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National Review: Together they lay down the new moral rules: Apparently, you can change your racial identity, but if you do, you are lying. You can dress up as a woman on the cover of Vanity Fair, and everyone must believe that you are in fact female. But when it comes to sexual orientation, even the attempt to change your identity or behavior must be viewed as an imposition against the laws of nature, if not nature’s God.
Breitbart: Chaim Levin, who is suing the gay therapy referral service JONAH, comes off in his testimony and his actions as a young man hungry for attention.
CBN: A Jewish counseling center will defend its right to help clients with unwanted same-sex attraction in a New Jersey courtroom this week.
WND: In a state where the law already deprives minors of counseling for unwanted sexual attractions, a trial is scheduled to get under way in a case that could be a bellwether for what is often called “conversion therapy.”
The Washington Times: Supporters of such therapy counter that it has helped many people successfully reduce or eliminate their unwanted same-sex attractions, and it’s wrong to trample people’s rights to seek the counseling of their choice.
The Christian Post: Oregon is expected to join California, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia in enacting a ban on sexual orientation change efforts therapy for gay minors.
World Magazine (Subscription Required): From an office in Brick, N.J., therapist Tara King counsels clients struggling with addictions, abusive pasts, broken relationships, and occasionally those dealing with same-sex attractions.
First Things: In order to get a sense of the therapeutic implications of this growing movement, First Things talked to Mark A. Yarhouse, professor of psychology and the Hughes Endowed Chair at Regent University.
The Guardian: There was something of a siege mentality at the Emmanuel Centre in central London, the venue for a conference to promote “sexual orientation change efforts” – more commonly known, and derided, as gay conversion therapy.
Aleteia: No one can change their sex, but by redefining “sex” to describe only the biological, and “gender” to how a person self-identifies—either as male, female, or something else—the trangender activists can claim that males can become women and females men. “Gender reassignment surgery” (GRS), can create the outward appearance of the other sex, but doesn’t change the DNA.
Yahoo News: A federal appeals court on Monday rejected a fresh challenge to New Jersey’s ban on so-called gay conversion therapy for minors, saying the prohibition does not violate the rights of either children or their parents.
Religion Clause: The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday, for a second time, rejected a constitutional challenge to a New Jersey statute (A3371) that prohibits providing “sexual orientation change efforts” counseling to minors.
Aleteia: President Obama is calling for an end to “reparative therapies” aimed at helping young people rid themselves of same-sex attraction and identification as “transgender.”
The New York Times: In a statement that was posted on Wednesday evening alongside aWhiteHouse.gov petition begun in honor of Ms. Alcorn, Mr. Obama condemned the practice, sometimes called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy, which is supported by some socially conservative organizations and religious doctors.
The Denver Post (AP): President Barack Obama is calling for an end to psychiatric therapy treatments aimed at changing the sexual orientation or gender identity of gay, lesbian and transgender youths.
The Denver Post: A Colorado Senate committee killed a bill Wednesday that the state’s gay rights organizations and mental health groups had high hopes for: a ban on gay conversion therapy for minors.
Via Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund: Contrary to several media reports, a New Jersey court has not ruled that a counseling referral service that provides help to people with unwanted same-sex attraction has violated the state’s Consumer Fraud Act or that faith-based counselors violate the act when they express their views. The court did not make any findings of fact and preserved the First Amendment defenses of JONAH, the counseling referral service sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center in Ferguson v. JONAH.
The Christian Post: Two states that had previously rejected bans on a controversial therapy practice that aims to change sexual orientation are again considering measures to prohibit the practice on minors.
The Christian Post: An ex-gay organization is planning legal action against the District of Columbia for its recent banning of conversion therapy, also called Sexual Orientation Change Efforts therapy, for minors.
The Christian Post: By now you’ve likely heard RNS News report that Dr. Russell Moore has supposedly “denounced reparative therapy” for same-sex attracted individuals who wish to change their sexual attractions and join the ex-gay community. But if you read all of Moore’s statements, you cannot find him downright rejecting sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE). Instead, he’s putting therapy in its place on the hierarchy of healing, as I explained over at The Christian Post while rejecting that notion that the solution is ultimately change.
The Christian Post: Reparative therapy is a hot button, cultural topic that stirs deep rooted emotions for those on both sides. So we must be cautious not to reduce what Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty (ERLC) Commission, says about it into a sound bite.
