The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973.
Numerous national health organizations in the United States have stated that there are zero scientific demonstrations of conversion therapy’s efficiency in the last forty years, and many institutions — among them the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychological Association — publicly discredit the practice.
And somehow, Washington, D.C. is set to become the third place in the country to ban conversion therapy as a treatment for minors.
Which is baffling if you think about it. We have a discredited practice that’s been proven to do far more damage than good being used to “treat” something that is widely understood to not be a disorder in the first place.
We’ve experienced a tidal wave of marriage rights that have granted same-sex unions in 35 states, but if you’re a gay 15-year-old and you don’t live in California or New Jersey (and soon to be D.C.), your parents can still force you to undergo ex-gay therapy.
It’s time to do away with the ugly blemish of conversion therapy.
You need look no further than ex-gays’ reaction to the news in D.C. to see how damaging their attitude is. The so-called “Voice of the Voiceless,” an ex-gay group, released a press release, the headline of which reads, D.C. Council Passes Reparative Therapy Ban for Minors, Gay Pedophiles Applaud.
While there’s no actual example they use of a “gay pedophile applauding,” here’s the warped logic they follow, taken verbatim from their press release:
“Tuesday’s unanimous decision by the D.C. Council is a victory for gay pedophiles everywhere, but especially in the District,” commented Christopher Doyle, President of Voice of the Voiceless (VoV). “Now that sexually abused and confused minors will no longer have the ability to see a licensed mental health provider in the District to help them reduce unwanted same-sex attractions due to sexual molestation, there will be less reports of sexual abuse by D.C. children, because they will increasingly be indoctrinated by D.C. -based organizations, such as HRC, that they are born gay and may not seek out treatment for their homosexual feelings brought on by pedophiles such as HRC’s Terry Bean.”
It should be noted that Terry Bean was arrested and faces charges of sodomy and sexual abuse for having relations with a 15-year-old. And that’s just not good for a number of reasons. But does that make him a pedophile? No. Pedophiles are attracted to prepubescent children. Ephebophilia describes a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to individuals in later adolescence (generally ages 15-19).
But ephebophile doesn’t have quite the same ring as pedophile. Still, they use Terry’s past and the truly wacky notion that molestation reports will somehow decline if minors aren’t able to seek ex-gay therapy as a way of building a twisted reality.
To anyone on the outside looking in, they’re clearly wrong. Gay conversion therapy is clearly wrong. Allowing professional authority figures the right to damage children by shaming their same-sex attraction is clearly wrong.
So why is it still legal in 48 states?
The Southern Poverty Law Center is one organization trying to change that. Hopefully there are more Sam Wolfes out there in the world: