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SB 1172 Headed To Assembly; Bigots Get Angry

SB 1172, the bill currently kicking around the California legislature that would outlaw the administration of "reparative therapy" to children, is likely to move to the full assembly next week. If the houses can agree on the bill's wording, it'll head to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown, who either will or won't sign it sometime in September. It's a story worth watching.

FOX News has certainly been paying attention. They've published a pretty good overview of the story so far -- though, being FOX, they do include an unnecessary number of paragraphs like this one:

"[The law] unconstitutionally prohibits speech…violates privacy and personal autonomy rights, intermeddles in theological disputes, clashes with other laws and creates significant unintended consequences," Matt McReynolds, a staff attorney with Sacramento-based Pacific Justice Institute, said.

110719 TedLieuA lot of people are agog over the bill, and none moreso than the "Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays" (PFOX), who've penned an open letter to State Sen. Ted Lieu (right), the architect of SB 1172, to cease promoting his "harmful, anti-family bill." Speaking to the Christianist website OneNewsNow, PFOX's Executive Director, Regina Griggs, defended coercive reparative therapy for minors by saying:

If you look at the CDC report kids 13-24, youth who have been diagnosed by HIV increased by 44 percent ... Of those people ages 13-24 that were diagnosed by the CDC, 89 percent was attributed to men having sex with men. I don't think 13-year-olds are grown-ups. I don't consider them men; they are children. Talk about endangering children. He's talking about denying them help so they become trapped in a relationship that is increasing, constantly subjecting them to a possibility of AIDS, of which there is no cure.

Ms. Griggs, it is safe to assume, does not have a background in statistics.

Incidentally, PFOX recently publicly excoriated Exodus International, once America's premier organization of de-gayers, for their softening stance on the rights of gays to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This was after Exodus updated its "Policy Statements" webpage to read, in part:

... we stand with the LGBT community both in spirit, and when necessary, legally and physically, when violence rears it’s head in Uganda, Jamaica or anywhere else in the world.

PFOX characterized this assertion as "supporting sodomy rights elsewhere in the world," a development it called "troubling."

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  1. Let's see, you have a significantly better chance of the following than being "cured" after attending these therapies:

    Suffering from depression
    Substance abuse
    Engaging in high risk behaviors
    Suicide attempts

    So basically, the crazy righties want to have the right to abuse their children. And we're violating their "religious freedom" or "First Amendment rights" by preventing them from doing such.

    Posted by: KPO5 | Aug 18, 2012 2:38:03 PM

  2. While I certainly support the bill's good intentions, why isn't it enough to have had the relevant major professional organizations come out against reparative therapy?

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Aug 18, 2012 2:44:30 PM

  3. oh, the irony.

    there's nothing more harmful to a family than a belief in "ex-gays"

    no family has ever been torn apart because someone is gay.
    families are only torn apart when members are anti-gay.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Aug 18, 2012 2:48:13 PM

  4. "Ms. Griggs, it is safe to assume, does not have a background in statistics."

    I adore my BKT.

    Posted by: Mikey | Aug 18, 2012 3:05:34 PM

  5. They also clame to be friends of gays, how exactly are they friends?

    Posted by: GeorgeM | Aug 18, 2012 3:22:41 PM

  6. By the same logic, we should turn straight kids gay to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

    Posted by: simon | Aug 18, 2012 3:34:09 PM

  7. Obviously right-wingnuts are having their freedom to abuse children infringed-upon. Nobody should interfere with their god-given right to abuse their children any way they see fit. It's the 'Merican way!!

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Aug 18, 2012 3:36:52 PM

  8. There's soooo many gay children who took their own lives due to these conversion programs. So many have died in vain.

    Posted by: Malone | Aug 18, 2012 3:43:04 PM

  9. How is it not a form of child abuse to subject your *child* to convert who they are, change who they inherently are, often in militant extreme ways, while psychologically breaking them down? Absurd what these homophobes will do, but even more important is we need to stand up for those voiceless kids who literally have no one to turn to.

    Posted by: USC Trojans Fan | Aug 18, 2012 3:44:22 PM

  10. I once saw a documentary on the conversion "therapy" programs directed at gay teens. It was heartbreaking, jaw dropping, emotional and unbelievable. Intense doesn't begin to describe it. I am in my 30s and couldn't handle watching the segments, I couldn't imagine the emotional trauma it would be to actually live it as a child.

    Posted by: Scott Johansen | Aug 18, 2012 3:45:48 PM

  11. I have a friend who was told to go to one of these horrific programs by her parents. They told her she either goes and changes her sexuality or she's out of their home--at 14. It was one of the worst experiences of her life, and the stories she tells are really upsetting about what goes on with these 'professionals' who attempt to "de-gay" these essentially defenseless young children. It's upsetting it takes place every day in our country, and this bill I believe is truly trying to give a voice to the voiceless as expressed above. THIS is what I call morality, and legislating based on the betterment of society.

    Posted by: Art Smith | Aug 18, 2012 3:48:22 PM

  12. I was one of these "troubled" gay kids these do gooder therapists wanted to convert. I never made any trouble, heck I was what you would classify a standard nerd, with the proud grades to show for it. When my parents realized the obvious at 15, there was a plethora of available ex gay therapists around for me to go to. For 6 months, my parents took me from one facility to another. They didn't feel ONE reparative program was enough. And yes, there's sadly many of them out there. It was the most agonizing period of my life. I've never felt more lonely or made to feel lonely. I look back (it was only seven years ago) and am shocked I got through it. It was through reaching out to a local LGBT Center and the support I got from that that truly helped save my life.

