The question asked below by Gabe Lyons suggests there are reasons people want to be straight; but then tries to impose that thinking on children exhibiting behaviour at odds with their parent’s beliefs. It refers to two court cases on conversion therapy in California which differ:
CNN)–Can gay people become straight? Is human sexuality modifiable? Are we really still discussing this?
Yes, according to U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb, who ruled last week that three licensed psychotherapists have the right to practice therapy that attempts to change the sexual orientations of gay and lesbian minors.
This does pose the question on what basis is a referral made. The religious feelings of parents, teachers or medical practitioners? Is the child’s sexual development key so that they make their own decisions without fear of prejudice?
These issues are not mentioned. What is:
At the heart of the controversy over sexual behavior modification is the idea that same-sex attraction is not a permanent and inborn condition but rather an aberration that’s often rooted in childhood trauma. As Erik Eckholm of The New York Times writes, “Homosexuality is caused, (conversion) therapists say, by a stifling of normal masculine development, often by distant fathers and overbearing mothers or by early sexual abuse.”
Context is everything because Erik Eckholm’s actual opinion is:
Since the 1970s, mainstream mental health societies have accepted homosexuality as a natural and ingrained trait for some. But renegade therapists have promoted the theory that homosexuality is a disorder resulting from family dynamics and childhood trauma that can be overcome.
The CNN article goes on to mention a Christian Client asking help from a Christian Therapist:
For example, some Christian therapists might help a client who believes that they are made in the image of God explore what role sexuality ought to play in understanding their full identity: Is it everything, nothing or a piece of the greater whole? These conversations may lead a client to decide how dominant of a role sexual desire will play in their life. Others might counsel a client to abstain entirely from sexual relations. But in doing so, the therapist would seek to help the client find fulfillment, identity and purpose outside of romantic or sexual relationships. There is a long tradition of Christians — from priests to nuns to laypeople — who have chosen celibacy as a higher calling toward spiritual fulfillment.
This begs the question how a minor would act as a client asking for “help”. If we accept that a child is making sense of the world, ideology, culture and religious upbringing, it seems more plausible that somebody else is attempting to impose their views on a child’s development.
Rather than a healthy development to adulthood this is about conversion – not just about altering but ensuring a set outcome. A child does not have the same ability to stop treatment if the parents and therapist agree that homosexuality is wrong.
The article goes on to say civil rights groups support conversion therapy for children, but does not mention them. It states that people that want to change their sexuality should be able to seek the sort of help they want.
Again though adults can make choices, but the issue is how should adults make them on their children, and on what basis think such “therapy” is necessary?
In the same way that this therapy should not be forced on anyone, it should also not be forcibly removed. Doing so goes against our Declaration’s insistence on every American’s right to “the pursuit of happiness” and a parent’s right to help his/her child.
We finally have it. A parent has the right to help their child be straight, rather than empower a child to come to their own conclusions, lovingly supported from childhood to adulthood.
The issue of harm was covered in the New York Times article on the other court judgment:
But evidence of harm may be insufficiently established, the judge said, “based on questionable and scientifically incomplete studies that may not have included minors.”
Judge Mueller took a markedly different view, saying that the plaintiffs before her were overstating the constraints on the ability of therapists to express opinions and noting the state’s legitimate role in regulating medical services. She said the legislature had made a reasonable judgment in accepting evidence that conversion therapies could be harmful for minors.
Children should not be labeled with their parents religion. Equally this applies to sexual orientation. With no studies to suggest what harm such interventions may have, or a medical reason for allowing such interventions, minors need to be protected from these practises.
Which are nothing short of quackery for homophobic parents.
Picture above from this article here, which gives background to law coming into effect next year in California to ban such therapy on minors.
UPDATE: 24/12/2012 Appeal Court blocks ban meant for New Year
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog