Christopher Doyle Misinforms Public on New Jersey Sexual Reorientation Bill

Like Matt Barber before him, Christopher Doyle is misleading his evangelical peers about a New Jersey bill which would prohibit sexual orientation change efforts for minors. Here is what Doyle told Christian Post readers:

The bill is being dubbed the Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act, because when sexually abused children are denied treatment to resolve the symptoms of trauma, criminals like convicted pedophile and former Penn State University football coach Jerry Sandusky, go undiscovered, sometimes for decades.

If this legislation becomes law, monsters like Sandusky will have more protection to victimize, because children who develop SSA as a result of abuse may never tell their parents. They may never tell their parents because organizations such as Garden State Equality, the largest gay activist group in New Jersey, are indoctrinating young people to believe that homosexuality is in-born, and if a child believes they are born gay, then the possibility of resolving homosexual feelings that result from sex abuse may never enter their mind.

Either Doyle has not read Senate Bill 2278 or he is deliberately withholding information from his readers. The New Jersey bill specifically addresses the concern about abuse. The entire bill will legislative comment is below.

SENATE, No. 2278

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, 215th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED OCTOBER 15, 2012

Sponsored by:

Senator  RAYMOND J. LESNIAK, District 20 (Union)

Senator  STEPHEN M. SWEENEY, District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

Senator  LORETTA WEINBERG, District 37 (Bergen)

SYNOPSIS

Protects minors by prohibiting counseling attempts to change sexual orientation.

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

As introduced.

AN ACT concerning the protection of minors from counseling attempts to change sexual orientation and supplementing Title 45 of the Revised Statutes.

     BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

1.    a. A person who is licensed to provide professional counseling under Title 45 of the Revised Statutes, including, but not limited to, a psychiatrist, licensed practicing psychologist, certified social worker, licensed clinical social worker, licensed social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, certified psychoanalyst, or a person who performs counseling as part of the person’s professional training for any of these professions, shall not engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a person under 18 years of age.

b.    As used in this section, “sexual orientation change efforts” means the practice of seeking to change a person’s sexual persuasion, including, but not limited to, efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward a person of the same gender; except that sexual orientation change efforts shall not include counseling that:

(1) provides acceptance, support, and understanding of a person or facilitates a person’s coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual persuasion-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and

(2) does not seek to change sexual persuasion.

2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

STATEMENT

This bill prohibits counseling to change the sexual orientation of a minor.

Under the provisions of the bill, a person who is licensed to provide professional counseling, including, but not limited to, a psychiatrist, licensed practicing psychologist, certified social worker, licensed clinical social worker, licensed social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, certified psychoanalyst, or a person who performs counseling as part of the person’s professional training, is prohibited from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with a person under 18 years of age.

The bill defines “sexual orientation change efforts” as the practice of seeking to change a person’s sexual persuasion,including, but not limited to, efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward a person of the same gender.  The term, however, does not include counseling that: provides acceptance, support, and understanding of a person or facilitates a person’s coping, social support, identity exploration and development, including sexual persuasion-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices; and does not seek to change sexual persuasion.

Please note the section which addresses the issue of sexual abuse:

…except that sexual orientation change efforts shall not include counseling that:

(1) provides acceptance, support, and understanding of a person or facilitates a person’s coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual persuasion-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices;

The bill correctly separates sexual abuse recovery from sexual reorientation. If a person is confused in their attractions after a trauma, then recovery from the trauma may bring some clarity to sexual attractions. This facilitation of coping and identity exploration is allowed by the law. Furthermore, the law allows therapists to discuss issues surrounding abuse (“unlawful conduct”).

In his Christian Post article, Doyle takes his opponents to task for presenting false witness. However, it seems clear that he has misrepresented the bill in his comments. Oppose the bill if you believe you should but don’t do it for false reasons.

  • Lynn David

    Warren, the bill’s pseudonym came from Gregory Quinlan of New Jersey Family First, who we know blames a ‘neighbor boy’ for his introduction to homosexuality. All they’re doing is playing on the old rubric that a homosexual orientation always comes from some trauma. No doubt Doyle believes that to be true as well.

  • William Birch

    “Either Doyle has not read Senate Bill 2278 or he is deliberately withholding information from his readers.”

    I’m bettin’ on the latter. Doyle, over at least the last year or so, has lost his credibility fast and hard. I wrote a post on his article on “The Ex-Gay Problem: You Can Never Leave?” wherein he seems to miss the point entirely regarding “ex-gay”-anything. He himself is not a true “ex-gay,” since “gay-ness” still abides within him, as he himself let slip: http://theepiscopalian.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-ex-gay-problem-critical-response.html

    Your conclusion is spot on!

  • Patrocles

    The bill seems to imply that it’s allowed to support a boy’s “identity exploration” after sexual abuse. I don’t know what the lawmakers really wanted to say. But friendly interpretation may allow the following: A boy reminds, after abuse, that he has been sexually aroused, and now feels doomed to be or become gay. This boy might be supported in “identity exploration” with the possible result that he feels he’s not doomed to be gay (as an identity).

    As said before, that may be an over-interpretation of the bill.

    But if we really admit that a boy might have been sexually aroused by a man and not be gay (as an identity), why then constrain that state to the aftermath of sexual abuse? Why shouldn’t the same not happen to any other boy?

    And then what’s with the idea of fixed sexual orientations on which the bill as a whole relies?

  • David Cary Hart

    Neither Barber nor Doyle give a rodent’s derrière about factual accuracy. That’s not why they exist.

  • Richard Willmer

    There is a real problem with what many of see as the ‘agenda-ridden’ nature of dialectic, claim and/or counter-claim.

    Here’s another example of where things are presented in way primarily to ‘advance an agenda’: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/01/2012_gm_auto_sales_worse_than_any_bush_year.html

    What Gestetner (the author of the above article) is not taking into account is this kind of thing: http://www.reliableplant.com/Read/12136/gm-continues-overall-improvement-in-productivity

    (And let us not forget that a very significant number – 20,000+? – of those working at GM in 2008 have lost their jobs as part of the restructuring of the company … but this was surely much better than everyone losing their jobs!)

    And people on ‘the Right’ then wonder why some of us are somewhat sceptical. (Of course, ‘the Left’ can – and do – play the same game … and maybe what really upsets ‘the Right’ most just now is that ‘the Left’ is doing it in a more reasoned and effective way?)

