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Controversial “gay conversion therapy” banned by Brown still causing dispute from supporter groups

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Jerome “Jerry” Reiter leans in to kiss his fiance, Ruben Valasquez, in front of the St. Thomas Aquinas Center for “gay curing” in Encino. Reiter spent more than 20 years in various conversion therapies since age 16. He said he entered the therapy in fear his parents would disapprove of his same-sex attraction. They are currently engaged and awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision to see the Proposition 8 case. Photo credit: Charlie Kaijo / Assistant Photo Editor

California will be the first state to outlaw a controversial form of psychotherapy that aims to convert minors from homosexuals to heterosexuals on Jan. 1, 2013.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a ban on gay conversion therapy Sept. 30, making the alleged psychotherapy that aims to convert minors from gay or lesbian to straight illegal.

The law, Senate Bill 1172, will not take effect until Jan. 1, 2013, and prohibits mental health providers from “engaging in sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) with a patient under 18 years of age.” SB 1172 states the “change efforts” pose over 23 critical health risks including thoughts of suicide, self-hatred, depression, emotional intimacy problems and sexual dysfunction, and adds that being lesbian, gay or bisexual is not a disease.

California Senator Ted W. Lieu (D- Torrance) proposed the bill to ban these practices, and said “even professionals agree that this quackery needs to stop” in a press release.

“It’s heartening to see the majority of the Assembly agrees that this kind of so-called ‘treatment’ essentially is psychological abuse of children,” Lieu said about SB 1172.

Experiencing the Therapy

Jerome Reiter, 55, spent more than 20 years in various conversion therapies since age 16. He said he entered the therapy in fear his parents would disapprove of his same-sex attraction during the time of the Stonewall riots.

“This conservative Christian psychologist told me to watch heterosexual porn, date more women, use more willpower to turn away from looking at men, and one priest told me if I married a woman, those feelings would go away,” said Reiter, a voice-over artist, writer and part-time minister in Los Angeles.

He was married for 26 years to a woman with whom he had two sons but divorced after he realized he needed emotional intimacy with another man.

“My wife was okay with it at first, but when our son who had epilepsy suddenly died at 26, she blamed me as if my being there would have saved him,” Reiter said. “The funeral was at a homophobic evangelical church that wouldn’t let me in to my own son’s funeral.”

He said he was destroyed by anger and sorrow until he had a dream in which his late son told him to “let go.”

“Reparative therapy teaches young people to be ashamed, deny actual feelings and holds a person who falls and repents after having anonymous same-sex sexual encounters as being more moral and godly than a person who marries and is monogamous for their entire life to one person who is of the same gender,” Reiter said. “I lost a friend who committed suicide because he couldn’t succeed in the therapy, and I don’t want to see other young people live in such pain.”

Equality California, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy organization, asked CSUN students to sign postcards in support of the ban on SB 1172 during the campus’ opening of its new Pride Center.

EQCA sent over 8,000 postcards to Gov. Brown’s office to bring the issue to his attention, according to Nayeli Pelayo, an administrative associate for EQCA.

“We’re the first state in the nation to ban the therapy for minors, and the goal is to have it banned permanently for everybody,” said Pelayo, 24. “It’s a huge step in the right direction, and with this piece of legislation, banning it for everyone may be considered in the future.”

Sarina Loeb, Pride Center and LGBTQ Initiatives coordinator, said she thinks this kind of therapy is a reason for suicides in the LGBTQ community.

“By having reparative therapy, it gives the message that being gay is wrong and needs to be changed,” Loeb said. “It’s that mentality and discrimination that leads to such a high suicide rate among LGBTQs, so I am happy that the ban passed.”

Doug Riechel, a senior creative writing major, said the existence of therapy offends him as a member of the LGBTQ community.

“These therapists basically take advantage of any latent bisexuality someone might have and say, ‘You can be cured!’ which I find incredibly offensive as a bisexual man, because people are still pretending there is only gay and straight,” said Riechel, 22. “(Supporters think) if there’s a little bit of homosexuality, that must be cast out, and the hetereosexuality must be harvested and saved like it’s gold out of a mountain.”

Controversy Continues: Undoing the Ban

Although many people support Brown’s ban on conversion therapy, groups who promote rights to the therapy aim to prevent the ban from going into effect in January.

The Pacific Justice Institute, a legal group from Sacramento who defends “religious freedom, parental rights and other civil liberties,” already filed suit against SB 1172.

According to a press release by PJI, they plan to seek an injunction to prevent Brown’s ban on what they call “reparative therapy” from going into effect next year.

Brad Dacus, president of PJI, said the ban was an “egregious violation of fundamental rights” of minors who are “struggling with same-sex attraction.”

“The legislature is the epitome of psychiatric ignorance coupled with legislative negligence, and the reason is because it presupposes that everyone who has same-sex attraction is 100 percent because of DNA and genetics, which couldn’t be farther from the truth,” Dacus said.

