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Anti-Gay and 'Ex-Gay' Activists Challenge New Jersey's Ban On Conversion Therapy For Minors - VIDEO

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Anti-gay and “ex-gay” activists have filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting a review of New Jersey’s ban on “conversion therapy” for minors, reports Gay Star News.

In September, a panel for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the ban is not a violation of free speech rights, stating “there is no credible evidence that [“ex-gay”] counseling is effective."

NarthLawyers for the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and the American Association of Christian Counselors filed the petition on December 3rd, which reads:

“The circuit courts of appeal are split as to whether a law restricting what counselors or health-care providers may say and what clients or patients may hear in the privacy of the counselor-client or doctor-patient relationship is speech protected by the First Amendment.”

StaverMat Staver with the Liberty Council, who in the past argued that the U.S. needs a third political party to stop gay marriage just like with slavery,  has also filed a petition with SCOTUS asking the high court to review the Third Circuit's ruling. 

Washington, D.C. recently outlawed the use of “ex-gay” therapy for minors. California became the first state to issue such a ban in 2012.

Seen as a blow to a practice condemned by the American Psychological Association, in November the former director of Love In Action and Exodus International board member John Smid, married his same-sex partner.

Watch NARTH survivor Allen Rosenthal discuss his experiences of "ex-gay" therapy, AFTER THE JUMP...

Read the Liberty Council petition below, via Equality Case Files

Continue reading "Anti-Gay and 'Ex-Gay' Activists Challenge New Jersey's Ban On Conversion Therapy For Minors - VIDEO" »


Tony Perkins: Ban On 'Ex-Gay' Therapy Will Help Recruit LGBT Youth - VIDEO

PerkinsTony Perkins, the leader of rabidly anti-gay listed hate group the Family Research Council, has issued a press release condemning the introduction of a law banning gay “conversion therapy” in Washington, D.C., reports Joe My God.

Writing on the hate group’s website, Perkins takes a positive spin on a harmful practices condemned by the American Psychological Association, promulgates the idea that LGBT youth choose to take part and compares “conversion therapy” to “counseling aimed at helping kids make the transition into another sex.”

“In Washington, D.C., destructive behavior isn’t just encouraged -- efforts to stop it are punished! If kids are looking for a way out of their same-sex attractions, they’ll have to start outside of the nation’s capital. Under a measure just passed by the D.C. Council, counselors can lose their license just for offering the kind of therapy these children seek. Like California and New Jersey, the District is radically opposed to helping young people shake the unwanted sexual feelings they have for members of the same sex.

“It’s all part of the new Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Act, which makes it a crime for therapists and mental health practitioners to coach children out of the sexual confusion they’re experiencing. Council member and author Mary Cheh insists that the District’s move is “a crucial step in the long battle” against “the counterproductive anti-homosexual mindset.” The fact that children are seeking this help doesn’t seem to matter to D.C., which is intent on locking kids into a lifestyle with devastating health, emotional, and societal consequences. Instead, the District wants to make it an offense to help children come to grips with their natural biology -- opening a frightening chapter in the liberal recruiting of LGBTs.

“In a twisted irony, the Council made it quite clear that counseling aimed at helping kids make the transition into another sex is perfectly acceptable. It’s a ludicrous double standard -- one that should draw the ire of every parent who rightly believes they should be the final authority on the kind of treatment their child should receive.”

Watch David Pakman on Perkins' claim to be on the winning side in the fight for same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

Last month, Perkins hinted at a possible boycott of Apple after CEO Tim Cook came out as gay. He has also said that gay rights are part of a wider "anti-life" agenda to end humanity as we know it.

Continue reading "Tony Perkins: Ban On 'Ex-Gay' Therapy Will Help Recruit LGBT Youth - VIDEO" »


'Ex-Gay' Organization Erects Billboard In Virginia Claiming 'Nobody Is Born Gay' - VIDEO

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A Virginia-based “ex-gay” activist group has erected a billboard in Richmond along a major state highway with the words “Nobody is born gay”, reports Huffington Post.

The group behind the billboard Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) has publicly supported the notion of “conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy” in the past, despite the fact that the harmful practice has been condemned by the American Psychological Association and banned in two states and Washington, D.C.

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Bizarrely, PFOX says that the billboard aims to “increase others’ understanding and acceptance of the ex-gay community.”

The billboard refers to two studies that purportedly deny the existence of a “gay gene”. This interpretation of the study has been refuted by its main researcher.

In response to the billboard, Bill Harrison of the Richmond Gay Community said:

"We do not know why people are heterosexual. Maybe when we figure that out, we can determine why some people are not. What we do know is that this type of therapy has caused many people to commit suicide."

A representative for Lamar Advertising, the group that owns the billboard said:

“It is in the best interest of our company and the communities we serve to accept advertising copy openly. We do not accept or reject copy based upon agreement or disagreement with the views presented.”

The billboard is set to run through January 4th.

