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California’s Ban on Reparative Therapy aka No More Pray the Gay Away for Kids

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November 29, 2012

This past October, California outlawed a practice that Governor Brown noted as, “A dustbin of quackery”.  I’m a pretty big fan of both California and Governor Brown; I knew this story must be juicy. The more I researched into this topic the more I was in awe. Was this seriously going on in the 21st century? How unscientific, biased, and messed up can an institution get?

This saddening and historic strain of therapy is known as, “Reparative Therapy”. The goal of Reparative Therapy is to change the sexuality of the patient. The idea is that if a patient wishes to change sexual orientation- through certain types of talk therapy they can be “cured”. The problem is that there is no medical or scientific backing for these practices (which is because there isn’t any illness to cure in the first place) and there is no conclusive evidence that it even works.

On January 1 it will become illegal to try on minors in California — Which is a pretty big deal.

California is the first state to outlaw Reparative Therapy (I love my progressive state). Rumor has it that New Jersey is considering revamping their policy on this issue also.

This once condoned form of psychological child abuse is dangerous for a number of reasons. If a child is taken to a therapist by their parents over homosexual behavior or ideas — of course their young mind will believe whatever their parents and therapist tell them! Young minds are easily molded… or brainwashed, one could say.

A child taken to Reparative Therapy is probably unaware that the LGBT Pride movement exists. The idea of living a flourishing life with a life, job, family, and home as a gay individual would be unimaginable to a child in Reparative Therapy. A child taken to Reparative Therapy is taught not only that their actions are wrong, but other homosexual individual’s actions are wrong also.

One is born with sexuality. Biases are developed later. Homophobia is a social disease.

Reparative Therapy has been linked to depression and suicide. Suicide rates for LGBT youth are high enough because of societies biased and normative ideologies already, thank you very much.

Can one seek to change a minor’s sexuality? Should a child be immersed in therapy if they do or don’t believe in a God? What if they believe differently on the topic of abortion? What if they would rather eat broccoli than peas?

There is no known number of how many therapists and patients this new piece of legislation will affect. Furthermore, generally speaking Patient-Therapist relationships are the utmost of confidential- how is California going to find out? My research revealed no punishment for the continuance of this practice past the January 1 date.

Religious groups protesting this ban argue that this change in legislation is an infringement upon freedom of speech and religion. Additionally, some argue that this is California playing Big Brother. Parents are perfectly capable of raising their children how they want. They do have a point.

Yet Reparative Therapies lack of scientific basis and little to no research or medical backing convinced the American Psychiatric Association, the California Republic, Governor Brown, and myself that the attempt to change a minor’s sexual orientation is, indeed, a load of “quackery”.

Congratulations California.

Closets are for clothes.

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