Matt Barber Invokes Jerry Sandusky to Mislead Public About SB 1172

I get it. Matt Barber thinks gays are disordered and he opposes CA SB 1172.

Agree with the bill or not, one should not exploit a tragedy in order to mislead people about what the bill says.

Barber says the bill prevents counselors from helping kids who have been sexually abused. He writes at WND:

The critical importance of stopping SB 1172 and similar legislation springing up elsewhere becomes especially clear when one considers that such sexual confusion is frequently caused by sexual molestation at the hands of homosexual pedophiles like Jerry Sandusky (hence the moniker: “Jerry Sandusky laws”).

First of all the general link between homosexuality and child abuse he attempts to make is spurious. The Tomeo study he refers to (Archives of Sexual Behavior determined in a 2001 study…) is not accurate and the second author has acknowledged this.  That study or any other one finding a correlation between abuse rates and orientation can tell us nothing about causation.  If Liberty Counsel makes that argument in court, I hope the court gives them a lesson in research methods.

Second, the new law does not prevent counselors from helping kids who have experienced such tragedy. Here is what the law says:

(o) Nothing in this act is intended to prevent a minor who is 12 years of age or older from consenting to any mental health treatment or counseling services, consistent with Section 124260 of the Health and Safety Code, other than sexual orientation change efforts as defined in this act.

Treatment for sexual abuse recovery is not prohibited.  One does not need to tell kids that they can change their sexual orientation by healing from sexual abuse in order to treat the effects of sexual abuse.

Furthermore,

(b) (1) “Sexual orientation change efforts” means any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.

(2) “Sexual orientation change efforts” does not include psychotherapies that: (A) provide acceptance, support, and understanding of clients or the facilitation of clients’ coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and (B) do not seek to change sexual orientation.

Barber also falsely says:

[The law] would have forced counselors to violate their oath to “do no harm,” compelling them to advise sexually confused children to adopt a “gay identity” they reject.

The law does not require a counselor to advise any clients, sexual confused or otherwise, to adopt a gay identity. The law simply says that counselors may help clients explore their their identity but does not prescribe an outcome. This law does not prevent clients from deciding they are gay or not gay. It simply prevents therapists from applying interventions that are explicitly designed to changed their sexual orientation.

It seems obvious that Barber’s objection here is based on the fact that he doesn’t understand the proper role of a counselor. Counselors don’t tell clients what identities they should adopt. Such paternalistic approaches would probably put a counselor at risk for a disciplinary action even without SB 1172.

I am not sure the law will pass constitutional muster and will depend in part on how the court rules on the professional-client speech issues. For this post, the merits of the law are not the point. Rather, an accurate description is at issue. Furthermore, exploiting one of the most heinous cases of our time is irresponsible.

  • William

    Many thanks for exposing that lie which has been doing the rounds recently, Warren.

  • ken

    Clearly Barber is trying to try the case in the “court of public opinion” rather than a court of law. He is yet another example of a questionable graduate from Liberty U. I wonder if any of their graduates actually understands the law or just how to spin media stories.

  • Zoe Brain

    .It seems obvious that Barber’s objection here is based on the fact that he doesn’t understand the proper role of a counselor.

    No, it’s based on homophobia. He’d say the same regardless of the facts.

    Remember, this is the group that aided and abetted child kidnapping.

  • David Cary Hart

    I am disappointed that you would even pay attention to someone so lacking in erudition as Mr. Barber. Had he not been fired from a low-level management position at Allstate, he would spend his weekends in front of the Port Authority Bus Terminal carrying a sign that reads “The End Is Near.”

  • Patrocles

    There’s a grain of truth in Barber’s article.

    If a boy is molested by a gay man, the boy may – as a lot of victims do – ask himself how he has incited the molestation. Also, molestors tend to suggest to their victims that “you want it, too”. All that may cause the boy to ask himself if he is gay, too.

    That’ seems to be what Barber terms “sexual confusion”. His allegation to Sandusky is not wrong, insofar; even if I wouldn’t maintain anything about the frequency of such cases.

    In these cases of sexual confusion, it’s a bit difficult to decide what the counselor is to do. Should he try to detect the “authentic” sexual orientation of the boy (a kind of research which is not very well proved, and which may be thought quite useless by adherents of post-modern “social constructivism”). Or should he stress the boys ability to choose himself what he wants to be?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

      Patrocles – It is fairly easy to decide what to do. Counselors are trained to help people with trauma and the trauma comes first, before questions or issues of orientation. If a counselor is treating abuse as an instrumental means of changing orientation, then they are making a significant clinical mistake. Orientation becomes clearer without any special interventions (using oranges, etc.) as the person matures.