    Unless you all have experienced the pain, rejection, confusion, isolation, and mental beatdowns these programs deliver, there is truly no way of knowing how bad they are. I sincerely wish our community knew more about this, and involved themselves to fight these reparative programs that are basically killing LGBT kids. What many people don't realize is the ultimatum these kids are given. It's basically a "do or die" situation, with the people who you think should protect you most in this world giving you an ultimatum that you either go do this, or you're out of their lives. It's horrible. I can't begin to express how bad it is, and even writing this gets me emotional, and I usually attempt not to talk about it. But I felt it's poignant to bring a first hand account on here.

    Posted by: Tyrone | Aug 18, 2012 3:58:25 PM

  13. Let's look at the number of kids who turn to drugs, alcoholism, and much worse, after "graduating" these "therapy" programs don't harm.

    Posted by: LazerLightbeams | Aug 18, 2012 4:00:49 PM

  14. I can't even believe this is being contemplated. That parents taking their children to facilities to mentally change who they were naturally and inherently meant to be is disgusting. My stomach actually turns at the thought. This would be no different than African American Uncle Tom parents taking their black children to some program that attempts to bleech their skin, and then tell them how horrific looking black is. It's absurd. Absurd that we allow it to be enforced on our kids. It's yet another exhibit of how truly deeply rooted homophobia is in our society.

    Posted by: Shannon | Aug 18, 2012 4:03:05 PM

  15. If you have a heart, and you have two brain cells to rub together, you know the flaws of these programs and why they should be outlawed for minors. I mean seriously, just an ounce of compassion and a heart would do it. Religious people never ever cease to amaze me.

    Posted by: 2Dads | Aug 18, 2012 4:04:45 PM

  16. Did this religious organization REALLY defend their practice by saying anyone who disagrees with it is "anti family"

    What a warped, sick, twisted idea on family they have.

    I swear, given the outcome of most hetero parents (be it divorce, abuse, or extremist homophobia) I'd take my chances with gay parents ANY day. Any day.

    Why do religious Conservatives think they have monopoly on the word "family" and use it in such obscene manners?

    Posted by: J | Aug 18, 2012 4:06:43 PM

  17. My heart ripped out of my chest reading your story Tyrone. I know it's probably what many gay kids are living right this very moment, and feel so helpless. I'm so glad you recovered, yet so hurt for the kids exposed to this abuse.

    Posted by: Kyle | Aug 18, 2012 4:08:28 PM

  18. How exactly is the bill "anti-family?" I think it speaks volumes when the right equates "pro-gay" with "anti-family." Heck, it's not even a "Pro-gay" bill; it's more of a "pro-life" bill by protecting children from the harmful effects of ex-gay therapy.

    Posted by: NOMComments | Aug 18, 2012 4:20:11 PM

  19. 'Sodomy rights'.. Every time I hear them use 'Sodomy' against us I just think they are stuck in the 1800s.
    Quite a lot of gay men do not perform anal sex and last time I checked it wasnt the lesbians favourite either, so well under half of gay people do it.. They really need a new attack because from talking to my straight mates, many of them do it, or want to..

    Posted by: Rovex | Aug 18, 2012 4:45:41 PM

  20. It is no wonder that those of us who have more trouble than others controlling our fear and anger by the constant bombardment of hate coming from the far right, the Christians of this world, the religious zealots who constantly and continually lie, make up sh*t, and go to great lengths to convince others their way is the only Godly way - well, it is no wonder that gay people get mad. Their lives are under attack, not lightly but with heavy and detrimental assault.

    If there is anything I wish for it is that no other gay person loses control and hands the religious fanatics another grand prize leading to those same fanatics trumpeting "We told you so! Help us kill them all!!!"

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Aug 18, 2012 5:01:26 PM

  21. These ex gay antigay Christians are insane, they force children who may or may not be gay into "therapy" which is really some kind of insane pray the gay away while being electric shocked by a psychiatrist of some such nut job. This is forced torture on children and needs to be outlawed around the world as it kills countless children, some who might not even be gay. Stop these ex gay mad men now before they torture any more children.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 18, 2012 5:20:38 PM

  22. "Ms. Griggs, it is safe to assume, does not have a background in statistics."

    Nor does Ms. Griggs appear to have a background in stringing two sentences together in a logical manner.

    Posted by: Hunter | Aug 18, 2012 5:36:46 PM

  23. I'm this pic of the good Sen. Lieu is he visually describing the brain size of beech Griggs or the penis size of the average evangelical? I wish he would clarify his hand gesture.

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Aug 18, 2012 6:27:23 PM

  24. I am 30 doing this therapy and is working for me, was there some hard work? yes but nothing cruel. If you want to be gay, be gay! but dont take away my rights. When I was a kid I wanted this therapy and I was denied to it.
    Signing this bill is taking away the rights of a kid or teen who does want to change. The bill should only ban it when is obviously against the minors will.

    Posted by: tom | Aug 18, 2012 9:23:53 PM

  25. "intermeddles in religious disputes"

    This is one of the Religious Right's rallying cries: religious freedom only for us. It is interesting to me that in passing the decision of Roe v. Wade mentioned a lack of religious consensus -- and we all known that the RR wants to do to that decision, in spite of a continuing lack of religious consensus.

    A to my former post - I am embarrassed to admit that I had forgotten about so-called Christian therapists who cannot tolerate authoritative pronouncements.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Aug 19, 2012 7:02:06 AM

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