Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Sprigg of the Yukon

Peter Sprigg
Peter Sprigg of Family Research Council takes his one man bigotry show on the road. Alaska was a recent stop in the tour.
A right wing blogger who runs a minuscule 501(c)4 — Suzanne Downing — writes: Assembly to look at limiting First Amendment rights of therapists and clients. That is the demagogic version of the City of Anchorage is considering a ban on pediatric conversion therapy.

I have written enough about conversion therapy to simply state that it is ineffective and harmful pseudoscience. There is no peer-reviewed research in support of what amounts to voodoo.

In addition to the inherent harms, conversion therapy serves as a pretext for prejudice and oppression.

Apparently Ms. Downing was entertained by Peter Sprigg:
Sprigg is the supposed LGBTQ expert employed by Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ hate group. He has no training or experience to support his self-proclaimed expertise. According to Ms. Downing Sprigg traveled to Alaska.
In an Alaska Family Council workshop for pastors and others concerned that their religious freedoms or patient-therapist relationships are being infringed upon, Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council warned that sexuality among minors can change as children grow in or out of experimentation phases.
This has nothing to do with religious freedom™. This is about the safety of children and their medical care. In Pickup v. Brown and Welch v. Brown the Ninth Circuit ruled that such bans do not violate freedom of speech. The Supreme Court declined review.

It is true that the sexuality of children can change. However, there is nothing anyone can do to effect those changes. It is similar to outdoor temperature. It changes from time to time but there isn't much we humans can do that will influence the changes. Therefore, Sprigg's observation is irrelevant BS.
He said that the ban on counseling is a form of “viewpoint discrimination” by a governing body, and that is a constitutional infringement on many levels.
When, if ever, does the wellbeing of children enter into this discussion? It's not about Christian victimization at the hands of government. Sprigg usually spouts some sophistry about how only “pro-homosexual” therapy and gender-affirming therapy are permissible. Poor us!

Making gay kids comfortable with their sexuality is extensively covered in the medical literature. Gender-affirming care is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is not viewpoint discrimination. Rather it is established medical science vs. pseudoscience. It is like comparing chemotherapy to some crackpot's magic herbs that only he knows about.

It's also gibberish as in:
Going to counseling is deeply personal experience that involves viewpoints, perceptions, and emotions, and if therapists think they are going to be sued because they ask questions of their patients, it will make therapists suppress their own viewpoints.
The above, trying to make a case for viewpoints, makes no sense whatsoever. Furthermore, minors cannot provide legal or informed consent. They are in conversion therapy under pressure from parents. It is all very unhealthy. This is also a distraction. The only relevant question is: What is best for children? In that regard there is no professional controversy. Conversion therapy is not on the list.
Sprigg added that parents are in charge of the health care and development of their children, something that has been upheld numerous times at the U.S. Supreme Court, and that there are minors who do want to undergo counseling for homosexual urges.
No that has not been upheld by the Supreme Court. Plaintiffs made those same idiotic arguments in the cases that the Court chose not to review. While parents are responsible for the medical care of their children, that does not provide a license to subject children to harmful crackpottery. Parents can be held responsible for child abuse.

The most basic responsibility of clinicians is truthfulness. For whatever reason, a gay kid might want very badly to be straight. The desire is as unrealistic as a child with brown eyes wanting blue eyes. Behavior health professionals are obliged to help kids understand this and to come to terms with the sexuality.

People like Peter Sprigg having been making the same moronic arguments for decades. They are long on rhetoric and short on evidence. Conversion practitioners never do long-term follow-up because they know that the results will not favor the practice. Sexual orientation is not subject to change through any kind of intervention.

There are enough Christian pressure groups to comfortably fund a massive study. They do not do so because they fear the results.
He also faulted the ordinance because it refers to licensed counselors, but doesn’t say who the licensing authority is. In some cases, churches sanction or license counseling services through ordination.
Of all the idiotic arguments that Sprigg makes, this takes the cake. The only valid license is one issued by the state to practice psychotherapy or to provide behavioral health counseling.

Unlicensed practitioners like pastors and religious counselors remain free to fuck up children and ruin families. All the accomplish is getting children to lie to their parents in the near term.

Every mainstream medical association in the United States rejects conversion therapy as an option. It is time for a universal ban for minors incorporated into federal law. Conversion therapy constitutes child abuse.

Oh, my apologies to Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, a show that introduced me to classical music (before Bernstein), Reznicek's Donna Diana Overture.

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