  • Christopher Doyle

    Well, I think you incorrectly use the word “mislead” in this article Warren. I am not misleading anyone. It is my opinion, and that of our coalition, that S2278 will provide protection to pedophiles like Jerry Sandusky because young people will be denied access to sexual orientation change effort (SOCE) therapies. If these therapies are outlawed, young people will more and more believe they are born “gay” because activists are putting forth this argument, which is not factual. If young people believe they are born gay, they will not attempt to change their homosexual orientation, sometimes which results (in part) from sexual trauma from pedophiles such as Sandusky. Thus, less reporting of sexual abuse to counselors and more access for Sanduskys to victimize. Warren, your opinion may be different, but you over reach when you say I am misleading. I am not misleading, this is my opinion, and my opinion counts for just as much as yours.

  • Christopher Doyle

    The main point here is that New Jersey gay activists are seeking to limit a mental health provider’s duties, which is to work with the client’s goals. If a client presents a homosexual orientation based on trauma from a pedophile, it would be illegal for a counselor to say to that client, “let’s work on healing this trauma AND helping you overcome your unwanted same-sex attractions that have resulted”…this is absolute sexual anarchy! Make no mistake Warren, this issue is being fueled by gay political activism, not science.

  • Patrocles

    Mr. Doyle, obviously, doesn’t think that the bill’s exemption about “identity exploration” will have much effect.

    Dr. Throckmorton on the other hand thinks it will.

    My question: Since when can “identity” be explored? I understand that a boy can explore his emotions, his state of mind etc. But do you explore your identity – isn’t identity just that beyond emotions, state of mind etc. which you don’t explore but construct (which implies an element of decision)?

    The bill’s choice of words seems rather confusing to me – and that will be most unhelpful for people who appeal to it afterwards!

  • Boo

    So if a young person believes they are born gay, they will not report sexual abuse? On what planet does that make any sense? Sorry Mr. Doyle, but you are most definitely being misleading, And you’re digging yourself in even deeper when you try to justify it with that kind of nonsense.

  • Boo

    Patrocles- there’s a difference between feeling arousal from a particular act and one’s predominant sexual attraction pattern- i.e. sexual orientation. And it states wuite clearly up there that therapists can assist with identity exploration even in kids who have not been sexually abused. What they would not be allowed to do is engage in interventions designed to change that identity.

  • Christopher Doyle

    The main point here is that New Jersey gay activists are seeking to limit a mental health provider’s duties, which is to work with the client’s goals. If a client presents a homosexual orientation based on trauma from a pedophile, it would be illegal for a counselor to say to that client, “let’s work on healing this trauma AND helping you overcome your unwanted same-sex attractions that have resulted”…this is absolute sexual anarchy! Make no mistake Warren, this issue is being fueled by gay political activism, not science.

  • Tom Van Dyke

    Warren, your opinion may be different, but you over reach when you say I am misleading. I am not misleading, this is my opinion, and my opinion counts for just as much as yours.

    Well, Mr. Doyle, sincve he’s a DR. of psychology, that’s questionable. Regardless, it’s you who overreach with

    S2278 will provide protection to pedophiles like Jerry Sandusky because young people will be denied access to sexual orientation change effort

    It’s tempting to invoke the bogeyman of Jerry Sandusky, but you have no knowledge of his actual victims, that he “turned” any of them gay.

    Further, Sandusky as a metaphor is still an overreach, because there’s no hard science to support that such molestations “turn” anyone gay. You’ve assumed a burden of proof you cannot meet.

    Better you’d have put the burden of proof on the authors of the law that purports that it

    Protects minors by prohibiting counseling attempts to change sexual orientation.

    The science on that is questionable too–there are at least anecdotal testimonies that some have “changed” orientation, and further let us note that, “science” knows little about lesbianism, which could have roots in childhood molestation–although more likely sexual abuse by an older male on a younger female.

    This law is as much ideology as provable science. You should’ve put the burden of proof on its authors.

    By going for the splashy but unfounded invocation of Jerry Sandusky, you hurt your argument, if not killed it—meanwhile letting the authors of the bill get away with politicizing science. Your tactics could not have been worse.

  • David Pickup LMFT

    Dr. Throckmorton’s comments do not make sense. They are obtuse at best. This bill, exactly like the CA bill SB1172, outlaws any efforts to “reduce or eliminate” homosexual feelings in therapy. Since homosexual feelings frequently arise in some children who are molested, fondled, or raped by older same-sex men, this means that at least PART of their abuse can not be addressed in therapy to help that child reduce or eliminate homosexual feelings. Unconsciously, or unintentionally, those who approve of this bill are allowing or condoning children in this particular situation to be abused further. Just talking about the abuse, comforting the child, helping him with shame issues (which are all wonderful) is not the only thing that needs to be addressed. It is an aspect of sexual abuse if homosexual feelings come up for a child as a result of same-sex abuse. This law stops these hurting children from getting the help that they need and have specifically requested. How can it be more obvious from the text of the bill?

  • stephen

    If Mr Doyle is lost to fantasy I don’t see why children must suffer. Nothing in that paragraph was opinion. It was all nonsense presented as fact. Though I can pity his ignorance I pity his victims more.

  • William Birch

    “S2278 will provide protection to pedophiles like Jerry Sandusky because young people will be denied access to sexual orientation change effort (SOCE) therapies.”

    Where is the connection between the bill “protecting” pedophiles because people will be denied access to SOCE? There is a causal statement here without the actual presenting of a viable cause.

    “If these therapies are outlawed, young people will more and more believe they are born ‘gay’ because activists are putting forth this argument, which is not factual.”

    No one can know this as a future stance for certain, because no one is omniscient but God. Again, there is a yet another causal statement without an actual presentation of a viable cause.

    Moreover, Doyle states that the “born that way” theory is “not factual,” and by “factual” I am assuming he means scientific. But from his own article — the one I referenced and critiqued above: “The Ex-Gay Problem: You Can Never Leave?” — he states: “These feelings [SSA] are the result of many factors, mostly environmental and familial, mixed-in with one genetic factor, a sensitive temperament. I make this claim not with a preponderance of scientific evidence, but with the clinical experience of my own practice. . . .”

    So, some of his own theories are “not factual,” but he presents them anyway. That would indicate, then, that the “born that way” theory is just as viable as Doyle’s theory, would it not?

    Furthermore, since no one can control the genetics with which they are born, and Doyle insists that possessing a sensitive nature is a genetic factor contributing to one’s homosexual attractions, then in some sense the homosexual male is born that way, right?

    Though challenging, I am trying to be respectful, while holding the “ex-gay” crowd accountable to their own statements. I see far too much inconsistencies and double standards coming from “ex-gay” ministries to take any of them seriously. Like Doyle, I, too, have my own opinions, and am grateful to be able to share them here.

  • ken

    Christopher Doyle says:

    May 23, 2013 at 9:05 am

    “Well, I think you incorrectly use the word “mislead” in this article Warren. I am not misleading anyone.”

    Yes, you are misleading people. Possibly even yourself.

    Others have already pointed out how your claims that the bill would help pedophiles are misleading. Another example from your post:

    “First, in 2008 the American Psychological Association stated that homosexuality was not an immutable part of a person’s character:”

    The APA made no such statement. While you are correct that the APA (and many others) have said there are many factors that determine a person’s orientation and no one really knows how a person becomes gay or straight, that says nothing about the mutablity/immutability of orientation.

  • Dave

    @Christopher Doyle .. As Warren has explained elsewhere on this blog .. standard psychological counseling would address any trauma a sexually abused individual had experienced. So if there was any sexual confusion coming from that trauma it would be dealt with there. If .. after counsel for trauma .. same sex feelings remained … that would be a different issue .. re: sexual orientation which the law forbids counselors from trying to change. This appears to be like the California bill as it only applies to proffessional counselors. Unlicensed quacks using old disproven psychological techniques would still be able to do their snake oil thing. And faith based ministries (which in my opinion often run the risk of introducing a lot of shame in this area) are also free to apply their particular denomination’s philosophical theological approach in counseling and spiritual direction.

    Pedophiles aren’t protected, people who have been traumatized by pedophiles will be treated, and faith based ministries will still be able to practice their ministry in this area under this law. So .. Yes .. your respone to this bill is very misleading if not outright deceitful.

    • David Pickup LMFT

      Absolutely incorrect. You’re not really hearing or listening to the specific requirements of the bill being proposed. ANY type of therapy that seeks to reduce homosexual feelings is outlawed by the bill, even if it’s only the type of therapy you suggested in your post. So if any therapy helps the child reduce or eliminate homosexual feelings in abuse situations would be illegal. This law therefor is potentially furthering the abuse of the child. I invite you to look at it from the hurt child’s perspective. See this through his/her eyes.

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

        Mr. Pickup – You are ignoring the plain language of the bill.

        except that sexual orientation change efforts shall not include counseling that:

        (1) provides acceptance, support, and understanding of a person or facilitates a person’s coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, including sexual persuasion-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices;

        The bill allows for therapy focused on abuse recovery but prohibits intentional efforts to change orientation. If the identity exploration and abuse recovery leads in some manner to a reduction in SSA, that would not be prohibited by the bill.

        I think the problem is that in your mind any left over SSA is due to trauma or some pathological process. Therapy which views SSA as pathological is one thing the bill apparently attempts to prohibit.

    • inca nitta

      Dave,

      Is Doyle being deceitful by stating that this bill in New Jersey is being fueled by liberal gay political activism and not reliable science? Well, fyi, liberal gay political activists have a strong influence in mental health profession where they promote their own deceptions, such as that religious beliefs that reject homosexual behaviors lead to large number of suicides among gay youths, therefore people will strong conservative religious beliefs who do not accept the practice of homosexuality should be barred from mental health profession. But people like you seem to be buying it. This is strange.

      As for this bill, while it says that minors who have been victims of sexual abuse can talk about their feelings, it does not say what mental health professionals are allowed and what they are disallowed to say to minors if they might have unwanted SSA because of this. Therefore, it’s reasonable to conclude, due to bill’s apparent vagueness, that Doyle, Dr. T, and you can come to totally different interpretations of it.

      • ken

        inca nitta says:

        May 25, 2013 at 6:18 am

        “Is Doyle being deceitful by stating that this bill in New Jersey is being fueled by liberal gay political activism and not reliable science? ”

        Yes, he is. Although, there are undoubtedly liberal gay political activists (and other activists as well) pushing for the bill, it is deceitful to focus on that an imply there is no science behind it. There is a great deal of research into sexual orientation, much of which shows the theories behind SOCE are at best faulty and a serious lack of research supporting the efficacy of SOCE.

  • Christopher Doyle
  • William

    The object of this proposed legislation is to protect minors “by prohibiting counseling attempts to change sexual orientation.” This clearly includes attempts to change a minor’s actual or apparent heterosexual orientation to a homosexual one. In point of fact, young people who want to change their heterosexual orientation – whether or not they believe that they were actually born “straight” – must be rare indeed.

    Some of those who came forward to report that they had been sexually abused by the late Sir Jimmy Savile were male, but the majority (82%) were female, and 80% were children or young people at the time of the incidents. The alleged incidents of sexual abuse by Savile span six decades. Are we to take it, Mr Doyle, that the reason why so few of the females reported the abuse at the time (and those who did were not taken seriously) was that they believed that they were born “straight”? And that if these therapies are outlawed for minors, even more young females will believe that they are born “straight” and that this will lead to even less reporting of heterosexual abuse to counsellors, and thus more access for men like Savile to victimize?

    • David Pickup LMFT

      Your words only make sense if you believe that homosexuality is inborn. Since many people sincerely know that, for them, homosexuality is not inborn but has causes that they want to address, your post doesn’t apply to them.

      • smrnda

        How would a person know if their homosexuality was inborn or not? Subjective perceptions and the ability to fit things into narratives aren’t really conclusive proof.

  • Boo

    Huh Christopher, I thought you said you and Warren were each just expressing opinions that were each just as valid? Now suddenly he’s whining? It didn’t take much for you to show your true colors, did it?

  • Warren Throckmorton

    In Doyle’s rant, he admits that SB 2278 does not prohibit sexual abuse recovery:

    Sure, counselors can help them heal the trauma caused by pedophiles such as Sandusky, but what if the minor’s goal is to specifically heal the SSA that results from multiple factors, including the trauma? For example, a minor’s goal might be to resolve the SSA brought on by sexual abuse AS WELL as resolve unwanted homosexual desires that may not occur from the sex abuse, such as familial and environmental factors.

    Now he brings in “multiple factors.” It is clear that the intent of invoking Jerry Sandusky is to distract people. When he admits that kids can get help for abuse, he is forced to disclose that what he really wants to do is apply his Cohenesque theory of SSA causation and work directly to change orientation.

    That didn’t take long.

  • William Birch

    That didn’t take long.

    Ha! Oh my. And, once again, credibility is clear out the window.

    When he admits that kids can get help for abuse, he is forced to disclose that what he really wants to do is apply his Cohenesque theory of SSA causation and work directly to change orientation.

    So, then, there’s an agenda at work here — an agenda that is kept from being explicitly confessed. That’s called manipulation, I believe.

  • William Birch

    I also think Doyle’s rhetoric-by-means-of “QUOTATION MARKS” around “Christian” before someone’s profession and name is very telling. Is Doyle not suggesting that such an individual — “whiners” who balk at his “ex-gay” opinions (lies) — is not a genuine Christian? Very telling indeed.

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

    To all: I am sorry some of the comments got held up in moderation. I am trying to figure out why that happened.

  • Emily K

    Doyle’s assertion that this bill prevents harming children is based on the incorrect and well-disproven hypothesis that being molested by someone of the same sex alters one’s sexual orientation. It does not. Sexual orientation is a benign occurrence, not a trauma-induced condition.

    Children who come out as gay- or are outed against their will- should not be forced into disproven, harmful quackery like “ex-gay” therapy by parents or guardians who are too myopic and stubborn to know better. THAT’S what the bill is about.

    • David Pickup LMFT

      Emily, where is the proof for your assertion. What study, whose conclusions? I’d like to see evidence you have that homosexual feelings do NOT arise is SOME children who have been sexually abused by grown same-sex persons. How could that be possible since part of the abuse takes place when a perpetrator sexually excites the child through physical stimulation? Also, where’s your proof that authentic Reparative Therapy, for instance is quackery? What study, what anecdotal evidence. I’d like to invite you to read some of the over 100 stories of therapeutic change on http://www.voices-of-change.org.

      • ken

        “where’s your proof that authentic Reparative Therapy, for instance is quackery? What study, what anecdotal evidence. ”

        “Quackery” means therapy that is NOT based on science. Thus, there would be no study to “prove quackery” rather it is an accusation that the therapy (RT for example) is NOT based on science. RT therapy is based on an outdated and unproven model of homosexuality (i.e. the old Freudian model of the weak/absent father and domineering mother). Which is why it and most of the other SOCE therapies fit the criteria for quackery.

  • Teresa

    As a woman with same sex attraction (SSA) I’m going to be a skunk in the woodpile here. First, we lack precision in definitions. If by ‘gay’ we mean same sex sexual behavior; then, yes, persons can be ex-gay. If, however, gay is simply shorthand for homosexual or same sex attracted; then, there is less likelihood that someone no longer has same sex attractions or is no longer homosexual … so, most likely someone is not ‘ex’ in the attraction department. Having a period of quiescence in attractions, whether str8 or SSA, is common and shouldn’t be used as an indicator of changing sexual attraction.

    But, here’s what troubles me in this proposed Bill SB 2278:

    The bill defines “sexual orientation change efforts” as the practice of seeking to change a person’s sexual persuasion,including, but not limited to, efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward a person of the same gender

    I don’t consider SSA a benign in the area of sexuality. So, I’m troubled by the bolded part of the above quote. For persons with a faith belief that discourages (rather a lite verb that is) same sex sexual behavior, I don’t see a problem with trying ‘to reduce’ same sex sexual or romantic feelings toward a person of the same sex. In fact, I would really encourage tools, be they therapy or whatever, in this regard.

    This Bill, in my opinion, is just too broad in its limitation of access to therapeutic options in the reduction of same sex attractions. Reduction of attractions is not change of orientation.

    So, what am I missing here? I know SITF is an alternative therapy for aligning one’s faith belief with sexual activity, but is all SOCE geared simply toward change of orientation?

    • David Pickup LMFT

      It doesn’t matter if all SOCE is geared toward change of sexual orientation or not because the bill states that all therapies in which the goal/actions are to attempt to reduce or eliminate homosexual feelings are illegal.

    • Tom Van Dyke

      Yes, Teresa, I was thinking specifically of your own previous comments at this blog when I commented above.

      Unfortunately, Christopher Doyle’s stupid argument invoking Jerry Sandusky gets all the attention and condemnation–and this unscientific and bad law gets away scot-free.

      This is how the game is played.

    • ken

      I think you are missing that the part you highlighted are only illegal if they are part of an effort to change a person’s orientation. Although, it is poorly worded. The CA version is much clearer:

      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.

  • stephen

    Teresa, you can live your life burdened by SSAs but for the rest of us being gay is an affectional orientation that is only partly defined by sex. I’m not unsympathetic but I will fight tooth and nail to stop obsessions like yours from defining the lives of young people just waking up to reality.

  • stephen

    ADD: Teresa, I don’t mean to be insulting.

    Comments expressed freely can seem more didactic than is the original intent. Let me put it this way: in the 20s Hoxey declared he’d found a cure for cancer by watching some of his horses eat a particular weed which had cured the cancer of one of them. Pokeweed? I forget. Anyhow, over the next 20 years Hoxey opened clinics across the country promising cures. Eventually the AMA shut him down and he moved to Mexico. The ‘reparative therapy’ movement is, it seems to me, the Hoxey clinic of our time. As with gay/straight pretenders, many of Hoxey’s patients declared their undying belief in his cure even as they died.

    We are entering a time when gay kids won’t grow up burdened by the stigma of shame we endured in the past. I will do what I can to help them achieve what I couldn’t. SSAs are part of the apparatus of that shame. I hope to see Nicolosi prosecuted and NARTH shut down.e

  • Teresa

    David Pickup stated:

    It doesn’t matter if all SOCE is geared toward change of sexual orientation or not because the bill states that all therapies in which the goal/actions are to attempt to reduce or eliminate homosexual feelings are illegal.

    I believe there is a qualitative difference in reduction vis-a-vis elimination, David P. So, in my opinion, it does matter.

    I don’t want to do a dueling banjos on the efficacy of reversing orientation or SOCE. My opinion, based on people with decades of experience which includes Warren, Alan Chambers, John Smid, et. al., is that complete elimination of same sex attraction is rare and tends more to women than men. (Actually, Dr. Lisa Diamond’s study indicated that for a few women orientation change happened spontaneously). Your mileage varies on this, David P., I’m sure; so, let’s leave complete reversal aside.

    Is the issue the DSM and the fact that homosexuality is no longer considered a mental health issue? In this area, just what are licensed therapists allowed to do, presently? My understanding is that a good therapist won’t tell a client that they can change a person’s orientation through therapy. My confusion lies in the boundaries of what is and is not allowed in therapy. What are parental rights in the area of minor children within a therapeutic framework?

    If I come to you, Warren, and ask for help in reducing my same sex attractions, strategies in accomplishing that goal, understandings not based in shame but rather realistic objectives is that an OK therapeutic request? If a parent comes to you wanting help for their child in sorting out adolescent confusion on sexuality is that legit? If homosexuality is not in the DSM, are these requests no longer an area to be discussed? Are these requests actually seen as a mental health issue? Is a faith belief contrary to homosexual behavior considered a mental health issue? Is that where we’re going on this?

  • Teresa

    Warren said:

    Therapy which views SSA as pathological is one thing the bill apparently attempts to prohibit.

    OK, here’s the nub of this issue, and needs some explanation, in my opinion. Is it unreasonable for me to infer that this Bill would see my request for therapy in helping me reduce my same sex attractions as pathological? What are the legal limits of the DSM encroaching on faith belief or conscientious objections? Would SITF pass muster under this Bill?

  • Christopher Doyle

    No Warren, the Sandusky’s of the world will be given more ability to victimize because of this legislation AND clients will not be able to resolve all their unwanted same-sex attractions and reach their full heterosexual potential. You so easily spin words and are quick to work with gay activists to prohibit counseling. Shame on you.

    • Richard Willmer

      I don’t see the logic of your argument, Christopher Doyle. There’s no suggestion that the abuse of minors will be ignored as a result of this measure if it is enacted.

      Generally speaking, as a more accepting attitude towards the reality that some people are, for whatever reason, gay has developed, so has a more honest understanding of child abuse. Much historical abuse we now hear about derive from a more secretive and homophobic time. Openness, honesty and acceptance of what I might term ‘legitimate diversity’ is IMO a strong defence against those who would abuse.

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

    Christopher – You can keep saying that but it won’t become true due to repetition. This is obviously personal with you and Pickup because you are reasoning from emotion and not logic. Surely, you must wonder why so few people are buying into your odd pairing of Sandusky and this bill.

    Furthermore, you told CP readers that abused kids won’t be able to get counseling if this bill passes, then you admit they will be able to get counseling. If they can get counseling then they would be able to identify their abusers. Therapists then are required to turn over that information to authorities.

    Actually, this bill will not hinder your boss, Richard Cohen. He will able to continue to offering his brand to people since he is not licensed. One of my problems with the bill is that it will push clients toward non-licensed people and then there will be no oversight. I would prefer a system where the boards prohibit certain false statements about orientation (parents, abuse causes it and the like) while studying the effects of the practice.

    In any case, my issue here is that you are linking GLB people with pedophilia in an incorrect and offensive manner. Van Dyke is correct on this. You could have found principled ways to state your opposition, but you went nuclear and everyone can see it.

    • inca nitta

      Logically speaking, Dr. T., the language of the bill is so obscure regarding what therapists are allowed and disallowed to say to clients/patients at different situations. For example, it’s unclear what can they legally say to children who want to get rid of their same-sex attractions, which resulted from sexual abuse. At least, I didn’t see anything specific in it. Therefore, different people can come to different interpretations about the bill’s potential ramifications, solely based on what they believe will or will not happen after it becomes a law. I’m sorry, but Mr. Doyle’s beliefs are as legitimate as yours, even if someone finds them to be wrong.

      • ken

        inca nitta says:

        May 26, 2013 at 3:13 am

        “it’s unclear what can they legally say to children who want to get rid of their same-sex attractions, which resulted from sexual abuse.”

        No it isn’t unclear. What the therapist can say to the child is “there is no evidence that sexual abuse causes a person to have a particular orientation. However, it can cause a great deal of confusion about a person’s orientation. I can help you deal with that confusion and the other problems the abuse may have caused.”

        Frankly, any therapist who can’t help a victim of sexual abuse w/o trying to make him/her “straight” should NOT be working with children!

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

    Teresa – I believe SITF would be safe if this bill passes. I have discussed this issue with some of the bill proponents and they agree. In any case, since we do not attempt to change orientation, we are not doing anything covered by the bill. I do not attempt to reduce attractions since I don’t think it is possible in any psychological manner. I think people succeed in handling their attractions in such a way as to better comport with their beliefs. Avoiding situations and practicing religious disciplines may help give a sense that attractions are being reduced but I don’t think this is what the NJ bill is aiming at. If ever it is, I will be more vocal in opposition.

  • Boo

    inca nitta- Doctors not being able to enagge in quackery by telling children that their sexual orientation comes from sexual abuse and can be changed is a good thing, not a bad thing. No legitimate therapist seems to have a problem with this. You notice there has been no outcry from therapists who specialize in sexual abuse?

    • inca nitta

      Boo, not every therapist who practices SOCE believe that people who have SSA is because of sexual abuse. I have no idea why such therapists do not outcry, but the language of the bill still does not explicitly address what different therapist should do if a minor client does not want to be SSA, even for sexual trauma. It’s too broad and generalized. My guess, if this bill becomes law, therapists would need to refer such patients, but the question is to who?

  • Boo

    So really your complaint about this bill to outlaw sexual conversion therapy for minors has nothing at all to do with sexual abuse and everything to do with the bill doing what it is advertised to do. Te bill says exactly what to do if a client expresses a wish for a quack therapy-don’t do it. If you have a client who has been sexually traumatized, you treat the trauma. The bill doesn’t affact that legitimate therapy one iota.

    • inca nitta

      My complaint is that there could be minor clients who do not want to be SSA for different reasons, including but not limited to sexual abuse and trauma, but under this proposed law, a licensed therapists will be obligated to say: “I’m sorry but I can’t help you.” He or she would need to refer such clients, but currently, all mental health professional guilds, are pushing for an agenda that you should not refer your clients. That’s why it makes things more problematic, and I see it is being influenced more by politics than science.

  • Patrocles

    The main problem of such a bill is: It should refer to empirical, observable facts, not to theoretical constructs.

    (For people who haven’t understood the Sandusky aspect: Pedophiles (like straight rapists) often act under the presupposition of “You want it, too”. Now, as I’ve said once above, the “passive” partner in sex is often unsecure about his wants, and gullible children may become half and half convinced that they, indeed, wanted it, too. Matter of fact, the one or other of them wanted it, too.)