Nathan Cherry: Are they heterosexuals? Some are, but not all. Some are simply choosing not to be homosexual in order to adhere to their religious convictions that homosexuality is a sin. This makes LGBT activists angry. They say these people are denying who they “really are” in favor of a lie. They don’t understand the biblical commands to be holy and deny oneself – including sexual desires – in order to live a life pleasing to God.
Religion Clause: In Doe v. Christie, (D NJ, July 31, 2014), a New Jersey federal district court for the second time (see prior posting) rejected constitutional challenges to New Jersey’s law barring mental health professionals from treating minors using Sexual Orientation Change Efforts. This challenge was brought by parents seeking reparative therapy for their 15-year old son.
The Christian Post: While two states have successfully banned conversion therapy for gay youth, a majority of state lagislatures have voted down bills that would implement such bans after hearing the testimonies of ex-gays who say they’ve benefitted from sexual orientation change therapy.
One News Now: An undercover report by Voice of the Voiceless found LGBTQ campus resource centers in Virginia are intimidating and threatening students who want help getting out of unwanted, same-sex attractions and are seeking information about ex-”gay” counseling.
Chicago Sun-Times: “The measure, proposed by Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, lost on a 44-51 roll call despite her plea to colleagues to stop gay, bisexual and transgender teens 17 and under from being ‘horribly and humiliatingly abused.’”
The Guardian: “Gay conversion therapy is abhorrent and has no place in a modern society, according to the health minister Norman Lamb, who has asked for assurances from NHS England that GPs do not make any referrals for such treatment.”
Suzanne Normand Blackwood at WND: “Jeremy Tedesco, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, explained that values-based referrals, even if they are initially intended to protect the interests of the counselors, also protect the interests of the clients. ‘The notion that counselors’ values have no bearing on the counseling relationship is preposterous,’ said Tedesco.”
Christian Today: “A High Court judge declared yesterday that she was ‘not satisfied that the full story is being told’ regarding Boris Johnson’s 2012 intervention to stop ex-gay adverts running on London buses.”
Washington Times: “The push to ban sexual-orientation “change” therapy for children is growing as lawmakers in at least eight states have introduced bills to outlaw the practice and gay-rights advocates expect at least a few to become law this year.”
Liberty Counsel Press Release: “Today, Liberty Counsel filed a Petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Pickup v. Brown, Liberty Counsel’s case on behalf of counselors who are providing and youth who are receiving counsel to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior, and identity.”
LA Times: “A federal appeals court agreed Monday to put on hold a ruling in favor of a California law that bans licensed therapists from trying to change a minor’s sexual orientation. . . . The 9th Circuit upheld the law in August and refused last month to hear another challenge. Liberty Counsel, a religious rights group, then asked the court to block enforcement of the law pending an appeal to the high court.” | The order is here.
The Virginian-Pilot: “Parents may continue to send their children to gay conversion therapy, which seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual, after a bill to outlaw the practice failed in a House subcommittee this morning.”
ABC (AP): “The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Tuesday that a majority of its 27 judges voted against scheduling a new hearing. That leaves intact California’s first-in-the nation law barring licensed counselors from offering treatment geared toward changing the sexual orientation of minors.” | Amended opinion and order in Pickup v. Brown is here (via How Appealing).
Richmond Times-Dispatch: “House Bill 1135 provides for a limited restriction of conversion therapy. It does not prevent adults from voluntarily engaging in conversion therapy efforts. It would not affect prayer counseling by clergy either; only licensed therapists would not be allowed to perform such treatment on children under 18.”
Christian Post: “Christians in the United Kingdom challenged the idea that homosexuality is innate and immutable, opposing a ban on all Sexual Orientation Change Efforts – referred to by detractors as ‘gay-to-straight therapy.’ They organized a conference this week to discuss the issue and allowed the author of the SOCE ban bill to speak.”
David L. Hudson at ABA Journal: By contrast, Brad Dacus, president and founder of the Pacific Justice Institute in Sacramento, disagrees. “The fallacy of the 9th Circuit decision is that the speech is the conduct,” says Dacus, whose organization represented the plaintiffs in one case that was consolidated into Pickup. “The legislation is so overreaching and the 9th Circuit’s decision sets a dangerous precedent.”
