June 01, 2012 2:19 pm ET - by Carlos Maza
Earlier this week, the California state senate passed SB 1172, a bill which would effectively ban the widely discredited and potentially harmful practice of trying to turn gay people straight through reparative psychotherapy. Unlike other forms of "ex-gay" therapy, reparative therapy is largely premised on the idea that homosexuality is caused by childhood sexual abuse, trauma, or some other parental failure.
On Thursday, the National Organization for Marriage's (NOM) Ruth Institute published a blog post asking supporters to "please, please spread the word" about the bill:
Please, please, spread the word about this bill, and call your assembly person and/or as many democratic assembly persons as possible (the vote is pretty much going down party lines). To find your rep go to: http://assembly.ca.gov/ and click on the link "Find your representative". [emphasis added]
NOM's blog post also included a press release from the notoriously anti-gay Pacific Justice Institute criticizing the bill for allegedly attempting to eradicate "traditional viewpoints":
The California Senate today voted 23-13 in favor of a groundbreaking bill designed to prohibit counselors and therapists from telling young people it is possible to change same-sex attractions.
The bill has sparked outrage from individuals who have overcome unwanted same-sex feelings sparked by childhood sexual abuse. It is also being opposed by Pacific Justice Institute, whose attorneys believe its blanket ban on certain types of counseling is unconstitutional. PJI has been working with ministries and professionals in the targeted fields to highlight the plethora of legal problems with the bill.
The bill now moves to the state Assembly for consideration. Brad Dacus, the President of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, "We are one giant step closer to seeing one of the most chilling suppressions of speech yet in the never-ending LGBT push to silence opposition. This is clearly no longer about civil rights-it is about eradicating traditional viewpoints. Californians who care about what is happening with SB 1172 need to bombard their Assembly members with phone calls, faxes and in-person visits to urge no votes on SB 1172." [emphasis added]
Even former proponents of "ex-gay" therapy have admitted that the practice is both ineffective and potentially harmful to patients. Still, this is the second time NOM has promoted the "gays can be cured" myth in May alone.
In February, NOM co-founder Maggie Gallagher insisted that her organization has never endorsed "ex-gay" therapy.
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