    So, – if the client has been abused or not – the empirical fact before us is not a boy which IS straight or which IS gay, but a boy with mixed emotions and a still undefinite identity. (We may, in theory, think that the boy MUST have a fixed orientation or “objective identity”, either straight or gay, but that’s not something we observe, it’s something our theory demands.) And the therapeut helps him to explore his feelings, his potential and helps him to CONSTRUCT an identity for himsef (he can’t avoid that).

    A bill might be useful, if it describes the therapeutical process in such empirical terms and then gives some warnings about what, in plain words and exactly, therapeuts must not do.

    But this bill seems more interested in spreading the message that a something called “homosexual orientation” is unrevocable – a message which is more relevant for gay activists than for therapeuts.

    • ken

      “but a boy with mixed emotions and a still undefinite identity.”

      Perhaps, but it isn’t always the case that a boy will have an “undefinite identity”

      “And the therapeut helps him to explore his feelings, his potential and helps him to CONSTRUCT an identity for himsef ”

      Nothing in the law prevents that. However, I disagree with the term “constructs” rather “determines” or “explores” would be a better fit.

  • Zoe Brain

    Warren wrote :

    One of my problems with the bill is that it will push clients toward non-licensed people and then there will be no oversight.

    The only purpose of this bill is to make illegal practices known to be harmful that some licensed people are engaging in.

    The fact that they are currently doing harm, and yet are still licensed, is the problem.

    Is it a matter of “they don’t know any better” so are incompetent because they haven’t kept up with the literature, or is it a matter of them ignoring inconvenient facts that go against their religious belief?

    Perhaps they’ve looked at the literature, but don’t find it convincing – and forget the maxim primum non nocere in cases of doubt, where there is at the very least extremely strong evidence of harm caused in many, many cases by this “therapy”.

    While there may be some room to maneuver in that last category – a matter of poor professional judgment in one controversial area – the first two categories are positive menaces. If they’re professionally ignorant, or don’t believe in all that science stuff in one area, it’s likely they have the same problems in others.

    Then there’s the unlicensed snake-oil merchants and “barefoot doctors”, some of whom are likely to be pretty good, at least in specialist areas, others of whom are truly dangerous, leaving behind a pile of corpses. All of whom however have no accountability, and no means of knowing through follow-up studies how they’re going, and where they should improve.

    If we are to classify psychological treatment as a serious discipline, it should be classed as medical treatment, and those practicising it without at least some form of rough informal oversight should be made aware that they’re practicing medicine without a license.

    • ken

      “The only purpose of this bill is to make illegal practices known to be harmful that some licensed people are engaging in.”

      No, the purpose of the bill is to protect minors from unproven and potentially harmful “treatments.” And Warren’s concern about the bill having the effect of driving them to unlicensed “therapists” is valid.

  • Boo

    Yes inca, the bill says quack therapy is bad and shouldn’t be practiced. If a child walks into a doctor’s office and requests a hole be drilled in their head to get the evil spirits out, the doctor doesn’t do it.

    And Patrocles- helping someone figure out their feelings is very different from trying to get them to change their feelings.

  • Emily K

    “I don’t consider SSA a benign in the area of sexuality. So, I’m troubled by the bolded part of the above quote.

    Too bad that troubles you personally; that’s irrelevant to my point. It’s a shame that your cultural construct hates the thing that you are, but for the rest of us not living such a chosen religious lifestyle, it’s benign.

    “He or she would need to refer such clients, but currently, all mental health professional guilds, are pushing for an agenda that you should not refer your clients. That’s why it makes things more problematic, and I see it is being influenced more by politics than science.”

    The science says that sexual orientation – straight, gay, asexual – is hardwired, inborn, genetic, and epigenetic. It is immutable by force; though some spontaneous switch-hitting has been *observed* in specific women. It says that a homosexual orientation is no more inherently “bad” than a heterosexual orientation. That i what the science says.

    I suggest looking in the mirror. It’s NARTH and PFOX that have been playing politics, trying to use their ex-gay quackery to say that since gays “can change,” they SHOULD change, and therefor do not deserve equal civil treatment or acknowledgment under the law.

    • inca nitta

      Emily,

      No science have come to conclusion that homosexual orientation is genetic, actually, APA and AMA, have stated quite the opposite. APA even stated that culture and environment also play role in shaping people’s different orientations.

      It’s one thing to say that people who have UNWANTED SSA, then democratic societies should provide them a desired treatment, but it’s totally another one to say that openly gay and proud people who don’t want to change their lives should be deprived of equal civil rights they already have. No SOCE therapists have been advocating for such things.

      • Zoe Brain

        inca nitta wrote

        No science have come to conclusion that homosexual orientation is genetic, actually, APA and AMA, have stated quite the opposite.

        Nope.

        There are a multitude of factors. Genetics plays a (minor) role, making the neural development more or less susceptible to hormonal anomalies in the womb. Environment also plays a (minor) role in some borderline cases, leading to a slightly greater or lesser degree of bisexuality, especially in women.

        But the overwhelming important effect appears to be hormonal environment in the womb. Most cases appear to have no measurable genetic or post-natal environmental component.

        So Genetic? Sometimes, rarely. Congenital? Always.

        A citation:

        Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35

        The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

        • Zoe Brain

          I should quantify “rarely”.

          About 10%.

          So if expectation is 100 androphillic men in a random sample, about 110 would be androphillic if the sample all had one of a number of identified candidate genes.

          So no, there is no definitive “gay gene” any more than there is a definitive “left handed gene”. Just some genes that bias the odds of atypical neural development. As with left-handedness, it’s congenital.

        • Patrocles

          Zoe,

          There’s no reason to take Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab as the bible. We must distinguish the parts that have been observed or experimentally proven from other parts which are completely speculative

          The basic idea: Gender identity and sexual orientation of men stem from a “masculinization” of the male brain in utero.

          1. Scientists can perhaps observe some changes in the brain after testosterone influence. But what have they observed at all? And isn’t it a bit too quick to call those changes “masculinization”?

          2. You can’t observe gender identity and sexual orientation in utero. You can observe them some ten years later. Where are the long-time studies which might confirm a cause-effect relation?

          3. Gender identity and sexual orientation can differ. So you wouldn’t have the two stages of masculinization (body – brain) Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab are maintaining, but three stages at least.

          4. Nobody denies that effeminate boys are, to a degree, innately effeminate. And effeminate boys become more often gay men. But that development can happen after birth as well as before it.

          • Tom Van Dyke

            FTR, the epigenetic theory hasn’t been advanced for lesbianism. The bill treats all SSA the same, male or female, but that’s ideology, not science.

