gay conversion Willie WonkaLast week, the President responded to a petition on the White House’s “We the People” site calling for a ban on gay conversion therapy for minors and enact Leelah’s Law, lending his support. As the father of a transgender teen, I couldn’t be happier. But, there are others who don’t share that happiness; mostly conservatives. Their thinking seems to be: “That damn Obama. Who does he think he is, sticking his nose into people’s business by telling them they shouldn’t be sticking their noses into other people’s business? But, what else can you expect from a secret muslim Kenyan closeted gay liberal?”

I’m sure they also believe this is all part of the gay agenda. And, if, by “gay agenda”, they mean “people who are LGBTQ expecting to be accepted as living, breathing human beings”, I agree. As agendas go, it’s not a bad one. Now, that agenda is being expanded to include children and some folks aren’t happy. Evidently, the idea that parents are supposed to love and support their kids the way God made them is crazy talk.

Don’t worry, though, dissenters have a voice. Dr. Michael Brown spoke out against the President’s support, calling it a refelction of the president’s “larger, radical LGBT activism” and “political correctness run amuck” (gotta toss some red meat to the faithful, now and then). According to Brown, there are “plenty of former homosexuals” who no longer feel attracted to the same sex and are happy, healthy and whole. That flies in the face of almost everything the psychiatric community says about reparative therapy, but we’re supposed listen to Brown instead of psychiatrists and psychologists. Because someone with a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures knows so much more than people who’ve spent their lives studying the mind and behavior.

According to Brown, such a ban would “make it illegal for a child who struggles with gender identity to receive professional counseling to help resolve those issues.” Yes, because there are no other approaches to dealing with gender dysphoria than reparative therapy. But, even if he was right and no other avenues of treatment existed, I’m pretty sure Leelah Alcorn would’ve been better off if it had been illegal for her to receive that kind of “counseling”. Hell, she could still be alive without it.

Of course, Alcorn’s death, like other damage caused by reparative therapy, is most likely exaggerated or maybe even “completely manufactured” (he actually said this), probably by “gay activists”. In case you’re wondering, the term “gay activist” seems to work like “thug”. Just as you can’t say “n***er” anymore, “fa**ot” and “d**e” are unacceptable in polite society. But, since we’ve got to have a way to “other” people, we come up with code words like “thug” or “gay activist” and pile tons of bullshit at their feet. Whether that bullshit (like Brown’s contention about the damage caused by reparative therapy) has any basis in reality is irrelevant. Why let facts get in the way of some good gay-bashing?

Saying that reparative therapy doesn’t have the best reputation is sort of like saying Michele Bachman is a bit eccentric. Both are true as far as they go, but neither goes anywhere near far enough. The American Psychiatric Association is no fan of the treatment and 69% of Americans don’t believe you can “pray the gay away”. Even in the South and Midwest, neither area exactly what you’d call a “gay Mecca”, only 28% of those polled thought you could change your orientation through therapy or prayer. When you can’t even pull a majority in the Bible belt with this kind of thing, you might want to take a look at what you’re doing.

Maybe I’m just a cynical asshole (maybe?!?), but I have a feeling a significant portion of the pushback on this is coming from people who have a vested financial interest in this discredited “treatment” and folks don’t like it when you get in their pocketbook. If that’s the case, these folks are placing money over the welfare of people who have come to them for help. Now, Jesus never said a word about same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria, but the same can’t be said about valuing money over people. If you want to talk about sin, maybe we could start there.