Friday, August 31, 2012

CA bill to prohibit reparative therapy on gay minors will go to governor; why is there any question about signature?

Cheryl Wetzstein has a stpry pn p A12 of the Aug. 31 Washington Times, “Gay therapy ban ready for enacting; Treating of children would be prohibited”.  A copy of the article appears today on the webpage of state Senator Ted W. Lieu (D-Torrance), here

The Washington Times had a banner at the bottom of the print version front page pointing to the article.
Governor Jerry Brown has not stated what he will do, but he has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the bill, or let it go into effect without signature on Jan. 1, 2013.  The bill is known as SB 1172 (sexual orientation change efforts"). The text of the bill is available here

This seems to the only such state law in the nation so far. But there is a lot of medical sentiment now that reparative therapy is essentially quackery. 

It’s not hard to envision the opposition from the religious right, which shows its true colors – it’s not just interested in the abstract concept of “marriage”; it wants to convert or penalize people who deviate. It’s also not hard to see that proponents of “reparative therapy” (by Joseph Nicolosi in his 2002 book) are pandering to parents who fear not having a lineage.  

As an only child, that observation certainly applied in my case. 

When I was an inpatient at NIH in the latter part of 1962, homosexuality had gradually become “the issue”.  Previously, the focus had been on my disinclination to do the things demanded of my gender (which are necessary to protect women and children in an adversarial or threatened society, according to moral thinking of my own generation, since then somewhat abated). 

My own hardcopy patient records show a concern on the part of the therapists about my indifference to girls, and with the existential meaning that could be deciphered from my homosexual fantasies (inasmuch as they implied judgments that could be made of other men about potential fitness to reproduce).  It’s all rather scary.  And right during the middle of my stay, the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred.  Since I went to college at night in DC (at GWU), I was the only patient who knew the danger that was brewing.

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