Righteous condemnation is being directed at the Catholic Church for child abuse horrors too numerous to count.
It’s time to condemn another group of believers for a practice that is just as ungodly, and just as predatory.
It goes by “gay cure,” or “restorative therapy” or “conversion therapy,” but only one term fits: child abuse.
Supporters of this horrible practice say they do it at Christ’s command. So did the night riders of the Klan.
Viewers of the gripping movie “Boy Erased,” about a child whose parents seek to have his homosexuality nullified through conversion therapy, are greeted in the credits by the fact that 700,000 Americans have been exposed to such horrors.
Some of those people have killed themselves as a result, and many more have considered it.
Studies find that those victimized by conversion therapy have a three-fold likelihood of making attempts on their lives.
Thirty-six years ago the American Psychological Association stopped calling homosexuality a mental illness. Since then the APA has denounced conversion therapy as unethical. As welcome as that advisory might be, it’s completely insufficient. Conversion therapy is a crime, or should be.
With Democrats holding a newfound monopoly in the statehouse, Colorado is on a path to become the 16th state to ban this practice for minors.
The House just passed such a bill 42-20, with two Republicans joining Democrats.
The bill treats conversion therapy with the respect it deserves – as dangerous hucksterism, as a fraud, a “deceptive trade practice” under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act.
That seems so mild, like robo calls and male enhancement claims. It’s so much worse. It’s a church-sanctioned attempt to rub out an individual’s essence.
Lawmakers heard from Isaac Archuleta, now a licensed psychotherapist, for whom, as a teen, conversion therapy was arranged by his mother through a Colorado mega church.
The “therapist” advised him to hang out with men more often and not so much with his mom. He didn’t hang around for what else might come, like electric shock treatment.
He came away contemplating suicide, feeling that he was defective.
“So it’s not that I’m doing something wrong,” he remembers thinking. “It’s that I am wrong.”
It is so very sad and cruel that people who don’t understand sexuality in the first place attempt to make others feel evil for natural inclinations no one can explain.
Sadly, people who tout these “cures” are in the highest echelons of our government. Et tu, Mike Pence.
One of the more poignant moments on late-night television of late was the tearful remarks of actress Ellen Page, speaking with Stephen Colbert about politicians’ efforts to make LGBTQ individuals feel less than human.
She would not gloss over her outrage.
“If you spend your career causing suffering, what do you think is going to happen? Kids are going to be abused, and they’re going to kill themselves.”
She is absolutely right. Politicians in alliance with the religious right have contributed to a horrible environment for young people who simply need an understanding ear.
Americans need to denounce the notion that treats homosexuality as a virus that can be passed through the air.
It’s not an illness. What is an illness is a mindset that doesn’t acknowledge how normal it is for sexual orientation to vary.
Sadly, we have so-called Christian organizations that will do anything they can to prevent LGBTQ individuals from showing the love that their savior urges of us all.
Every state should ban conversion therapy. It’s a crime. It’s a scam. It’s a lie.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.