Should Christian Counselors Have the Right to Discuss ‘Reparative Therapy’ With Christian Teens? | Nathan Kellum at Christian Post
Nathan Kellum at Christian Post: If not already, this issue about same-sex attraction therapy should come to your state soon, and when it does, legislators and judges will be called on to decide: Do professional Christian counselors have the right to offer biblically-based counsel and do Christian teens have the right to receive it? Or, does the state have the right to outlaw wisdom?
Baptist Press: Religious freedom advocate Liberty Counsel is at the forefront of groups continuing to fight for the right of teenage patients to receive reparative therapy to treat homosexuality, countering legislation in New Jersey and California banning the treatment.
Bloomberg: The law “does not violate the free speech rights of practitioners or minor patients, is neither vague nor overbroad, and does not violate parents’ fundamental rights,” a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco said in an opinion published today. | Pickup v. Brown
Robert McNamara and Paul Sherman at the National Law Journal: As if the facts of these cases weren’t provocative enough, the challenges to California’s law are complicated by the fact that the plaintiffs, practicing psychologists who are licensed in California, simply engage in “talk therapy” with their patients. As a result, these cases raise an important, unresolved constitutional question: Is the kind of one-on-one counseling and advice at issue in talk therapy “free speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Christian Post: The openly gay son of a conservative Republican Congressman has stated that he benefitted from undergoing the controversial practice of reparative therapy as a teenager.
How Appealing links to the audio and several reports.
LifeSiteNews: New Jersey is the latest state to legislatively attack the right of people with unwanted same-sex attraction to choose reparative therapy. State lawmakers are debating a bill that would ban the therapy. It’s likely that the bill will pass the Democrat-controlled legislature, but it is unclear whether Republican Governor Chris Christie will sign it.
The Recorder: Next month, five SOCE counselors will go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, seeking to enjoin the law as an unconstitutional intrusion on the doctor-patient relationship. Although associated with conservative Christian causes, their attorneys come armed with a powerful liberal precedent: a 2002 Ninth Circuit ruling that forbade the government from cracking down on doctors for recommending medical marijuana.
Liberty Counsel: Late last night, Liberty Counsel filed a request for an emergency appeal and declarations in support of our appeal, asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to block California law SB 1172 which goes into effect on January 1, 2013. The law will ban any counsel that seeks to reduce or eliminate same-sex sexual attractions, behavior, or identity.
Sacramento Bee: On Tuesday morning, U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller ruled that the law prohibiting licensed mental health providers from steering patients under 18 away from gay and lesbian lifestyles does not infringe on the suing providers’ constitutional guarantee …
AP: A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked California from enforcing a first-of-its-kind law that bars licensed psychotherapists from working to change the sexual orientations of gay minors, but he limited the scope of his order to just the three providers who have appealed to him to overturn the measure. | Order: Welch v. Brown | Pacific Justice Institute press release: Federal Judge Rules that CA SB1172 Violates Free Speech
Nathan Cherry at Engage Family Minute: There an ongoing battle over reparative therapy and the idea that gay men or men struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions can change. On one side of the issue is those that claim homosexuals are “born gay” and should just accept who they are; while also claiming reparative therapy is harmful. One the other side is proponents of reparative therapy that believe it is possible to change and that homosexuality is more about nurture than nature.
Crisis Magazine: Remember the pill scene from the movie Matrix? Neo is offered a choice between a red and a blue pill. The red pill promises only the truth. The blue pill offers the blissful ignorance to the fact that he is a human battery, one of millions that power futuristic machines. What’s really incredible about the scene isn’t the possibility of such a fantasy world. It’s that Neo actually has a choice to leave it.
Penna Dexter at Baptist Press: These therapies are intended for those who experience same-sex attraction but want help to change. The bill, known as SB 1172, states that mental health providers who render these services to clients under 18 would be engaging in unprofessional conduct, subject to discipline by their respective licensing boards — meaning, they’ll lose their licenses to practice.
NJ Today: Assemblyman Tim Eustace on Thursday announced plans to introduce legislation that would ban the controversial practice known as “conversion therapy” aimed at changing the sexual orientation of minors, a measure similar to one that recently passed the California State Assembly overwhelmingly.