      A real problem in this discussion is to assume that a counselor should tell teen clients what their orientation is if the client isn’t sure. I suspect some counselors do this on the affirming or non-affirming sides but I believe this is not necessary. On the other hand, if the client has determined their orientation, then it is not up to a counselor to talk him out of it.

      In any case, it is a false claim that the CA law prevents recovery from sexual abuse, whether the victim has SSA or not.

  • Matt Barber

    Warren – As Ronald Reagan might say: “There you go again.” I hate to be drawn in by your distraction techniques here, but this post reads like a list of “don’ts” from Logical Fallacies. You’ve created a number of nice straw men and then beat the stuffing out of them. I never claimed, for instance, that “the bill prevents counselors from helping kids who have been sexually abused;” or that “treatment for sexual abuse recovery is prohibited” by SB 1172. That’s an intentional distortion of what I wrote. You know this. Only someone with an agenda would make such a disingenuous misrepresentation. I pointed out that the bill prevents counselors from working with clients to diminish or change unwanted same-sex attractions or behaviors, even when such therapeutic ends are in accord with the client’s wishes, and even when those attractions clearly stem from sexual abuse (which is true). Big difference, Warren, but then, you know that. The only person “misleading” here is Warren Throckmorton. Furthermore, the CDC researcher example and the Archives of Sexual Behavior study represent but a small sampling from the overwhelming weight of evidence establishing “frequent” (though certainly not in every case) correlation between childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and same-sex attraction. Though a causal connection remains open for debate, I believe, again, the weight of the evidence supports it in many cases (as do many people in the mental health industry, though they dare not say so if they value their career). Additionally, the clear language of the law does require that counselors must provide only a “gay affirming” viewpoint when minor clients experience unwanted same-sex attractions. This is not only bad medicine, but is clearly unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. I also notice that you ignored, entirely, the shocking admission in GLSEN materials that so-called “sexual orientation” is “fluid” and “can change over time” – that “a homosexual may change to a bisexual or heterosexual identity.” Your problem seems to be with the fact that I made effective arguments using disturbing, though perfectly appropriate analogies. The real question is: what would drive a man who claims to be a Bible-believing Christian to defend an indefensible law that forces licensed therapists to “cause one of these little ones to stumble” by affirming homosexual sin. What happened in your life, Warren, that has made you become an advocate for homosexual sin? Be careful, sir. I understand it’s difficult to swim with a Millstone around your neck.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Matt – If you are not arguing that counseling for sexual abuse recovery is prohibited by SB 1172, then why attach Jerry Sandusky’s name to it? In your article, you write

    The connection between homosexual abuse and “gay identity” is undeniable.

    and

    The critical importance of stopping SB 1172 and similar legislation springing up elsewhere becomes especially clear when one considers that such sexual confusion is frequently caused by sexual molestation at the hands of homosexual pedophiles like Jerry Sandusky (hence the moniker: “Jerry Sandusky laws”).

    You do in fact say that SSA is “frequently caused” by sexual molestation. While it is possible that some sexual confusion might be triggered by an abusive incident, why would make the connection in the context of SB 1172 unless you wanted to convince the reader that implementation of the bill will prevent counseling for such trauma?

    If you are not making arguments linking SB 1172 with child sexual abuse, then why bring it up at all?

    Your comment above continues to make it clear that you do not understand the proper role of a counselor. The language of the law does not require a particular identity outcome because counselors are not expected by ethical code or law to promote identities for clients. The law requires “sexual orientation neutral” interventions. Neutrality is not affirmation of a gay identity or non-affirmation of one. The plain language of the law requires interventions which are neutral on identity and orientation.

    Neutrality is a concept that is difficult for evangelicals and your response here demonstrates that. Apparently, for you, neutrality means affirmation. At heart, we have a significant disagreement about how Christians should operate in the public square.

    In any case, the law does not say counselors must affirm, it says counselors must use neutral interventions.

    On the fluidity question, I have never disagreed that some people are more fluid than others. However, that is not what reparative therapists really believe. They believe all people are heterosexual and that homosexuality is “sexual confusion” or the “false self” as Nicolosi says. They don’t believe in fluidity and if the other side is smart they will use ample references to demonstrate this.

