One of the sound bites that one hears ad nausea from Virginia's homophobic right wing, "pro-life" Christians is their deep concern for "the children." One hears similar bleating from their political prostitutes within the Republican Party who will go to any lengths not to offend their Christofascist masters. In reality, both groups only care about some children - those in utero and, after they are born, only white, heterosexual children. The lives and well being of all the rest evaporates at birth and we see these "devout Christians" doing all in their power to marginalize and make life a living hell for LGBT children, youth and adults. In respect to poor minority children, they support every effort to slash the social safety net and deprive them of health care assess. They reserve something special for LGBT youth, however: (i) constant propaganda that being LGBT is wrong and shameful, and (ii) so-called "conversion therapy" - which is condemned by every legitimate medical and mental health association in America - that constitutes nothing less than a form of psychological and sometimes actual physical torture aimed at making LGBT youth "straight." Yet through all of this we hear the disingenuous, hypocrisy laden claim that these people care about "the children." A piece in GayRVA looks at the continued Christofascist/GOP effort to subject LGBT youth to what constitutes torture. Here are excerpts:
Good afternoon, pro-lifers of Greater Virginia! I hope you’re sitting, because we need to talk.You claim to be about the children, about their lives and safety. Do you just mean while they’re in utero? Or do you still care about them once they’re out of the womb — but only if they’re straight?
Because if you really care about children — ALL children — the way you say you do, then we need to know where you stand on conversion therapy.
The battle to ban conversion therapy continues to rage on here in Virginia. For years, bills have been proposed within the General Assembly to ban it. Sadly, all have failed.
As recently as January of this year, Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) introduced a bill that would ban conversion therapy (defined within the bill as “any practice or treatment that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity”) for minors in Virginia, and prohibit licensed therapists from performing it. Of course, the bill was sadly killed by Republicans on the Senate Education and Health Committee, 8-7.
Surovell explained to the Richmond Times-Dispatch that there is sufficient evidence proving the psychological and physical harm this plays on minors, including increased depression and suicide attempts. The American Psychological Association has outright stated that conversion therapy is harmful — a 2007 report on the practice by the APA stated that “results of scientifically valid research indicate that it is unlikely that individuals will be able to reduce same-sex attractions or increase other-sex sexual attractions through sexual-orientation change efforts.”
But, hey. Why listen to people who are actual experts? Silly talk!
In an interview with NBC12, Ted Lewis, Head Director of Side By Side, talks about what can happen to your child in conversion therapy.
“There are a lot of different things that can happen to a young person,” said Lewis. “First and foremost, there is a lot of shame that comes with the person being told they are not okay who they are. And on top of that, the tools used to get them to try and convert can be electric shock, hypnotizing the person, lots of shaming, and sometimes even forced intercourse.”
So, again I have to ask. Why do you seriously just not care about our queer children? Do you seriously care that little that our children are being subjected to legalized torture? You’re okay with them being electrocuted or shamed for just being alive?
[E]ven the state licensing boards are over it, and recently aimed to ban it themselves despite the General Assembly’s continuous attempts to shut down any bills.
Last week, the Department of Health Professions held a work group to discuss this. Potential regulations were discussed that would prohibit anyone licensed to practice in Virginia from using conversion therapy to intentionally alter any child’s sexual or gender identity.
Naturally, Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, argued against these regulations, reminding the group that the bill had been killed in the General Assembly. “I voted against this bill (voted yes to pass by indefinitely) in the Senate Education and Health committee because it violates free speech, religious liberty, and endangers children who should be able to receive helpful counsel,” she posted on Facebook after the meeting.
Sen. Chase. You are specifically who I am calling out in this article. You are the real danger to our children, and people who think like you. You are why our children are dying.
So, I’ll just ask you flat out. Why do you want our queer children to suffer so badly?
So I’m going to ask again, my dear pro-lifers, who swear until they are blue in the face and writhing on the floor that they care about nothing more than the lives of our children. Do you genuinely care about our children once they leave the womb, or do you only care as long as they are cisgender and straight?
The next time you hear Victoria Cobb of The Family Foundation or Republicans like Sen. Amanda Chase bloviating about caring for children, know that it is all a lie. Better yet, call them out on it and, in case of Virginia Republicans, vote them out of office in 2019.Because if you do care about all of our children, and yes I mean every single one of them regardless their gender and or sexual identity, then you need to stop allowing conversion therapy to be foisted upon them. If you’ll stand for that, you’re not pro-life.