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Minnesota Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Ban Gay Conversion Therapy for Minors: VIDEO


Minnesota Representative Susan Allen (DFL-Minneapolis) has introduced legislation to ban gay conversion therapy for minors, Patch reports:

“If you look at over the period of the last five years, they’ve sort of changed the way they advertise their services,” Allen told Capitol Report host Julie Bartkey. “It’s not as obvious anymore that some of the Christian, sort of, based mental health services that offer this type of therapy. It’s just sort of given that it’s part of their family therapy. So it is prevalent, and it is a nationwide problem.”

Minnesota’s best known conversion therapy practitioner is Marcus Bachmann, the husband of 6th District Congresswoman Rep. Michele Bachmann. In 2011, Marcus Bachmann acknowledged that therapists in his Christian counseling business will offer conversion therapy to those who want it—although he said the practice, which was renamed Counseling Care in December, is not focused on converting gays to heterosexuality.

Said Allen: “It’s a practice that’s been discredited. There’s 40 years of research.”

Watch Allen talk about it on Capitol Report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Similar bills have been introduced in New York and Maryland, and passed in New Jersey and California.

Continue reading "Minnesota Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Ban Gay Conversion Therapy for Minors: VIDEO" »

Bills Introduced to Ban 'Ex-Gay' Therapy for Minors in New York

The Empire State Pride Agenda yesterday launched a campaign to pass legislation that would ban harmful 'ex-gay' therapy for minors in New York.

SchaeferESPA reports, via press release:

Bills were jointly introduced in both houses of the legislature by State Assemblymember Deborah Glick (Assembly bill: A06983A) as well as State Senator Brad Hoylman and State Senator Michael Gianaris (Senate bill: S04917A).

This legislation would protect LGBT youth from so-called therapists who use dangerous and discredited practices aimed at changing their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Said Pride Agenda Executive Director Nathan M. Schaefer

“Trying to change someone’s true identity through so-called therapy is a dangerous practice that can seriously harm our LGBT youth. Anyone who says they can change an LGBT person from being who they are is preying off of fear and confusion to sell a practice that doesn’t work and causes lasting harm.”

Added Glick:

“We are happy that Empire State Pride Agenda is advocating for this important legislation. Stronger laws to protect LGBT youth from being subjected to these unsafe and disproven practices are long overdue.”

Added Hoylman:

"Banning this so-called 'therapy' is a bipartisan issue. Since last spring, legislation prohibiting it has passed with bipartisan support in New Jersey and was upheld by a federal court in California. It's time for New York to protect our kids from this insidious practice, which has been thoroughly discredited by experts and poses a serious threat to the health and well-being of LGBT youth."

Maryland Lawmakers to Introduce Trans Rights Bill, 'Ex-Gay' Therapy Ban

Maryland lawmakers this week introduced bills to ban discrimination based on gender identity and expression and also harmful "ex-gay" therapy for minors, the Washington Blade reports:

MadalenoState Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) will introduce the transgender rights bill in the state Senate. State Del. Luke Clippinger (D-Baltimore City) plans to bring forth the measure in the House of Delegates, even though the chamber passed a trans rights bill in 2011.

“We didn’t want to lose the opportunity to work with our House members,” said Equality Maryland Executive Director Carrie Evans.

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee last March by a 6-5 vote struck down a bill Madaleno and state Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery County) introduced that would have banned anti-trans discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation. State Sens. Norman Stone (D-Baltimore County), C. Anthony Muse (D-Prince George’s County) and James Brochin (D-Baltimore County) voted against the measure.

Both Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller (D-Prince George’s and Calvert Counties) and House Speaker Michael Busch (D-Anne Arundel County) back the bill.

Merger Creates Largest 'Ex-Gay' Mormon Ministry

Utah-based "ex-gay" Mormon support group Evergreen International has merged with North Star, a similar group, as the state awaits a decision from SCOTUS Justice Sonia Sotomayor on whether its marriage equality status will be upheld, the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

MansfieldBefore doing so, Evergreen International turned over some of its resources and mailing lists — said to number up to 30,000 participants, including many from Spanish-speaking countries — to a newer LDS-based gay support group, North Star.

