Maggie Gallagher issues actual response to Gov. Christie (which is just like the one she says was issued in error)
National Organization For Marriage co-founder Maggie Gallagher says that the initial response attributed to her, first reported by Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner, was issued in error. That being the case, she has put out her actual thoughts in regard to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his move to ban scientifically-discredited "ex-gay" programs, at least as they apply to minors. Oddly, her words are pretty much the same as what she said in the "erroneous" release:
"Governor Chris Christie has just put his name to a bill that uses the power of government to strip both parents and teenagers of the right to seek competent, professional help to live their life in accordance with their own values. The bill does not ban a specific kind of destructive therapy; it is a blanket ban on any licensed counseling professional helping any teenager who does not wish to act on gay (or transgender) desire. Not only efforts to change orientation but efforts to change behavior are forbidden, under penalty of law.
Governor Christie just endorsed a law that thus excludes many gay teens who wish to live in accordance with Bible-based values from the circle of care; he has outright banned chastity as a goal of counseling. His bill is not only anti-religious, anti-liberty, and anti-family, it is anti-science because it does not permit scientific knowledge to evolve in the hands of competent professionals.
The great question now unfolding in our times is: Will we permit government power to be used to strip traditional religious believers of our freedom to live as we choose?
Governor Chris Christie’s answer was yes, he is willing to use government power to restrict liberty and strip religious people of equal rights to live as we choose. Courage would have been genuinely required to veto this bill, and courage was what was sadly wanting."
—Maggie Gallagher, via her NRO blog
First of all, no one can "ban chastity." That's absurd. Denying that homosexuality is something you can factually "pray away" or "cure" is not the same as denying someone's personal choice to be sexually celibate. Every one has that right. And in fact, everyone has the right to be an "ex-gay" (or an "ex-[just about anything]," for that matter). What is up for debate is whether or not licensed therapists have the "right" to break from the American Psychological Association's own findings and offer so-called "reparative therapy" as counseling option. Gov. Christie has determined they do not.
The "issue" here is that Maggie is, in fact, someone who sees homosexuality as "an unfortunate thing." She has admitted it, in her own voice:
Well I do think there's a lot of negative reaction around [ex-gay programs]. But
To me it's just even more basic. Maybe you can change your desires and maybe you can't,
but you can always control your behavior. There's a sleight of hand going on when Ted Olson
says just as we can't discriminate on race, this always applies to gay marriage, he isn't acknowledging
-- some of it's just a fundamental difference where we may or may not find certain relationships deeply
satisfying, and maybe we can't totally control that, but behavior has to be subject
to moral critique and reflection, and skin color doesn't because it's not a behavior.
'Whatever theory you have about how people become gay, and I think there's sort of a mystery in our
fallen world about how people are saddled with that, what I view as an unfortunate thing,
but in any case, you can't expect to be exempted from the idea that your theory
about what sex is, what it's for, how we're supposed to behave can't just be reduced to the
question of what skin color you have. You've got to live in a society where people are free to reflect,
to critique, to disagree with you about that. And that's what Ted Olson and Judge Walker's decision doesn't
acknowledge. It's not about live and let live at the private level, it's about importing as
quote/unquote fact into our founding documents the idea that religious views about the nature and
meaning and purpose of sex are judicially harmful to gay and lesbian people, and
that's just wrong, it's a category error. And it's damaging, I think, not only to the rights of Christians
and other traditional faith communities
-- ultimately it's dehumanizing to gay people for it to be suggested that
their desires are not subject to moral reflection and critique.
She has also admitted that she, as a Catholic, sees both gay people and our supporters as "committing several kinds of very serious sins":
And just like an "ex-gay" person, Maggie is 100% allowed to believe what she believe. If the government tried to ban Maggie's right to believe and express these views, I would be the first to step up and defend her. I would.
But neither Maggie Gallagher nor anyone else has the right to force their faith-driven views into professional practices. Therapists who choose to obtain a license must follow certain guidelines. Obviously, these guidelines should be in accordance with the researched opinions of the professional organizations in their field, speaking in favor of those things proven to better patients and speaking against those prove to be ineffective or even harmful. A guideline discouraging the use of Holy Water of Fatima as a quick fix for broken bones is one that any responsible medical organization should support, no matter how ardently a religious person might believe in said water's efficacy. The same goes for a guideline that opposes the use of holy snake oil to "cure" homosexuality.
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