Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Sanctimonious Reaction as Boris Johnson Plans to Ban Conversion Therapy

Boris Johnson
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has crazy hair but he is quite sane regarding the status of his LGBTQ constituents.
via Business Insider
Paul Smeaton is not pleased that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to ban conversion therapy. Smeaton, you may recall, is a half-assed religious academic at a miniscule Catholic “college.” I do give Smeaton credit for quoting PM Johnson as his subtitle:
Helping people overcome their unwanted sexual desires is 'absolutely abhorrent and has no place in a civilized society,' said Johnson.
Johnson has it about right. Conversion therapy is pseudoscience lacking any reasonably scientific study. It is not studied because practitioners know the outcome. At some point after completing “therapy,” the overwhelming majority of people will revert to their natural sexuality and they will have been damaged.

While there is no reputable research to support the safety and efficacy of conversion therapy, there is research concluding that the practice is toxic. According to Mr. Smeaton:
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the government will move to ban “gay conversion therapy,” while failing to define how this might impact those seeking help with unwanted same-sex attraction.
The “impact” might be that people will come to accept their sexuality instead of futilely torturing themselves to change what cannot be changed. Perhaps people will ask the right questions.
U.K. lobby group Christian Concern has pointed out in response to Johnson’s comments this week that “nowhere has the government or the UN offered any real definition of ‘conversion therapy’, and any ban would likely involve sacrificing the freedom of Christian counsellors and ministries to offer talking therapies, counselling and even prayer to those who want to turn away from LGBT attractions and practices.”
Please. Conversion therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of attempting to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity. The so-called “freedom of Christian counselors” is irrelevant compared to the freedom of people to accept their sexuality. The safety of clients should be of paramount concern.

If Johnson uses some U.S. state laws as a working model then individuals will still be able to attempt to pray-their-gay-away. It will not succeed but they can try.
Some social conservatives celebrated the resounding general election victory in November last year for Johnson and the Conservative Party, with the other major parties having made the decriminalization of abortion and the promotion of LGBT causes prominent aspects of their election manifestos. However, it was a Conservative-led government which in 2013 introduced same-sex “marriage” without it having appeared in their manifesto, with Johnson a vocal supporter of the legislation.
Smeaton is confusing conservatism with religious conservatism. Those are two very different things.

Oh, the poor dears as victims:
Johnson’s comments are in line with moves around the world to ban so-called “conversion therapy.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is currently pushing legislation that would prohibit parents from seeking to help their son or daughter overcome gender confusion or unwanted homosexual attraction. In Germany, a bill was launched earlier this year that would ban all therapies “aimed at changing or suppressing sexual orientation or self-perceived gender identity,” and the recently formed Irish coalition government has made it a part of their Programme for Government to “ban conversion therapy.”
One more time: There is no such thing as “gender confusion.” It is a term made up by religious fanatics who do not approve of transgender people. Gender dysphoria is a condition that is well established in medical science literature and equally well understood.
In New York, an Orthodox Jewish psychotherapist who for more than 50 years has regularly seen patients asking for help in overcoming same-sex attraction, has successfully fought back against a law that would have banned his conversation-based therapy. The city of New York was first forced to repeal the law and subsequently agreed to pay $100,000 in lawyers’ fees and damages after Dr. Dovid Schwartz of the Chabad Lubavitch Orthodox Jewish Community launched his legal challenge last year, arguing that the law violated the First Amendment’s guaranteed right to free speech.
Perhaps Dr. Schwartz can enlighten us with his follow-up studies. New York State law continues to ban conversion therapy on minors. Furthermore, Mr. Smeaton has not bothered to read the settlement agreement. $100,000 was paid to Alliance Defending Freedom. There are no “damages.”

Furthermore, the City was not “forced” to repeal the law. The City made that choice rather than litigating the matter. Moreover, the settlement agreement makes no conclusions of law. The City has specifically not admitted any wrongdoing.

I will remind readers that the now defunct JONAH existed off of orthodox Jews. A jury determined that Jonah engaged in consumer fraud. It committed further fraud when it reconstituted itself under a different name.

Zack gets a mention:
Defenders of bans on “reparative” or “conversion” therapy, such as Zack Ford of the American left-wing ThinkProgress, claim that “every major medical organization has condemned the practice as ineffective and harmful.” But many former homosexuals, such as Angel Colon and Drew Berryessa, attest to the treatments’ success in improving their lives. They say they want others currently struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction to have the same options that benefited them.
Of course Zack Ford is no longer with Center for American Progress. “Many former homosexuals” do not exist. Angel Colon is trying to satisfy his preacher father and, in the process, gotten the attention he desired. Drew Berryessa claims to have become heterosexual 25 years ago. He has an economic interest — as a preacher in Oregon — in claiming to be “ex-gay.”

Conservative Christianity is heavily invested in conversion therapy. Claims regarding conversion therapy are made in an effort to convince people that gender identity and sexual orientation are choices. That, in turn, serves as justification of discrimination.

Collectively, proponents of conversion therapy have substantial resources. Yet they choose not to allocate funds to research. They do not do so because they know what the end result will demonstrate: Conversion therapy is neither safe nor effective.

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