Tuesday, November 19, 2019

American Medical Association: Ban Conversion Therapy

I am a strong advocate of banning all "conversion therapy" in the USA, both for minors and adults, and there should be ZERO so-called religious exemptions from any such ban. Religious belief does not entitle the harming of others.  While I personally never was subjected to a formal conversion therapy program - or "ministry as the Christofascists disingenuously call them - I know a number of individuals that suffered that fate.  All were harmed by the experience and some have never fully recovered from the nightmare ordeal.  Now, the American Medical Association ("AMA") has come out more forcefully in calling for a total ban of the practice which has no basis in fact or science and is very dangerous.  From all the reading and researchers I have spoken with, the reality is that sexual orientation is largely set before birth as a result of hormone levels and nothing will reverse this natural wiring, if you will, one one's brain.  Add to this the reality that Christofascists have intentionally funded gay conversion therapy for the deliberate purpose of using the "change myth" as I call it for the purpose of opposing gay rights legislation. A piece in The Advocate looks at the AMA's increased effort to stop the fraudulent and harmful "therapy."  Here are highlights: 

The American Medical Association adopted several LGBTQ-supportive policies at a meeting Tuesday, endorsing bans on conversion therapy and backing inclusion of more information on transgender patients in electronic health records, and also pledged to address racial pay gaps in medicine.
The AMA has spoken out on these issues before, but the policies OK’d at a San Diego meeting of the House of Delegates strengthen its position, according to an AMA press release.
The physicians’ group has long opposed the use of conversion therapy, designed to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, but now it will support both federal and state bans on the practice, for both children and adults, and will develop model legislation for this purpose. Eighteen states and numerous cities and counties prohibit licensed therapists from subjecting minors to conversion therapy, but no jurisdiction in the U.S. bans its use on adults.
“The AMA heard testimony, including first-hand accounts, regarding the significant harms triggered by conversion therapy, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal thoughts and attempts,” the release states.
“It is clear to the AMA that the conversion therapy needs to end in the United States given the risk of deliberate harm to LGBTQ people,” AMA board member William E. Kobler, MD, said in the release. “Conversion therapy has no foundation as scientifically valid medical care and lacks credible evidence to support its efficacy or safety.”

The AMA further OK’d a policy urging accreditation bodies to continue to encourage medical schools to include information about sexual orientation and gender identity in their curricula and to evaluate the curricula periodically.
“These new policies from the American Medical Association reaffirm the urgent need to protect LGBTQ youth from this dangerous practice,” Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said in a statement, regarding the conversion therapy policy. “This policy will also be a critical resource for state legislators across the country as they work toward crafting legislation combating ‘conversion therapy.’ No child should have to endure this painful and life-threatening practice, and we are glad to see the AMA taking seriously the need to protect LGBTQ youth.
The voices of medical professionals have long been central to the growing support for LGBTQ-inclusive laws, policies and communities — these AMA policies continue that trend.”

Yes, the scamvangelist will shriek at this threat to their self-enrichment and the uneducated and ignorant will clutch their Bibles - or Korans - but science and knowledge need to prevail. The years I suffered silently trying to "change" were filled with much unhappiness, self-loathing and suicide attempts. No one should undergo this misery simply so religious fundamentalist can avoid being forced to admit that much of their faith is based on ignorance and superstition. 

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