Remarkably, Mercator Net posted an article critical of reparative therapy earlier this month. The piece by Melinda Selmys has generated many comments at MercatorNet and for good reason. The article is well written and provides Selmys opinion on the California law banning reparative therapy for minors.
That said, it is not impossible for a homosexual to have a happy marriage with an opposite-sex spouse. My own experience speaks to that: I am same-sex attracted, but have chosen heterosexual marriage for a combination of religious and personal reasons. I would not say, however, that I have achieved orientation change. I am not attracted to men, I am in love with a man. This is typical of the real experience of “ex-gays”: usually what changes is not the underlying pattern of attraction but rather the sort of relationship that a person chooses to pursue.
She appears to favor the California law which bans reparative therapy for minors, saying
Adults who have chosen to undergo therapy are in a position to change therapists or to abandon treatment if they find that the therapy does more harm than good. Minors who are forced into therapy by adult authority figures do not have this option. Even if young people are theoretically seeking treatment under their own power, many feel intense pressure to overcome homosexual desires in order to please their parents, and some fear punishment or recrimination if they fail. Unscrupulous therapists often market their services primarily to parents and guardians, preying on the hopes and fears of those who have the ability to place adolescents in treatment.Moreover, conscientious therapists openly state that conversion therapy does not have any real chance of working unless it is freely chosen by the client. Teenage dependents are not in a position to make a free choice of this kind.
I have seen a fair number of SSA teens over the years and generally I find that their concern is parental rejection and/or abandonment. They are not really in a position to question parental wishes. On the other hand, I have met some who did not want to engage in sexual behavior and expressed gratitude for support to avoid that.
Currently, the Pacific Justice Institute is soliciting reparative therapists for minor clients to join the lawsuit against the state of California. It seems inevitable that such requests will put even more pressure on a minor who may already be going along with parental wishes in order to keep peace.
While it is obvious that NARTH is under fire, an article like this on the MercatorNet website has to be considered a real setback.
Check out Melinda Selmys blog.