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NCLR Hosting #BornPerfect Twitter Town Hall On Conversion Therapy

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 4.42.05 PM

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 4.44.43 PMThe National Center for Lesbian Rights said it's hosting a Twitter town hall today at 6:30 p.m. ET to discuss the dangers of conversion therapy, the efforts to stop these practices once and for all and what the community can do in a release issued to the public. The town hall comes days after the tragic death of Leelah Alcorn, who took her life after facing years of rejection and enduring the harmful effects of conversion therapy. Twitters users can submit their questions using the hashtag #BornPerfect.

Town hall panelists include NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, conversion therapy survivor and marriage and family therapist James Guay, Rev. Dr. Justin Tanis of the the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and co-author of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, NCLR Staff Attorney and #BornPerfect Campaign Coordinator Samantha Ames and Maris Ehlers-sister of Kirk Murphy who took his life at the age of 38 in 2003 after undergoing conversion therapy as a child.

NCLR launched the #BornPerfect campaign in June 2014, an initiative geared toward eliminating the practice of so-called “ex-gay” or “reparative” therapy through increased public awareness and the passage of laws across the country to protect LGBT kids from the serious harm caused by these practices. Recently NCLR helped pass legislation in California, New Jersey and the District of Columbia to ban the dangerous practice of conversion therapy. In November 2014, members of the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) questioned U.S. Department of State representatives asking why the use of conversion therapy is still considered a valid practice despite reputable medical organizations condemning the practice.


D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray Signs into Law Bill Protecting LGBT Youth from Conversion Therapy

GrayWashington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray today signed into law a bill protecting LGBT youth from the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy.

D.C. is now the third jurisdiction to ban the harmful practice following California and New Jersey. 

NCLR reacts via statement:

“This law ensures that mental health practitioners can no longer abuse their power to harm young people and families by propagating the dangerous lie that there is something wrong with being LGBT or that therapy can change their core sexual orientation or gender identity,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights Staff Attorney and #BornPerfect Campaign Coordinator Samantha Ames. “By signing this bill into law, Mayor Gray has taken an important step to protect the health and safety of LGBT youth and to prevent unscrupulous therapists from preying on vulnerable families.” 

The National Center for Lesbian Rights has been a leader in the movement to protect youth and their families from these dangerous practices and helped pass legislation in California and New Jersey. Earlier this year, NCLR launched its #BornPerfect campaign to end conversion therapy across the country over the next five years by passing laws, fighting in courtrooms, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by attempts to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

FRC hate leader Tony Perkins attempted to derail passage of the bill earlier this month by claiming it would open "a frightening chapter in the liberal recruiting of LGBTs".

 


Chinese Court Rules Against Gay Conversion Therapy Clinic: VIDEO

Teng

Chinese gay rights activists counted another victory this past Friday following the Haidian District Court’s ruling against a local gay conversion therapy center. Yang Teng, a 30-year old man living in Beijing (who was previously quoted under the pseudonym Xiao Zhen), filed a lawsuit against at the Xinyu Piaoxian clinic after being subjected to a routine of hypnosis and electroshock therapy. Teng checked himself into the clinic after being pressured by his family to attempt “curing” himself of his homosexuality, he explained.

As of 2001, the People’s Republic no longer recognizes homosexuality as a mental illness. Presiding judge Wang Chenghong based her decision on China’s official legal position on homosexuality, reasoning that Teng’s gay desires were not something that could be medically treated. The clinic has been ordered to issue an official apology to Teng and to pay damages totaling 3,500 yuan ($563 US.)

“We accomplished our goal, which was to establish that gay conversion is not a legitimate form of therapy,” Yang said soon after a decision was made. I’m going to take this verdict and show it to my parents so they can see a Chinese court said homosexuality isn’t a mental illness.”

Teng’s family insisted upon his checking into Xinyu Piaoxian after seeing advertisements for the clinic on Baidu, one of China’s largest search engines. Baidu was also named in Teng’s lawsuit, though Judge Chenghong’s ruling did not call for the company to pay damages as well. The search engine would be well advised, she explained, in being more careful in its decisions to run ads for questionable services.

Watch an AllOut video on Zhen's story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Chinese Court Rules Against Gay Conversion Therapy Clinic: VIDEO" »


Fiancé Sets Up Foundation to Honor Partner Who Committed Suicide After Coming Out To His Anti-gay Mother - VIDEO

Nazim Mahmood

Matthew Ogston, the fiancé of London doctor Nazim Mahmood who committed suicide last month after coming out to his mother, has set up a foundation in honor of his partner of 13 years, reports Pink News.