Combining the two groups, organizers say, will create "the largest single faith-based ministry organization for Latter-day Saints who experience same-sex attraction or gender-identity incongruence and will also provide increased access to resources for church leaders, parents, family and friends."

North Star claims it does not advocate reparative therapy, but it does not object to it either:

As to the question of changing or diminishing sexual orientation, North Star takes no position, says the group’s newly named president, Ty Mansfield (pitcured).

"If someone had a positive experience with reparative therapy or change, we are OK with them sharing that," says Mansfield, a marriage and family therapist in Provo. "If they had a negative experience, they can share that, too."

From the North Star press release:

Founded in 1989 as a non-profit education and resource organization by individuals who were experiencing unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA/SGA) in their own lives, Evergreen International was founded on the belief that the atonement of Jesus Christ enables every soul the opportunity to turn away from all sins or conditions that obstruct their temporal and eternal happiness and potential. Evergreen attests that individuals can overcome homosexual behavior and can diminish same-sex attraction, and is committed to assisting individuals who wish to do so. Evergreen provides education, guidance, and support and is available as a resource to family, friends, professional counselors, religious leaders, and all others involved in assisting individuals who desire to change.

Founded in 2006, North Star is a peer-led, community-driven organization—a grass-roots effort with a mission to empower men and women who experience same-sex attraction and gender identity issues, as well as their friends, spouses, or other family members, to more authentically and healthily live the gospel of Jesus Christ. North Star is successful because of the efforts of many individuals who contribute their time, talents, and hearts to various aspects of its mission. Though it is not a membership-based organization, North Star serves as a resource to the community through its website (, eighteen on-line discussion groups organized around specific user demographics, bi-monthly firesides, an annual conference, wives retreats, couples retreats, the Voices of Hope Project, and more.

NARTH and Family Watch International Debut New 'Ex-gay' Documentary - VIDEO

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 2.06.18 PM

Last month, two prominent "reparative therapy" groups, NARTH and Family Watch International, decided to put their discredited, half-witted minds together to create a documentary that would help explain their junk science in layman's terms.

In a statement on the release of the film, Family Watch International, which Right Wing Watch reports has ties to virulently anti-gay activism in Uganda, said that they produced the film to help "dispel the myths about homosexuality" that are pushed by "angry" and "intolerant" gay rights activists:

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 2.11.15 PM" is common for homosexual activists to get angry, attack and harass people who claim they have changed. They engage in what they call 'jamming' by harassing and discrediting anyone who claims they have changed in order to squelch their message. This is why two of the men in our documentary felt they needed to hide their identity. All of these men are very brave to tell their story."

RWW has also put together a short highlight reel from the film, "Understanding Same-Sex Attraction," which you can check out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NARTH and Family Watch International Debut New 'Ex-gay' Documentary - VIDEO" »

Bullied Minnesota Student Calls for Ban on 'Ex-gay' Therapy for LGBT Kids

Alec Fischer

A University of Minnesota student who experienced extreme anti-gay bullying growing up has launched a petition urging Minnesota to become the third state to ban ex-gay therapy, behind New Jersey and California.

That student, Alec Fisher, has secured over 82,000 signatures for the petition and has already drafted language for a bill that would ban the practice in Minnesota with the help of State Representative Karen Clark (DFL-Minneapolis). Both hope to have the bill introduced before the legislative session begins in February.

"This bill is about saving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender kids in the state of Minnesota," said Fischer, who chronicled his and other students' stories of bullying in a Kickstarter documentary film, Minnesota Nice?

GLAAD, which worked closely to help pass the ex-gay therapy ban in New Jersey earlier this year, said that Fischer's work in Minnesota is critical in creating a culture accepting of all kids.

"The vast majority of Americans, including every scientific and medical professional association, are aware of how harmful and dangerous so-called 'ex-gay' therapy is for LGBT people and their loved ones, said Ross Murray, GLAAD's Director of News. "The fact that this practice hasn't been banned is a grave injustice that is quickly righting itself."

To sign the petition (and help get Marcus Bachmann unemployed), click HERE



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