Sunday, April 29, 2018

Hawaii Becomes 12th State to Ban Bogus "Ex-Gay" Therapy

Among the many exceedingly dishonest things self-style Christian "family values" organizations do is to peddle the discredited myth that sexual orientation is a "choice" and can be "cured" by appropriate "therapy."  Every legitimate mental health and medical association in America has condemned the practice and labeled it unethical for licensed therapists.  It's a topic in which I am well versed.  One of my first efforts at LGBT activism was when I helped to expose Michael Johnston, the poster boy for a campaign backed who's who of the misnamed Christian Right, as a fraud complete fraud and anything but "ex-gay."  Making matters worse, Johnston who was HIV+ was sleeping around the Hampton Roads area of Virginia in gay hook ups without disclosing his HIV status.  For years after Johnston went into hiding at a right wing Christian "ministry" many "family values" organizations continued to sell videos featuring him and touting the ex-gay myth even though they knew full well that Johnston and conversion therapy were both complete frauds.  Why?  Money and to perpetuate the "choice myth" to oppose civil rights fro LGBT individuals.   

Now, Hawaii joins eleven other states which have banned so-called "conversion therapy" for those under age 18.  Virginia and other states need to follow suit.   Here are highlights from Hawaii News Now on the development in Hawaii:
State lawmakers on Friday approved a ban on so-called 'gay conversion therapy' treatments conducted on minors.
Gay rights advocates say the practice, which is largely discredited by healthcare professionals, does more harm than good to those who are subjected to it.
"This has been a priority of the caucus for years," said Michael Golojuch, chair of the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. "(The measure) ensures that LGQTB youth will not be tortured by mental health professionals."
Several states, including California, Oregon and New Jersey, have already passed similar laws. Maryland passed legislation banning the practice earlier this month. 
The bill was opposed by religious groups who consider sexual orientation a choice.

The full list of states (prior to Hawaii's vote) banning ex-gay conversion therapy is as follows: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, the District of Columbia.  In addition, several dozen cities and counties have enacted bans on the practice. 

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