Rep Kern Gets Ban on Bans of Gay Conversion Therapy Out of Committee

Rep Kern Gets Ban on Bans of Gay Conversion Therapy Out of Committee February 25, 2015
Representative Sally Kern. Photo Source: Oklahoma House of Representatives.
Representative Sally Kern. Photo Source: Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Representative Sally Kern got her bill banning bans on gay conversion therapy out of committee.

HB 1598 passed without debate on a unanimous vote after a committee substitute was accepted, also on a unanimous vote.

It now goes to the full House, where it may or may not come to a vote. For an explanation of the process, go here.

If it does come to a vote, we may get to see some entertaining debate.

From The Daily Oklahoman:

A bill that seeks to protect the practice of gay conversion counseling passed out of an Oklahoma House committee Tuesday.

House Bill 1598, which now goes to the full House, says the state will not prohibit or restrict counseling intended to rid people of attraction to those of their own gender. It also seeks to protect parents who want such counseling for their children.

Nothing prevents this type of counseling now, but Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, said her bill is needed because the practice is under attack legislatively in other states.

“All across the nation, bills are being introduced to ban parents from having the right to take their children for counseling if they are struggling with same-sex attractions,” Kern said. “As you know, we do lots of bills that are pre-emptive, so this is pre-emptive to make sure that parental rights are upheld.”

Gay rights advocates and others vehemently opposed the bill, saying conversion therapy has been harmful to children, including leading to anxiety, depression, shame, guilt and, potentially, drug abuse and suicide.

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20 responses to “Rep Kern Gets Ban on Bans of Gay Conversion Therapy Out of Committee”

      • Pre frontal lobotomies comes to mind, as well as “sex change” surgeries with massive doses of hormones to create secondary sex characteristics.

        The question here is more one of whether or not there is any legitimate reason for government to outlaw this form of therapy. IN all but the most extreme situations, government is overreaching when it does this sort of thing.

        The fact that one advocacy group objects to it because it runs afoul of their socio-political ideas is not a valid reason for government to do this.

        I don’t know much about this type of therapy and honestly do not know the answer to this question. Do you have anything relevant to offer other than citing bad medical practices of the past?

        • I think the proper question is if it can be shown that this causes harm and is also ineffective there is good reason for banning it. Now if it is simply ineffective but no harm is caused, then banning would be an overreach. Either way even as a Christian I strongly doubt that this is effective.

          The other issue I think comes when parents choose this type of therapy for their child. In that case it’s not something the patient is choosing for themselves.

          • Kirk, no, that is not a reason for banning it under the law. The same arguments have been used against selling vitamins over the counter. As for parents making medical decisions for their child, that is an area where you need to think carefully before you start legislating. The harm can be beyond recking.

          • Kirk, most counseling is ineffective. That is usually due to the unwillingness or inability of the counseled to take action. Should it all be banned. This is a political thing.

        • Yes. Most of our most respected medical health professional organizations criticize the practice, if not outright condemn it as unproven and likely harmful. I mean organizations including but not limited to the AMA, the American Psychiatric Assoc, the American Psychological Assoc, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Counseling Assoc, the National Assoc of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Assoc of School Psychologists.

          Here are just a few published reports and I believe they are all peer-reviewed publications. I am not aware of any peer-reviewed studies to the contrary.

          “Position Statement on Therapies Focused on Attempts to
          Change Sexual Orientation (Reparative or Conversion Therapies)” American Psychiatric Association ( May 2000)

          “Report of the American Psychological Association Task
          Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation” American Psychological Association (August 2009)

          “Position Statement On Reparative Therapy” International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses (2014).

          “Spitzer Reassesses His 2003 Study of Reparative Therapy of Homosexuality” Robert L. Spitzer, Archives of Sexual Behavior 41 (2012)

            • AnneG, what is your authority for such a statement and the authority for your statement that most counseling is ineffective? Are these merely your personal opinions or is there anything objective to back up your comments?

  1. As a Christian, I’ve been on both sides of this issue. For those out there looking for an honest and raw Christian lens into “conversion therapy,” from a Christian who made it his mission, Bryan Christopher’s memoir, “Hiding from Myself” (on Amazon) is enlightening.

    • Doctors used to treat female hysteria by manipulating their genitalia until orgasm. Then, female hysteria was declassified as a “disorder” and the treatments denounced as quackery and abuse. Does that make u rethink your last statement?

    • The same people who say it is ok if that is what the person wants (as if a gay child would not be coerced to “want” it) take the exact opposite position in trying to outlaw doctor assisted dying for terminal patients. Who is more likely to be coerced into signing a consent form?

      • ummm … there is a slight difference here. Allowing doctors to kill their patients (euthansia) is legal sanction for direct murder.

    • I’m not going to allow Rep Kern to become the topic here. I’ve seen the things that have been said about here in other venues. That ain’t happenin’ on my blog.

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