Watch a report, AFTER THE JUMP...

In 2012, a school district in Maryland defended the distribution of flyers from PFOX to high school students.

Continue reading "'Ex-Gay' Organization Erects Billboard In Virginia Claiming 'Nobody Is Born Gay' - VIDEO" »


Austin May Become First City In Texas To Offer Trans-Inclusive Healthcare Benefits To Employees: VIDEO

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Last month, the Austin Police Department welcomed its first openly transgender officer. However, a widely overlooked footnote to the story of Senior Officer Greg Abbink (above) was that he had to pay for his surgery out of his retirement savings. 

Fortunately, that may not be the case for the next city of Austin employee who transitions on the job. That's because Austin is poised to become the first city in Texas to offer transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits to its employees. 

The City Council is slated to consider a resolution Thursday under which the city's health plan would cover primary care, hormone therapy, mental health care and surgical care for transgender employees beginning in 2015. Austin currently does not cover hormone therapy or surgical care for transgender employees, the resolution states. 

The resolution notes that transgender healthcare is widely considered to be medically necessary and that 42 US cities currently cover it including Washington, D.C., Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, Miami Beach and Boston. 

The resolution also states that utilization rates for trans-inclusive healthcare are as low as one in 20,000, and that studies have shown that 85 percent of employers that offer them face no additional costs. 

Nevertheless, the The Travis County Taxpayers Association is opposing the resolution, according to KXAN-TV

“The City of Austin — and by virtue of the City of Austin — the taxpayers in the city of Austin, shouldn’t be footing the bill for any kind of elective surgery,” said Roger Falk, with the Travis County Taxpayers Union. ... 
Falk feels city leaders should focus their attention on issues affecting more people.
“It’s not our choice, it’s not our decision, and it’s not a public issue,” Falk said. “It’s a private issue, and we shouldn’t be having to pay for it.”

The resolution is sponsored by City Councilmen Mike Martinez and Chris Riley. Martinez is in a runoff for mayor on Dec. 16.

Watch KXAN's report and read the resolution, AFTER THE JUMP...  

Continue reading "Austin May Become First City In Texas To Offer Trans-Inclusive Healthcare Benefits To Employees: VIDEO" »


Apple Goes (RED) In Support of World AIDS Day

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Apple has begun to illuminate its iconic logo in red to highlight its participation in Product (RED) in time for World AIDS Day. The Cupertino-based company began its show of support in its Sydney flagship store yesterday, with stores across the world in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Europe, and the U.S. soon to follow suit. Founded by Bono and Shriver in 2006, (RED) is a licensed brand meant to raise awareness and financial support for HIV/AIDS awareness prevention program in Africa. Proceeds from the sale of Product (RED) branded goods contribute to the The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, which finances independent programs targeting those diseases.

The official number that Apple reports to have raised for Product (RED) is around $75 million dollars, but earlier this year Bono lashed out against Apple for being notoriously coy about its sales figures. Though Apple has participated in Product (RED) since 2006, this marks the second year that the computing giant has rolled out a fully-fledged campaign coordinated with the initiative.

Cook"This year, we are launching our biggest fundraising push yet with the participation of Apple’s retail and online stores,” recently out Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “Some of the brightest minds in the App Store are lending their talents to the effort, as well.”

In addition to special editions of iPods, iPads, and accessories, Apple is rolling out Product (RED) applications that, while non-physical, will contribute to the campaign in the same way.

“For eight years, our customers have been helping fight AIDS in Africa by funding life-saving treatments, which are having a profoundly positive impact, "Cook said. “Apple is a proud supporter of (RED) because we believe the gift of life is the most important gift anyone can give.”


Groundbreaking Study Explores The Lives of Pregnant Transmen

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Obstetrics and Gynecology has published the findings of a study looking into the lives of transgender men who make the decision to have children post-transition. The self reporting participants of the study shed light on the experience of being pregnant as a publically male-presenting man, the data for which is exceedingly rare.

"Pregnancy and childbirth were very male experiences for me," one 29-year old participant reported. "When I birthed my children, I was born into fatherhood."

The study was first conceptualized by Alexis Light, a first year OB/GYN resident at Washington, D.C.’s Washington Hospital Center. Light found herself repeatedly unable to field questions from transgender men interested in becoming pregnant who had questions about the safety of continued hormone use.

"My friends were asking me be if they should delay starting testosterone if they had an interest in maintaining future fertility," Light said explained to NPR.

Light approached  Dr. Jennifer Kearns, an assistant professor of reproductive sciences at the  University of California, San Francisco with the idea to design a survey that would aggregate the experience of transmen who had successfully conceived and carried babies to term.

The lack of insight into the population of pregnant transmen, Kearns explained, was due mostly to the fact that many transmen felt unconnected to their healthcare providers.

"They just feel a lot of isolation from the healthcare community," she explained. "And we have some indication from our qualitative results that depression might be exacerbated for folks who are transgender, both during pregnancy and after."


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