Thursday, January 09, 2014

Bill to Ban "Ex-Gay" Therapy Filed in Maryland

The "ex-gays" for pay at PFOX and "ex-gay" ministries may want to start looking into another line of work.  Meanwhile, hate groups such as American Family Association, Family Research Council, and NOM must be shrieking and wailing.  Why?  Because on the heels of a bill in Virginia to ban "ex-gay" therapy, a similar bill has now been introduced in Maryland.  Every legitimate medical and mental health association condemns so-called conversion therapy which is not only ineffective (as admitted by the last president of the now defunct Exodus International) but also dangerous.  Yet the Christofasicist continue to strive to keep the "ex-gay" myth alive as part of their jihad against gay equality.  The Washington Blade looks at the Maryland bill.  Here are highlights:

Efforts to ban discrimination based on gender identity and expression and so-called “ex-gay” conversion therapy to minors are top priorities for Maryland LGBT rights advocates during the 2014 legislative session that begins on Wednesday.

State Del. Jon Cardin (D-Baltimore County) has introduced a bill that would ban “ex-gay” conversion therapy to minors in Maryland.

The original version of House Bill 91 only includes sexual orientation, but Cardin’s legislative director Josh Greenfield told the Blade on Tuesday it will be amended to include gender identity and expression. Madaleno is also expected to introduce the measure in the Senate.

“There are numerous gay conversion therapy providers as well as organizations like the infamous International Healing Foundation located right here in Maryland advocating for what I consider very harmful conversion therapies,” said Cardin, noting Prince George’s County Public Schools last year stopped using an anti-bullying curriculum that included references to the Bowie-based organization and other “ex-gay” groups. “To me it is incredibly repulsive.”

Evans told the Blade that Equality Maryland is working with Cardin, who is running to succeed Gansler as attorney general, to “explore some non-legislative options to reach the same goals.” These include working with state boards that govern therapeutic practices in Maryland to change administrative policies.

International Healing Foundation Director Christopher Doyle criticized Cardin and others who seek to ban conversion therapy to minors in Maryland.

“This is not being fueled by mental health advocates,” Doyle told the Blade on Tuesday. “This is being done by political organizations that are more interested in promoting a political ideology as opposed to clients’ rights.”

Ex-gay "therapy" needs to be banned nationwide.  One can only hope that the bans manage to pass in both Virginia and Maryland.  Whatever the outcome, it's safe to expect that the Christofascists will claim that they are being persecuted and their religious liberty being violated.   The real violation is inflicting fraudulent "ex-gay" therapy - which is tantamount to child abuse - on minors, usually to satisfy the wishes of parents who are more concerned about what others might think than they are about the ultimate welfare of their children.

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