    I suspect you believe you understand the nuances of reparative therapy and the claims of proponents, but it is obvious to me that you all don’t. You are defending interventions here that you would probably not defend in any other arena. It is only in the sexuality area that evangelicals defend Freud and his derivative ideas, as well as defend Gestalt interventions which have been demonstrated to be harmful by solid research.

  • Matt Barber

    Warren, There is nothing neutral about this or any other Sandusky Law. That you would claim as much betrays your own lack of understanding about law in general. Here’s the controlling language. It shackles both counselor and client and prescribes only a “gay” affirming viewpoint or outcome: “(b) (1) ‘Sexual orientation change efforts’ means any practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.” What if the client understands that the “romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex,” they feel stem from having been sexually abused multiple times by an adult male? What if the client does not wish to adopt a “gay sexual orientation,” and, instead, wants to come to terms with the cause of the same-sex attraction and work toward diminishing or changing those attractions and feelings? Under SB 1172, both counselor and client are left with only one choice: “Tough luck, you’re gay. Get over it.” If the therapist works to help the client achieve his goal, the therapist is in violation of the law. That you refuse to either see this (or to admit it in the event you do see it) calls into question whether you’re interested in getting to the truth or the matter, or putting the same spin on it that we see coming from the likes of Wayne Besen and other radical activists. Again I ask, Warren. What is it in your life that has caused you to abandon Biblical-Christianity and adopt a postmodern sexual relativist worldview?

  • Boo

    Why don’t you answer Warren’s questions Matt?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Matt wrote:

    What if the client understands that the “romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex,” they feel stem from having been sexually abused multiple times by an adult male? What if the client does not wish to adopt a “gay sexual orientation,” and, instead, wants to come to terms with the cause of the same-sex attraction and work toward diminishing or changing those attractions and feelings? Under SB 1172, both counselor and client are left with only one choice: “Tough luck, you’re gay. Get over it.” If the therapist works to help the client achieve his goal, the therapist is in violation of the law.

    This scenario is bad counseling practice. Your description makes treatment for sexual abuse to be an instrumental means to what apparently is the real goal of a counselor who would operate this way – sexual orientation change.

    A competent counselor will take clients where they are. If the client is struggling with issues relating to sexual abuse then the counselor will take those first and let the orientation issues sort themselves out. If the client’s SSA is reduced or eliminated by that process then so be it. If the interventions are sexual orientation neutral (the exact language of the law) then the counselor is in no jeopardy.

    There are good reasons why the scenario you describe is bad practice and likely to be enacted in reparative therapists offices and rarely elsewhere. A main reason is because such practice invites false memories of sexual abuse. When a counselor indicates to a client that sexual abuse is one cause of homosexuality, this creates a climate where such ideas can be manufactured through the highly emotive techniques used by some reparative therapists. I am sure you are familiar with the Jonah case in NJ. You only have to look there for an illustration of what kinds of techniques you are defending in court.

    If a client has been sexually molested, it is a tragedy that often requires treatment. Clients can legitimately be told that addressing the abuse may help clear up any sexual confusion they feel without telling them that their sexual orientation will change if they heal from the abuse. In fact, it is cruel to promise or imply this. I have worked with adult clients who were told this by reparative therapists. Those clients went through the reparative therapy, sometimes at great expense, healed from the abuse but were still gay.

    In any case, I am not refusing to see your point. You don’t have one to see.

  • Teresa

    Wow, this is a great thread, read from top to bottom. Warren, your explication about what therapists do in the case of sexual abuse; how that’s a totally separate issue from sexual orientation; how therapy’s goal should be neutral concerning direct orientation change for any number of reasons … a great thread. I learned a lot from this.

    Warren, what do conservative Christians experiencing same sex attractions do to not internalize a certain amount of homophobia (hate that word, btw)? How does a person with same sex attractions, choosing celibacy not experience some sort of cognitive dissonance about who they are and how they choose to respond to who they are?

    BTW, Warren, you have a delightful sense of humor … sometimes, delightfully snarky. Love that.