          • Zoe Brain

            Patrocles – it’s even more complicated than just two parts. There’s many parts of the brain, and their morphology can conform more closely to a male stereotype in some areas, a female one in others, and neither of the two in yet others.

            We have never found anyone with a female gender identity who hasn’t got certain parts of the brain feminised.

            We have observed from miscarried foetusses that some of these parts are feminised long before birth in those whose genital anatomy was female. Post-natal environment plays no part here.

            Sample sizes are too small to detect transsexuality at that stage in humans, we’d need a hundred thousand of such autopsies just to detect the 30 or so transsexuals that we’d expect in a sample that size.

            The other parts reliably feminise at puberty, regardless of whether exposed to testosterone or oestrogen. This is unlike the areas of sexual dimorphism of the brain not affecting sexual orientation, gender identity, and some other areas, where post-natal hormones dominate.

            We see the same in experimental animals, where we can artificially manipulate foetal hormonal environment. There we *can* prove this happens. However, we know that we can’t always extend animal results to humans.

            We can, however, ethically observe “Nature’s Experiments” – Intersex people. The observations there are inexplicable unless the experimental results on animals are true for humans too. It’s this area – Gender Identity, and to a lesser extent, Sexual Orientation in Intersex people who naturally change sex and those people subject to involuntary sex reassignment that I’m concerned with.

  • Emily K

    Since you didn’t provide any sources, I can just assume you’re pulling “facts” out of thin air. Every credible professional medical org in the country says being gay is natural, normal, benign, and unchangeable.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation#Chromosome_linkage_studies

    The entire article cites numerous studies. And you can argue that everything is politically-enforced, blah blah blah… as more research is conducted, the conclusion becomes clearer and clearer.

    Or have you been subjected to the “Evangelical Blackout” Warren talked about last year? Pity.

    • inca nitta

      I said that biology, along with other factors play a role in shaping people’s orientations, be they heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. The scientific organizations at stake, still claim that it is still unknown what specifically causes SSA for all people who have them. I am aware of the studies that supposedly have become victims of “evangelical blackout,” but still I am not convinced after reading them, that it is justified to ban reparative therapy for minors.

      • ken

        “I am not convinced after reading them, that it is justified to ban reparative therapy for minors.”

        The justification for banning reparative therapy for minors has nothing to do with whether sexual orientation is biological or not.

        The reasons for banning SOCE for minors are that there is no research showing it works (and a lot of evidence that it doesn’t); most of the therapies are based on invalid models of sexual orientation (and much of that negative with regards to homosexuality); there is evidence the therapy can be harmful; minors are being forced into therapy by their guardians. These are the reasons for banning the law. The reasons the proponents of SOCE ignore by putting up straw men arguments about “it isn’t genetic” or “it’s just the gay rights activists trying to persecute us.”

      • Emily K

        First, you said:

        No science have come to conclusion that homosexual orientation is genetic, actually, APA and AMA, have stated quite the opposite.

        Then, without proof that they say “quite the opposite,” you said:

        I said that biology, along with other factors play a role in shaping people’s orientations…The scientific organizations at stake, still claim that it is still unknown what specifically causes SSA for all people who have them.

        These statements are quite different. It means that the scientific orgs have NOT “stated quite the opposite.” They have stated very clearly that biological factors – factors of nature, not having to do with psychological trauma or abuse – affect how sexual orientation manifests. That must be very threatening to you for some reason.

        • inca nitta

          Biology does not directly mean genetics, at all. These scientific organizations have never made a claim that sexual orientations, be they homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual, are genetic, ie people are “born that way.” I don’t find it threatening that biology, among other factors, play a role in having some people embracing a gay identity. It does not prove at all, that a person born with a certain trait, let’s say: small forehead, will necessary embrace a gay or straight identity in the future. But, I find that many avowed gays find it threatening that scientists have not yet and come up, and probably never will, with an irrefutable discovery that homosexuality is genetic, meaning they are who they are because they are “born that way.”

          • Emily K

            Genetics is only one small part of it. There’s no “gay gene,” just like there’s no “left-handed gene.” That’s not how genetics works. We have functioning genotypes that are affected in utero as well as during conception.

            Biology does not directly mean genetics, at all. These scientific organizations have never made a claim that sexual orientations, be they homosexual, heterosexual, or bisexual, are genetic, ie people are “born that way.”

            Actually, Genetics *IS* a part of Biology. Heck, it’s even a part of the “Biology Portal” on Wikipedia! Since Biology is the study of life and how it develops, genetics is not only a logical but a very important part of it.

            To wit: “Biology, from the Greek words bios (life) and the suffix -logy (study of), is a branch of science concerned with the characteristics and behaviors of organisms, how species and individuals come into existence, and the interactions they have with each other and with their environment.”

            What organziations DON’T say is that pscyhological upbringing, in the mold of outdated Freudian techniques used by Doyle Cohen and NARTH are a likely or even *possible* cause of sexual orientation development.

            Why is it so important to you that homosexuality be “curable” that you’d twist facts and misstate things repeatedly to make your point?

  • Boo

    Why do you keep harping on genetics inca? Have you noticed that none of your opponents are?

    • inca nitta

      Why is it so important to you that homosexuality be “incurable” that you’d do character assassinations of therapists who practice SOCE? Btw, I don’t twist facts, I am simply discussing theories. Speaking of facts, there are people who have changed their orientations from homosexual to heterosexual and there are those who tried and couldn’t accomplish this, but their respective experiences do not speak for everybody. I also think that Patrocles has given a profound insight on the ethical implications of this bill.

  • inca nitta

    I just wanted to clarify on the issues of biology and genetics. There are quite a few people who think it’s exactly the same thing, and I want to point out that this is not necessarily the case. I also know that people who believe that homosexuality is genetic, ie gays are “born that way” are more likely to support this bill, than those who do not believe so.

  • Emily K

    Speaking of facts, there are people who have changed their orientations from homosexual to heterosexual

    People like who, John Paulk? Alan Chambers, who says he hasn’t changed to heterosexual, but instead “struggles daily against what comes naturally to me”? Or are you referring to bisexuals like Anne Paulk who are attracted to both women and men but refuse to act on the former. None of the ex-gay ministeries promise change from homo to hetero, they all play word games and say “you can change your BEHAVIOR.” which is like saying, you can’t change the fact that you’re left-handed, but you can force yourself the unneeded discomfort of performing activities requiring manual dexterity with your non-dominant hand, because, I dunno.. some religious text tells you to?

