Well, Maggie Gallagher finally found a gay right she can get behind. It’s the right to be cured of being gay. Gallagher, the co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage, has been diversifying her homophobic (and failing) line of business to include conversion therapy. What better way to promote the cause than to turn it into a right!
And that’s what Maggie does. “People who want to live their sex lives in accord with their moral or religious teaching deserve the same right to seek help as other gay people,” she writes. See! She does believe in equal rights.
Gallagher’s latest pirouette into the deep space of nuttiness comes as she continues to insert herself into a consumer fraud case involving a New Jersey group that tried to “cure” young Jewish men of their homosexuality. The immediate impetus was an op-ed from a supporter of the conversion cause. In the fine journalistic tradition of giving discredited theories the visibility they don’t deserve, USA Today allowed Nicholas Cummings, a former president of the American Psychological Association, a ridiculous amount of space to argue that yes, indeedy, gays can be cured if they want to be. He should know. He started helping folks re-orient in the 1950s. (Cummings is now 89.)
Glad to find who shares her same superannuated sensibility, Maggie has been trumpeting Cummings’ column for its brilliance. “Cummings’s point is that competent therapy can be helpful to highly motivated patients who choose to deal with same-sex attraction in other ways than, well, being gay,” she wrote in her National Review Online column. Yes, by denying that they are gay. It’s every so much healthier. Just ask any psychologist born during Calvin Coolidge’s first term, and he’s likely to agree.