Mahmood threw himself off a balcony in July after his mother urged him to seek a “cure” for his homosexuality.

The Naz and Matt Foundation will support people struggling with religion and sexuality.

Ogston said:

“Naz was a very successful individual, he had a very good career. He was an example in society of an upstanding member of the community.

“We just strived to be good people, doing good things in life – everything Naz did was about seeing the happiness in other people.

“With the Naz and Matt Foundation, I’d like to continue that, to provide a support network and place to go for individuals struggling with their sexuality, and trying to come out.

“It’s one of the hardest things for people from religious backgrounds to overcome if they aren’t going to find acceptance in their community.

“The Naz and Matt Foundation is not particularly aimed at any religion. It’s aimed at communities that are very closed in their perception. There’s a lack of understanding.

“They need to realise that we are still the beautiful children they gave birth to – and they need to accept us for who they are.”

Speaking following the inquest into Mahmood’s death, Ogston said:

“When [Naz] asked ‘why do I need to find a cure, there’s nothing wrong with me, I’m just a good person trying to live a good life’, that must have created such a sadness within Naz. I only wish I’d had longer to have spoken to Naz, to try and talk things through and just tell him it would be okay.”

Watch an interview with Ogston, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Fiancé Sets Up Foundation to Honor Partner Who Committed Suicide After Coming Out To His Anti-gay Mother - VIDEO" »


Hundreds Gather To Protest Virginia 'Ex-Gay' Billboard - VIDEO

Richmond

Hundreds of people gathered at the Gay Community Center of Richmond yesterday to show their support for the city’s LGBT community after a billboard supporting “ex-gay” therapy was erected in the Virginia city by anti-gay activist group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX), reports GAYRVA.com.

PfoxPFOX claimed that the billboard with the words “Nobody is born gay”, which was based on dodgy interpretations of two studies that purportedly deny the existence of a “gay gene”. 

Attending Sunday’s demonstration of support, Richmond resident and mother of two Terra Courtland said it was important for gay families to “show we’re just like everybody else, just trying to raise our kids and live here.”

Another resident, Jason Coast, who identified himself as a straight ally, said “if some of us are being discriminated against, then we all are.”

Following the erection of the billboard, which is set run through the holiday season, Virginia Del Patrick Hope released information about a bill he plans to bring before the 2015 General Assembly to combat ex-gay therapy on minors. The damaging practice has already been banned in New Jersey, California and Washington, D.C.

“Out and proud” gay model Kyle Roux has spoken of his shock at being used for the billboard.

Watch a report on the PFOX billboard, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Hundreds Gather To Protest Virginia 'Ex-Gay' Billboard - VIDEO" »


Model Featured on 'Ex Gay' Virginia Billboard Is Neither 'Ex-Gay' Nor a Twin: VIDEO

Billboard1

Richmond, Virginia's new "Nobody Is Born Gay' sign from 'ex-gay' activist group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) has drawn the ire of the model featured on the billboard, who says he's quite happy being gay and not actually a twin like the sign would have people believe. 

Richmond's WWBT reports:

RouxSpeaking via Skype, Kyle Roux said he was shocked his image was used. Especially since he calls himself an "out and proud" gay man. 

"I was obviously quite shocked, so that why I decided to send you guys an email saying hey, I'm that guy in that billboard," Roux said.

Roux hasn't thought about that photo shoot in nearly a decade. He says the pictures used on the billboard were part of a stock photo shoot he did. Roux signed away the rights and was told the pictures would be used in commercial and corporate ads and brochures. [...]

"It's actually quite a big thing that there is this kind of discrimination and borderline hate speech going on, you know," he said.

Roux says he's worried about teens struggling with their sexuality, and he hopes to empower others. 

DoyleChristian Doyle, a self-professed 'ex-gay' and former board member of PFOX also chimed in on the story, saying Roux is irrelevant to what the billboard is trying to accomplish.

"The issue isn't the photo on a the billboard, but the actual science." 

And by "actual science" Doyle presumably means "thoroughly discredited, pseudo-scientific soul poison"

Watch a segment of Roux's interview with WWBT, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Model Featured on 'Ex Gay' Virginia Billboard Is Neither 'Ex-Gay' Nor a Twin: VIDEO" »


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