Obama Seeks Ban on 'Conversion Therapy for Gay, Transgender Teens

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  • #9369
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    President Barack Obama will call for an end to “conversion therapy,” the controversial practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation, the New York Times reports.

    A 17-year-old transgender youth, Leelah Alcorn, stunned her friends and a vast Internet audience in December when she threw herself in front of a tractor-trailer after writing in an online suicide note that religious therapists had tried to convert her back to being a boy.

    In response, President Obama is calling for an end to such therapies aimed at “repairing” gay, lesbian and transgender youth. His decision on the issue is the latest example of his continuing embrace of gay rights.

    In a statement that was posted on Wednesday evening alongside a WhiteHouse.gov petition begun in honor of Ms. Alcorn, Mr. Obama condemned the practice, sometimes called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy, which is supported by some socially conservative organizations and religious doctors.

    The petition has received more than 120,000 signatures in three months.

    “We share your concern about its potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer youth,” the statement, written by Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama, says. “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/09/us/politics/obama-to-call-for-end-to-conversion-therapies-for-gay-and-transgender-youth.html

    #9372
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    Misanthropic behavior doesn’t become you, gouge.

    #9375
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    This conversion therapy should be banned because it is quackery.

    #9400
    skeptical
    Participant

    It’s not a choice, asshole.

    #9403
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    I think that people get confused because the attraction is not a choice, but there is an element of choice in one’s behavior. The charlatans who advocate “therapy” make the claim that they can alter whom a person is attracted to, but contemporary scientific thinking says otherwise.

    #9404
    skeptical
    Participant

    It was people who uttered “choice” that lead to the of Leelah Alcorn and many like her.

    #9411
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    Here is an account written by Leelah Alcorn (not the actual suicide note):

    When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong. If you are reading this, parents, please don’t tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say that to someone, especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me.

    I suspect that what ultimately pushed this teenager over the edge was being told by her own mother that her feelings were incorrect.

    #9422
    Chris_Taylor
    Participant

    In his book, “Stranger at the Gate,” the Rev. Mel White writes about how he went through every conceivable therapy you can imagine to stop being gay. He was married, had two kids, and worked as a ghost writer for many of the religious right. He finally gave up his attempts to change his sexual orientation and accepted who he was and what he was.

    When a parent doesn’t accept their child for who they are, they do a great disservice to that child, who is probably already struggling with what they see as the social norm.

    As Skep has pointed out on many occasions, these younger LGBT kids, not feeling any support from the most important people in their lives will, sadly, take their own lives than live with the daily disappointments.

    That is why what our president said was so important. It might actually save lives.

    #9444
    skeptical
    Participant

    The ironic thing with Leelah was that if her parents had quietly buried her, it might have gone away quietly like thousands of other suicides triggered by Christian extremism, but her parents took steps to erase her existence from the internet — this along with their continued insistence they did the right thing for her (ignoring, obviously, the dead body) tipped this story into mainstream media coverage. As a result, Leelah’s name will live forever. As for her birth name, it is long forgotten — meaningful only to her bigoted parents.

    #9465
    Vitalogy
    Participant

    Conversion therapy is basically a burning at the stake. You can’t convert nature.

    #9479
    Deane Johnson
    Participant

    It’s not a choice. Conversion therapy should be banned. It does massive amounts of harm.

    This is another area where people should keep their religious views to themselves.

    One thing that puzzles me is the Catholic Church being anti-gay and then more than a few Priests get nailed for molesting little boys.

    #9488
    Brianl
    Participant

    Conversion therapy does nothing but confuse and anger our LGBT youth even more, and drive them to suicide.

    @Gouge – some of us care very much on the matter. Some of us, it affects personally. Some, just care about human dignity and want the same basic equal rights for all. It’s not about what one “jacks off” to, it’s about being told that you are doomed as a human being because of who you are.

    Some of us find that incredibly disturbing, and wrong.

    #9502
    NoParty
    Participant

    Deane said>>>

    It’s not a choice. Conversion therapy should be banned. It does massive amounts of harm.

    This is another area where people should keep their religious views to themselves.

    One thing that puzzles me is the Catholic Church being anti-gay and then more than a few Priests get nailed for molesting little boys.

    We don’t agree on much (like 99%) but this we are spot on!

    #9503
    NoParty
    Participant

    If gay/lesbian/TG human beings are being forced into conversion that is 100% wrong. Those who try to do this sort of thing to a free thinking human should be thrown in jail and the key melted.

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