  • Matt Barber

    Good grief, Warren. Though I doubt it will help, let’s try this one more time: 1) Boy molested by man; 2) Boy begins to experience same-sex attraction; 3) Boy does not want same-sex attraction; 4) Boy does not identify as “gay”; 5) Boy does not wish to identify as “gay”; 6) Boy goes to therapist to get help in diminishing or removing same-sex attraction; 7) SB 1172 makes this illegal.

    If this doesn’t help you understand, nothing will.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Matt: Again, for you as a clinical matter, this is hypothetical. For me, I have over 30 years of clinical experience dealing with situations like this, either with children or with adults recalling such events.

    And so, I can tell you that it is what transpires between step 6 and step 7 that is relevant. If the interventions to assist the boy with recovery from sexual molestation were sexual orientation neutral then the counselor would not run afoul of the law. If the counselor said we are going to change your orientation by helping you recover from this abuse, then he might run afoul of the law.

    A lot depends on the boy. If the boy had no SSA before the abuse but did afterwards, then one should address the SSA without claiming sexual orientation change. The SSA would be considered a reaction to the abuse and treatment of the abuse might see a reduction in the SSA without even dealing with questions of sexual orientation. Most counselors/psychologists would say such a boy was not gay just because he experienced some SSA.

    One issue about which where we might agree is that I think these laws would be strengthened by including a definition of sexual orientation because simply experiencing sexual attractions/emotional feelings for someone of the same sex does not by itself mean one is gay.

    But back to your scenario, as a clinician, I believe it would be quite possible to address the boy’s sexual confusion without ever engaging in sexual orientation change efforts. In fact, that is how I work in such situations.

  • William

    Good grief, Matt. Though I doubt it will help, let’s try this: 1) Boy molested by man. 2) Boy begins to experience same-sex attraction. 3) Boy does not want same-sex attraction. 4) Boy does not identify as “gay”. 5) Boy does not wish to identify as “gay”. 6) Boy goes to therapist to get help in diminishing or removing same-sex attraction.7) Therapist knows perfectly well that there is no verified means of diminishing or removing same-sex attraction and does not assume that boy’s same-sex attraction either is or is not caused by molestation, but offers to treat boy for trauma caused by molestation and does so. EITHER 7) boy recovers from trauma and same sex-attraction disappears, OR 8) boy recovers from trauma and same-sex attraction remains. 9) All this remains perfectly legal under SB 1172.

    If this doesn’t help you understand, nothing will.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

      William – More succinct than my answer and well said.

  • Teresa

    Warren said:

    One issue about which where we might agree is that I think these laws would be strengthened by including a definition of sexual orientation because simply experiencing sexual attractions/emotional feelings for someone of the same sex does not by itself mean one is gay

    .

    Really? OK, now I’m really confused. Setting aside the emotional feelings piece of the sentence quoted above, which I think I understand; Warren, are you using the word gay here as shorthand for homosexual, or something entirely different, such as being ‘bi’? Would you say that simply having sexual attractions to the opposite sex does not by itself mean one is str8?

    Can you give us a good definition of sexual orientation? Maybe, that’s why I’m confused.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

      Teresa: All I mean is that having attractions to the same sex as a teen might not mean that one is essentially gay. Bisexual is a possibility. Situational factors, especially with some women, might lead to experiences of attraction. And there is some research that indicates sexually abused straight boys can experience SSA for a time. However, this experience is relatively easy to distinguish in practice from the boy who is SSA without precursor.

  • Emily K

    Well said, William, but Barber would only counter that if the boy is still gay, the trauma isn’t actually healed (despite a probable disagreement by said therapist).

    Barber’s real goal is to associate a reviled sexual predator with “unrepentant” (read: “out”) gay people in the public consciousness, so that we are just as reviled.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I respect Warren for ignoring the personal attacks on him questioning his life/faith. Instead he rose above and stayed on topic. Hard to do since most of us would have a tendency to lash back.

    Kudos Warren for not getting sucked into a personal discussion and instead informing us about the science of psychology as it relates to sexual orientation. There are very few places I feel confident that I am being accurately informed and that is why I come here, to be accurately informed, I’m not interested in reading personal drama as Matt tried to steer the conversation to. Just stick to the science, that is why your readers come here.

  • Boo

    Teresa- Sexual orientation isn’t simply three hard and fast categories, it’s really more of a continuum. I experience the occasional mild “twitch” with regard to certain guys, but I’m still definitely lesbian.

  • Wayne Besen

    Barber has a firm worldview and has little interest of letting science or rational thought get in the way of it. He believes homosexuality is wrong and all his statements about the subject are based on this false premise. His defense of reparative therapy and his ostensible embrace of science is merely tactical (evidenced by his flimsy grasp of the topic).

    Reparative therapy is about the worst form of therapy for a person struggling with sexual abuse. What such people need are real therapists who are interested in helping the client. What Barber and NARTH offer are ideologues who care more about pushing their worldview onto clients than actually solving their problems. This is why minors should not be in the clutches of such practitioners.

    Finally, Matt’s personal attacks on Throckmorton are simply mean-spirited and have no place in a civil discussion.

  • Wayne Besen

    I’m going to pose a couple of questions for Matt Barber.

    1) Richard Cohen is supported by JONAH, People Can Change, PFOX, and in the past NARTH sold his book and let him teach a seminar at their Washington, DC annual meeting. Since you are seem embrace science — do you support the antics and “therapy” of Cohen?

    2) NARTH therapist, James E. Phelan has a workbook, “Practical Exercises For Men In Recovery of Same-Sex Attraction (SSA),” that is sold on NARTH’s website. In it he offers a comprehensive list of 236 activities clients can participate in whenever they feel homosexual urges. This list includes: Bowling, singing to myself, watching the sky, reading maps, caring for houseplants, going to a revival or crusade, seeing famous people, crying, seeing or smelling a flower or plant, going to a drive-thru (Dairy Queen, McDonalds, etc.), walking barefoot, bird watching, smiling at people, playing Frisbee, and going to auctions. (Pgs. 93-97)

    Do you believe sending gay men to Dairy Queen when they are aroused is good therapy?

    3) Phelan tells clients to “develop a [masturbation] action plan ASAP,” lest they relapse. Matt, do you support a masturbation action plan?

    4) Here is what Phelan instructs clients to tell their wives: “It is up to you to help educate her about your needs. Tell her, ‘I need to be the man of the house. Let me be the man of the house.’ Dominant women only demasculinize men. A man has got to be the lion of the den.” (p. 61)

    Matt, do you and Liberty University agree with NARTH that dominant women demasculanize men?

    I’d love to know what “scientific” parts of NARTH’s program you agree with? And, why you claim to represent science while seeming to embrace Richard Cohen?

    Looking forward to your reply.

  • Boo

    Don’t forget NARTH founder Joseph Nicolosi’s scientific claim that homosexuality can be caused by fear of tall bridges and phones.

  • Teresa

    StraightGrandmother says:

    I respect Warren for ignoring the personal attacks on him questioning his life/faith. Instead he rose above and stayed on topic. Hard to do since most of us would have a tendency to lash back.

    Kudos Warren for not getting sucked into a personal discussion and instead informing us about the science of psychology as it relates to sexual orientation. There are very few places I feel confident that I am being accurately informed and that is why I come here, to be accurately informed, I’m not interested in reading personal drama as Matt tried to steer the conversation to. Just stick to the science, that is why your readers come here.

    Thanks for this comment, SGM. Thanks for articulating what so many of us who read and comment here look for.

    I so much appreciate Warren and this blog. So much appreciate his dedication to honesty, truth, and patience in the face of some real personal trials as a researcher and therapist and blog owner.

  • Ann

    Finally, Matt’s personal attacks on Throckmorton are simply mean-spirited and

    have no place in a civil discussion.

    Wayne,

    I agree that personal attacks are simply mean-spirited and have no place in a civil discussion and that is why I am surprised to hear those words coming from you. I remember the sting of your many personal attacks on Dr. Throckmorton and others.

  • David Roberts

    I have no doubt that SB 1172 prevents conversion therapists from doing what they want to do — that’s rather the point. But it does not interfere in the slightest with genuine, reputable therapy.

  • Wayne Besen

    Ann:

    What I find mean-spirited and personal is that you leveled unsubstantiated charges of me “attacking” people without providing examples. This, in my view, is unprofessional and and the definition of a personal attack.

    Perhaps what you view as a personal attack is nothing more than astute observation on my part — one you are not willing to make. For instance, it is not a personal attack when I question how Randy Thomas could be so flamboyant when the core of Exodus’ materials deal directly with increasing masculinity in men and femininity in women.