BBC: “Roger Helmer used his Twitter page to compare people who undergo sex-change operations with gay people who seek therapy to become heterosexual. The comment has been condemned by gay rights group Stonewall and some users of the social networking site . . . Mr Helmer tweeted: ‘Why is it OK for a surgeon to perform a sex-change operation, but not OK for a psychiatrist to try to ‘turn’ a consenting homosexual?’”
PR Newswire: “Truth Wins Out called on GOP Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell, last night’s victorious Tea Party candidate in Delaware, to apologize for running a failed ‘ex-gay’ ministry while she headed the Savior’s Alliance for Lifting the Truth (SALT). O’Donnell heavily promoted the ‘ex-gay’ industry and hired Wade Richards, an ‘ex-gay’ poster-boy, to deliver this message.”
Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “A psychologist who screened potential Minneapolis police officers will receive a $210,000 settlement from the city over his firing, which stemmed from his affiliation with the Illinois Family Institute and his support for treating the ‘problem’ of homosexuality . . . [Jim Campbell], of the Alliance Defense Fund of Arizona, said the settlement ‘reinforces that the government cannot penalize Christian contractors for their beliefs.’”
LifeSiteNews: “The debate over therapy for same-sex attraction (SSA) and gender identity disorder (GID) has been going on for years. Recently, the APA put out a paper designed to resolve the issue. However, the introduction of the APA’s Task Force Report on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation defines the parameters for the discussion in such a way that the defenders of therapy for SSA and GID are positioned in the worst possible light. The issue is essentially decided in favor of gay-affirming therapy before the evidence is heard.”
Exodus International: “Psychologists Stanton L. Jones and Mark A. Yarhouse announced the newest results of a study showing that sexual orientation change is not only possible, but sustainable at a symposium today at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention in Toronto.”
VIEW the Jones/Yarhouse Study
VIEW the press release on this topic from InterVarsity Press
VIEW the APA’s report
ACLU: “The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Tennessee sued two Tennessee school districts in federal court today, charging the schools are unconstitutionally blocking students from accessing online information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Knox County Schools and as many as 105 other school districts in Tennessee use Internet filtering software to block Web sites containing pro-LGBT speech, but not Web sites touting so-called ‘reparative therapy’ and ‘ex-gay’ ministries . . . More information about the case, including the ACLU’s complaint and a video featuring one of the student plaintiffs, is available online at:www.aclu.org/lgbt/youth/39346res20090413.html ”
David W. Virtue writes at Virtue Online:
David W. Virtue interviews Dr. Joseph Nicolosi at Virtue Online: “I spoke with Dr. Nicolosi, a California therapist who employs seven therapists who deal exclusively in sexual addictions and same sex attractions. He heads an organization called NARTH – the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality. NARTH is a professional, scientific organization that offers hope to those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality. As an organization, they disseminate educational information, conduct and collect scientific research, promote effective therapeutic treatment, and provide referrals to those who seek their assistance. NARTH upholds the rights of individuals with unwanted homosexual attraction to receive effective psychological care and the right of professionals to offer that care. I spoke at length with Dr. Nicolosi about the issues and problems he faces.”
Exodus International: Two Christian organizations are teaming up to empower youth to express their views on sexuality by co-sponsoring this year’s annual Day of Truth event held April 20 on high school campuses nationwide. Exodus International, a ministry that helps …
Citizen Link: “Focus on the Family’s Love Won Out team is taking a message of hope to Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday. The one-day conference proclaims that freedom from same-sex attractions is possible.”
The Religion Clause reports: “Today’s Windy City Times focuses on Obama campaign’s promise last July that the new Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (see prior posting) will not fund groups that advocate for anti-gay reparative therapy.”
DayofTruth.org: The Alliance Defense Fund is transitioning its leadership of the Day of Truth initiative to Exodus International. Day of Truth was launched four years ago in response to GLSEN’s (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) “Day of Silence” national …
NARTH has posted this report on its website: In a Town Hall Meeting sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA), President Alan Kazdin, President-Elect James Bray and APA’s Executive Officer Norman Anderson responded to questions from APA members about the …
Warren Throckmorton has this post on his blog. He writes: “Contrast the reaction of the APA to women who believe abortion has triggered harm with the APA reaction to clients who report harm as a result of participation in reparative therapy and/or ex-gay ministries.”