their children that, regardless of their spiritual convictions, moral convictions, social convictions, or scientific convictions, minors with unwanted same-sex attractions cannot receive professional counseling to help them change, even with parental consent.
To repeat the words of Senator Lieu, “The attack on parental rights is exactly the whole point of the bill.” Parents of California, are you going to let this bill pass on your watch?
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.