    It is not a personal attack, but a necessity, to point out the inconsistency of Alan Chambers’ statements and record over the years. (Notice such so-called “attacks” have dropped substantially as Chambers has offered a more realistic view of Exodus this year)

    It is not a personal attack to point out that Peter LaBarbera has a peculiar and bizarre fascination of gay male porn and S&M clubs — and keeps returning to Folsom Street Fair each year to take the same prurient pictures as “evidence” that he took the previous year(s).

    It is called honesty, journalism, and critical observation.

    The one case you mention with merit is that of Dr. Throckmorton. I had every reason to be suspicious of him, given the “I Do Exist” video and his various ties on the right. In the interest of protecting the LGBT community I went after him pretty hard, and I’m not sure how I could have changed that — because 9.9 out of 10 times my assessment would have been correct.

    However, in this particular case I happened to be wrong. Over time I have come to trust Dr. Throckmorton and respect his work. Thus, I regret and feel remorse over previous campaigns against him. I am sorry for getting it wrong in this instance and in some cases being unfair. And, as soon as I recognized my error I took immediate steps to correct my actions.

    That said, I can’t think of too many instances where I missed the mark. You are welcome to actually show examples to back your case. I’d be more than happy to defend my work — and I’m quite proud of TWO’s accomplishments.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

      Ann – I appreciate your coming to my defense. However, Wayne has taken steps to remedy things and there are no hard feelings. I can certainly understand his opposition to my work at that time given my defense of approaches that I now understand better and therefore oppose vigorously.

  • Dave

    Hmmm,

    The portion of the sentence quoted from the bill in the original post from section b1 that puts: “efforts to change behaviors” under orientation change restrictions would probably best be removed. Changing behaviors .. I assume .. would include changing moral behaviors ..ie. living in congruence with one’s faith values .. and thus should not IMO be restricted. The portion under #2 is well written and seems to allow a congruence model including exploration of identity issues.

    However the spin of trying to connect this with Jerry Sandusky is IMO the typical over the top rhetoric that unfortunately has become incredibly common place from certian parts of Christianity. How much better if we could be a calm clear voice rather than use worldly spin.

    Dave

  • StraightGrandmother

    Not to get to far off topic, but as a disinterested party (meaning I have never known anyone who wanted to change their sexual orientation, I only follow this because sexual minorities are denied equal civil rights and told that if they try hard enough they can change to straight, so I am trying to figure out if that is true or not) as a disinterested party who reads a lot of gay news stories and blogs, the attacks on Alan Chambers and Exodus has diminished ever since AC separated from NARTH and Nicolosi, and has steered Exodus to a Christian Ministry and away from the practice of psychology. My esteem for Alan Chambers shot way up when he started being more truthful on a Faith Based claim to Praying Away the Gay. Alan is more truthful now and admits that people are most likely going to remain attracted to persons of their same sex.

    I come here because often times, by Warren being scientifically accurate, he exposes fraud and I want to know about fraudulent “therapies”.

  • Ann

    What I find mean-spirited and personal is that you leveled unsubstantiated charges of me “attacking” people without providing examples. This, in my view, is unprofessional and and the definition of a personal attack.

    Wayne,

    Your reputation precedes you – I am sure you know that. It will take time and tempered responses to regain the audience you have lost. The spin you put on tmy earlier comment is not surprising – I expected it.

    I am hoping with time and tempered responses, you can regain some of the audience you lost.

    Having said that – thank you for the fairness you have shown Dr. Throckmorton.

    However, I do want to thank you for

  • Ann

    However, Wayne has taken steps to remedy things and there are no hard feelings.

    Dr. Throckmorton,

    I am certainly glad to hear this and it does speak well of his character to do so and of your’s to receive it with such generosity.

  • Ann

    However, in this particular case I happened to be wrong. Over time I have come to trust Dr. Throckmorton and respect his work. Thus, I regret and feel remorse over previous campaigns against him. I am sorry for getting it wrong in this instance and in some cases being unfair. And, as soon as I recognized my error I took immediate steps to correct my actions.

    Wayne,

    I do want to thank you for this comment – I appreciate seeing this other side of you and it sure does speak well of your character. I have never heard you say anything like this before and am glad I have now. Thank you again

  • David Cary Hart

    I go back to my original comment (number four in the thread). Engaging Barber is pointless He is usually wrong and never uncertain. What my friend Wayne describes as a world view is achieved through a lack of intellectual curiosity that makes Ms. Palin seem erudite.

  • Patrocles

    By the way,

    Dr. Throckmorton’s distinction between SSA and sexual orientation might not be popular withe the more hardcore activists like Wayne Besen.