    So in other words, if all things are equal (which they are), homosexuals are forced to change their behavior so that they may never make love to the person they are in love with, so that they are denied the civil right to be recognized as married to that person under the non-religious, civil law of the land.

    And inflicting these ideas on vulnerable children is harmful at the LEAST.

    Why is it so important to you that homosexuality be “incurable” that you’d do character assassinations of therapists who practice SOCE?

    Nope, no character assassinations took place.

  • Jarred

    The bill is being dubbed the Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act, because when sexually abused children are denied treatment to resolve the symptoms of trauma, criminals like convicted pedophile and former Penn State University football coach Jerry Sandusky, go undiscovered, sometimes for decades.

    What’s being suggested her is that in order for sexual victimization to be reported, victims have to go through SOCE. This is patently absurd and abominably contemptible.

    What needs to happen for sexual victimization to be reported is victims need to feel comfortable reporting their victimization. That means that police need to quit questioning victims of abuse and treating them with suspicion. That means that we as a society need to quit blaming the victims and making excuses for the victimizers. That means that we as a society need to quit caring so much about the “ruined futures” of the victimizers and more about the fact that victims have been horribly violated. We need to back up victims and potential victims and make it clear through both our words and our actions that they have an absolute right to control what happens to their bodies and that those who cross that line are the ones in the wrong and will be treated as such.

    One does not need to go through SOCE in order to report being sexually victimized. The above quote just demonstrates that Doyle is interested in defending SOCE any way he can, even if it means exploiting the traumatizing experiences of victims of sexual abuse. I find that monstrous.

    • Stogumber

      Jarred,
      I don’t think hat you have understood the Jerry Sandusky point.
      Actually, boys who are abused must not be “horribly violated”. More often they are mostly shattered in their masculine (and heterosexual) identity. Which can be indeed traumatic.
      And the “natural”,pre-scientific way of treatment would be to confirm the boy that yes, he is as masculine and yes, he is as heterosexual as before.
      Which mustn’t be done according to this bill.

      • ken

        “.I don’t think hat you have understood the Jerry Sandusky point.”

        I think Jared got the Sandusky point just right. I.e.

        “Doyle is interested in defending SOCE any way he can, even if it means exploiting the traumatizing experiences of victims of sexual abuse. I find that monstrous.”

        “And the “natural”,pre-scientific way of treatment would be to confirm the boy that yes, he is as masculine and yes, he is as heterosexual as before. Which mustn’t be done according to this bill.”

        Please quote the text of the bill that supports this claim.

        • Stogumber

          The part of the bill which I refer to is the claim that counseling ought to be “identity exploration and development, including sexual persuasion-neutral interventions”.

          That’s good in theory. But take the situation of a boy who has been abused under the perpetator’s premise that “you want it, too” or “you like it, too”. In particular when the boy has found a certain part of the experience, even if enforced, notwithstanding stimulating. (As seems to happen with women, as far as I’ve read. And it’s a well-known motive in gay porn stories.)

          From a scientific point of view, I support the idea that the boy ought to see this as an opportunity for a sober and impartial exploration of his true sexual identity. But I suspect that that’s simply not the right moment and that many boys at this point would rather wish intensely to regain their secure masculine and heterosexual identity as quick as possible. BUT: the counselor has to be “persuasion-neutral” and cannot help them with that! Eventually, being persuasion-neutral, he has to remind the boy, that it is at least possible that he is indeed gay and wanted sex with the Sandusky type and that he has to explore that possibility.

          • ken

            “The part of the bill which I refer to is the claim that counseling ought
            to be “identity exploration and development, including sexual
            persuasion-neutral interventions”.”

            You didn’t read the bill to carefully then. the part you cite ( sec 1.b.(1)) are things that are NOT considered SOCE and allowed under the law.

            “But I suspect that that’s simply not the right moment and that many boys at this point would rather wish intensely to regain their secure masculine and heterosexual identity as quick as possible. BUT: the counselor has to be “persuasion-neutral” and cannot help them with that! Eventually, being persuasion-neutral, he has to remind the boy, that it is at least possible that he is indeed gay and wanted sex with the Sandusky type and that he has to explore that possibility.”

            Wow, so many things wrong with this.

            1st. the boy may not be straight, and attempting to “secure his heterosexual identity” could make a bad situation much worse.

            2nd “persuasion-neutral” does not stop a counselor from helping a victim to short out his orientation/identity.

            3rd. The law most certainly DOES NOT require that the counselor suggest that a sexual assault victim might be gay and that they HAVE TO explore that possibility.

            As an example here is something a counselor could say to a sexual assault victim that is “persuasion-neutral”

            There is no evidence that what happened to you could change your orientation. However, it can cause a great deal of confusion about what your orientation is. If that is something you wish to explore I can help you with that.

      • LegalizeLezMarriage

        You (and Doyle, et al) are operating under the fallacious assumption that sexual abuse causes people to turn gay. It doesn’t.

  • Throbert McGee

    Here’s the only part of the bill that strikes me as potentially over-broad:

    As used in this section, “sexual orientation change efforts” means the practice of seeking to change a person’s sexual persuasion, including, but not limited to, efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions

    Would this have implications for therapists advocating a “gay by birth, celibate by free will and the grace of God” model?

    I understand the objections to the view that gay people should be celibate for their entire lives, but since we’re talking about therapy for teenagers, I don’t have a problem with a strict abstinence-only approach that doesn’t make any claims about changing the underlying orientation.

    And I know that farther down in the bill, there is language that specifically allows “interventions to prevent unsafe sexual practices.” But would a therapist be allowed to discourage a teenage client from wankin’ to gay pr0n — which is, after all, medically safe?

    • ken

      Throbert I addressed your concern about the “overly broad” language here.

  • Teresa

    @Throbert,

    I’ve, also, questioned the ‘overly broad’ language in this bill. What happened to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)? If I want to go to a therapist for help to act in my chosen best interest concerning sexual responses to persons of the same sex, what’s wrong with that? There are plenty of CBT tools to do just that.

    I thought therapists were supposed to go where the client wanted? I’m still of the mind that this Bill is implicitly limiting choices for gay persons or persons in flux. Further, at some point, persons wanting to align their behavior with their faith belief will be listed in a coming DSM as mentally ill … which means if I think acting on my same sex attractions is wrong, I’ll be labeled as mentally ill.

    How far we’ve come in 40 years.

  • ken

    FYI: Christie just signed this bill into law today.

    It will be interesting to see which state is next.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X