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06/17/2014

There are not two perspectives on whether you can pray away the gay

by Jeremy Hooper

Another state legislature, this time in New York, is pushing to join New Jersey and California in banning the scientifically discredited snake oil known as reparative therapy, as least as it applies to minors. This very much upsets Stephen Hayford of the anti-gay New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms:

"[T]he government's going to decide which perspective on a sensitive issue like adolescent sexuality is the correct one and then heavy handedly legislate in ways that silence one perspective on that issue." [ONN]

Say "perspective" again, pal. It won't add one scintilla of legitimacy to the idea that sexual orientation is a two perspective matter in which credible science and theologically-driven agenda have equal footing.

The truth is that government would step in an ban all kinds of draconian "therapies," if the scientific were rife with many that are similar to the so-called "ex-gay" nonsense. However, there aren't that many analogous examples. The idea that gay people can and should "change," and that untrained straight people who are anti-gay by choice get to have equal sway in this conversation, is quite unique. This particular targeting of a vulnerable minority population is quite unusual and dangerous, and therefore merits heightened attention.

The anti-gay crowd has fully convinced themselves that their biases along earn them a place at the debating table. It's understandable why so many of them feel this way, since society has been legitimizing this idea for far too long. LGBT people and our fact-based supporters have spent decades having to face off against people who simply don't like us, or at least don't like "what we do." On TV, in legislatures, in voting booths, in courts, and even in science, where the other side has created sham groups in order to make their cause seem based in something other than personal animus, we have been forced to entertain this "two perspective" paradigm. We're sick of it; we're standing up against it.

"Ex-gay" therapy is terrible, ignoble, and rooted in mumbo-jumbo (at best). It will be banned within ten years—without apology.

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