    For example, how can Besen decide that Peter LaBarbera is homosexually oriented and isn’t simply suffering from temporary SSA?

  • Boo

    Well 16+ years is a long time for it to be temporary.

    I, meanwhile, maintain that it is more likely that LaBarbera actually has some sort of fetish for observing “sin.”

  • Patrocles

    I thought of “temporary returning” SSA.

  • Patrocles

    Dr. Throckmorton says:

    “Counselors don’t tell clients what identities they should adopt.”

    That’s a way of avoiding the problem by oversimplification.

    For example, Wikipedia says that in “gay affirmative therapy” the therapist encourages the clients “to accept their sexual orientation”.

    I’d say that adopting a sexual identity means the same as accepting a sexual orientation. If so, the gay affirmative therapist does eventually what Dr. Throckmorton denies.

    I don’t say that that is untenable. He may do it on his own assumption about the gay orientation of the client; or he may do it on the client’s own assumption about his gayness; and in both cases the assumption may be based on a critical examination of the real facts. I suppose that Dr. Throckmorton and I both support a critical examination of the real facts, but that’s not a definite part of the description of “gay affirmative therapy”.

    On the other hand, what’s about a therapist who (after a more or less critical examination) assumes that the client only beleives to be gay? Will he really be protected by the law, if he encourages the client NOT to accept his believed gayness?

  • ken

    Patrocles says:

    January 17, 2013 at 10:45 am

    “I’d say that adopting a sexual identity means the same as accepting a sexual orientation.”

    You can also say “the world is flat”, “the sun rises in the west” and “black is white”. Doesn’t make it true.

    Gay affirming therapy happens after the client has established that he is gay. It doesn’t tell the client he is gay.

    Likewise, a therapist can also help a client in determining what his orientation is, without telling the client “try to be straight” or “try to be gay” .

    “If so, the gay affirmative therapist does eventually what Dr. Throckmorton denies.”

    No it doesn’t. Gay affirmative therapy helps who are gay accept that and deal with any emotional problems they may have because of their orientation. Rather than the NARTH approach of “it is a terrible thing to be gay so we’ll make you straight.”

    “what’s about a therapist who (after a more or less critical examination) assumes that the client only beleives to be gay? Will he really be protected by the law, if he encourages the client NOT to accept his believed gayness?”

    This makes no sense. What do you mean by “believed gayness” or “believes to be gay”? A good therapist will listen to what a client says about his attractions, behaviours and identity. The therapist will explain what the various aspects of sexuality are and help the client understand what his orientation is.

  • William

    Encouraging clients to accept their sexual orientation is not the same thing as trying to decide for them what that sexual orientation is/ought to be, or telling them what identity they ought to adopt (whatever that may mean).

    Can you grasp the not very subtle difference?

  • David Blakeslee

    Very, very nice

    “However, in this particular case I happened to be wrong. Over time I have come to trust Dr. Throckmorton and respect his work. Thus, I regret and feel remorse over previous campaigns against him. I am sorry for getting it wrong in this instance and in some cases being unfair. And, as soon as I recognized my error I took immediate steps to correct my actions.”

    Also good

    “I can certainly understand his opposition to my work at that time given my defense of approaches that I now understand better and therefore oppose vigorously.”

    What an amazing and helpful journey Warren made.

  • Emily K

    “Temporary returning SSA”? Is that even a thing? So being gay is like having an arthritis flare-up? how is ones romantic and sexual attraction the same as MS or fibromyalgia? It’s not a disease or disorder.

  • Boo

    Well you know, it’s like someone can have just an average level of SSA but then Katee Sackhoff comes on the tv and the SSA just flares way up.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    @ David – Thanks, we need to catch up.

    @ Boo – Did I mention that I am glad you are commenting again?

    @ Ken, William – Yes.

    @ Emily K – Adds new meaning to the question, Where does it hurt?

    @ Matt B – Where’d you go?

  • Teresa

    Emily K said:

    “Temporary returning SSA”? Is that even a thing? So being gay is like having an arthritis flare-up?

    Thank heavens I wasn’t drinking my tea when I read this response. Beyond hilarious.

    Yes, Emily, take 2 pills and see your doctor in the morning … and, all will be str8 in the world, even you.

  • Boo

    Warren- my unemployment due to health problems is your gain.


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