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UK Lawmaker Slammed for Comparing Gay 'Conversion Therapy' to Sex Change Operation


Roger Helmer, of East Midlands, UK, tweeted on Sunday: "Why is it OK for a surgeon to perform a sex-change operation, but not OK for a psychiatrist to try to 'turn' a consenting homosexual?"

The BBC reports: Roger_helmer

A Conservative Party spokesman said: "We do not condone this sort of language."

Stonewall spokesman Jonathan Finney said: "It's disappointing that an elected representative seems to be supporting so-called gay therapy treatments, which are entirely discredited.

"What lesbian and gay people need is equal treatment by society, not misguided treatment by a minority of health professionals."

Helmer tried to clarify his remarks, saying he was trying to defend the rights of gays: 

"I am always surprised by the instant indignation of a strident minority...I am making a comparison between a lifestyle choice of a homosexual who would prefer not to be a homosexual and a lifestyle choice of a woman who would prefer to be a man. All I am saying is that homosexuals have a right, if they want to do so, to seek professional counselling and advice - I have not suggested homosexuality is something that needs to be cured."

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  1. Everyone SHOULD be able to make lifestyle choices for themselves but homosexuality is not a lifestyle choice. Nor is there a comparison between what drives a transgender person to want to change their body to match their mind and what drives a homosexual to want to change into something that is contrary to their mind. Professional counselors are supposed to be able to recognize the difference and counsel accordingly. The man is simply to ignorant to understand why his statement is ignorant and offensive.

    Gay people should and do have the right to live a "lifestyle" contrary to their orientation, thousands, probably millions worldwide do it every day to one extent or another. That is not a "conversion" or a "turning" or a "curing" of a homosexual or of homosexuality, which is snake oil this man, and the "Counselor" he is trying to defend, are promoting.

    This man and people like him are playing cutesy word games to cover their anti-gay beliefs.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jan 18, 2011 9:55:54 AM

  2. On its face, it's a valid question.
    If someone is honestly consenting to wanting to be a different sexual orientation than they were born with, it's their choice. But I'd think a real psychologist would want to work very hard with such a despairing person to get them to love themselves the way they were created.
    The larger trouble is there's no science but aversion therapy involved in "turning" someone. At least sex-change operations involve true science and medicine.

    Posted by: Michael | Jan 18, 2011 10:05:24 AM

  3. "Lifestyle choice", Mr. Helmer? Hey, with that kind of thinking, please don't out of your way to defend me, OK?? I don't need it (or want it).

    Posted by: Rob | Jan 18, 2011 10:36:07 AM

  4. The therapy can't turn you str8 and the surgery really can't change your sex. In both cases, the only effect is change the appearance of things. For the so-called therapy you learn to live a lie very well while the surgery and hormones will fool the credulous about your gender. In neither case is the effect 100% transformation. Also, the so-called therapy is often imposed on the individual by social pressure or their parents, while the surgery was often performed on unsuspecting infants who later rebelled against their "gender re-assignment". People have all kinds of desires and its too easy to get swept up in the more romantically impossible ones.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 18, 2011 10:43:20 AM

  5. So his indignation as an individual is not a strident minority?

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 18, 2011 10:59:47 AM

  6. His remark is disengenuous. He knows perfectly well that there's nothing stopping people from buying that snake oil if they want. His agenda and his prejudice are plain from that statement.

    Posted by: romeo | Jan 18, 2011 11:36:49 AM

  7. You don't "turn" someone who's gay. You just deactivate their sex drive. That's why "ex-gays" are not heteros.

    Posted by: ophu | Jan 18, 2011 12:24:07 PM

  8. The woman he was trying to defend with his ignorant statement has an ethical option if she wants to counsel "unhappy homosexuals" how to "become heterosexual" based on her religious beliefs. She can give up her professional license, which requires that she work based on science and professional standards and then go to seminary and get a divinity degree so that she can legally, professionally and ethically counsel based on her firmly held religious, but unscientific, beliefs.

    I hope that this is what the professional tribunal tells her.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jan 18, 2011 1:18:12 PM

  9. The double standard is always evident among those who say they want to promote a person's "freedom" to alter his/her orientation. Even if that were possible, these snake-oil salesmen (who are always deeply prejudiced against gay people) never offer how-to-be-gayer therapy to "transform" heterosexuals who wish they had been born gay.

    Posted by: gregv | Jan 18, 2011 11:19:20 PM

  10. Anon -- Those of us who are transgender are not... repeat, NOT trying to "fool" someone, fool!

    I'm as female as any other woman, you ignorant twit -- I have a birth defect which should be covered under insurance just as any other problem like a cleft palate, club foot, etcetera!

    The other cases you're talking about, darling are of intersex conditions, and those kids are the victims of overzealous pediatric surgeons who use fear and intimidation to force these children into nice little categories to satisfy society.

    Posted by: Marlene | Jan 19, 2011 12:36:21 PM

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