He added that the reparative therapy violates the freedoms of those who have a religious background and will be forced to choose a counselor that may challenge their religious beliefs.

“This ban also risks children being taken wrongfully by parents who have beliefs in traditional heterosexual relationships, and if parents aren’t embracing of same-sex attraction, that may be grounds for state intervention and potential of permanent removal of the child from the family,” Dacus said. “This is outside the boundaries of what PJI believes is constitutional and would allow for government involvement of issues of family life.”

Therapy As Child Abuse

James Guay, 41, testified in the assembly hearing to get the bill to Brown and heard PJI’s testimony.

“People who don’t want this ban to come to fruition use parental rights and religious freedom as their argument,” said Guay, who tried conversion therapy when he was a teenager. “The state has an interest in making sure parents don’t abuse their children; this isn’t about legislature and psychotherapy, it’s about preventing child abuse.”

He said he internalized a tremendous amount of religious, familial and societal pressure as an adolescent and tried to change his sexual orientation from age 12 to 20.

“I was brought up to believe I was going to hell, so these Christian psychologists had me attending church sermons, reading the Bible and trying to pray it away, which obviously didn’t work,” Guay said.

Now a psychotherapist with a private practice in Beverly Hills, Guay said the results of undergoing conversion therapy are similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“People who have done this have physical, emotional and psychological shame-based trauma, and all legitimate medical and mental health professionals say it’s incredibly harmful and ineffective,” Guay said. “The message (conversion therapy) gives you is that if it’s not working, you’re not motivated enough, you’re not giving it enough time, and there is always something problematic about you.”

Jane Wishon, a Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA) board member, said even as a practicing Christian and parent of children who identify as straight, she would never subject her children to undergo conversion therapy.

MEUSA is an all-volunteer grassroots-based national organization with the mission to gain marriage equality for all people “without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“I cannot comprehend a universe where I would send my child to the conversion program,” said Wishon, 57.  “That’s not the way I read the Bible, and I believe God makes people the way they are.”

Conversion Therapy in the Valley

Even with hopeful outlooks like Wishon’s and the potential for a statewide ban, organizations that offer the therapy are still permitted to operate until the new year.

The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) is a nonprofit organization based out of Encino, Calif., that offers conversion therapy and will fight to overturn the ban on SB 1172.

“Anecdotal stories of harm are no basis from which to ban an entire form of psychological care. If they were, the psychological professions would be completely out of business,” NARTH president Christopher Rosik said in a statement.

David Pickup, a spokesperson and therapist at NARTH, went through reparative therapy from age 30 to 45 and said he was a “heterosexual with homosexual issues,” and knew his homosexuality was a matter of “cause and effect.”

“This is a journey I am still happily on, and my heterosexuality has increased 100 percent without really any struggles right now,” said Pickup, 56. “Contrary to popular belief, we do not coerce people or make them change if they say they are happy being gay and do not want to change.”

Pickup said clients of NARTH experience lowered depression and anxiety and dissipation of homosexual feelings. He could not provide a success rate for NARTH’s therapy and said very few therapists can ever give accurate percentages of success rates.

“This bill is so generalized, it will actually cause furtherance of child abuse for this specific population,” Pickup said regarding the bill’s attempt to prevent child abuse.

“Every good therapist knows that homosexual feelings frequently arise out of sexual molestation and rape, just look at the Sandusky case,” Pickup said. “This law says that if I am a boy under 18 who gets sexually abused, I can’t seek help anywhere and I am stranded because the therapy will be outlawed.”

Pickup could not provide data regarding how many people who are sexually abused become homosexuals, and said homosexuals who were not sexually abused must have experienced a lack of affection or unmet emotional needs between age two and six.

Other research suggests a person’s sexual orientation is dependent upon prenatal brain development.

Studies done by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggest sexual differentiation is developed in the brain during fetal and neonatal development, which programs gender identity. One study indicated “sex-differentiated activation of the anterior hypothalamus in heterosexual men and women,” and a reversed pattern of activation in homosexual men and women.

Another study done by PNAS indicated gay men and heterosexual women shared brain matter similarities as well as lesbian women to heterosexual men.

Reiter, who underwent the controversial therapy, quoted some of the “gay brain studies” as evidence for those who try to explain homosexuality as an outcome of sexual abuse. He offered a statement to anyone who is considering reparative therapy.

“The ‘gay-curing’ reparative therapists can teach you to be ashamed of yourself and convince you that you are broken, but they can’t make you heterosexual,” Reiter said. “I would tell parents it’s not reparative, because they aren’t broken. Being homosexual is just part of who they are.”

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19 Comments

  1. HSPHealth Oct 31, 2012

    If David Ritchey’s work on highly sensitive people is correct and homosexuality is just one of many manifestations of high sensitivity, the more the awareness of the highly sensitive trait grows the less of an issue this will be. At some point, homophobia will be a yawn.

  2. ShehanR Oct 17, 2012

    If what is said in the article is true (even though sounds very exaggerated) I feel pity for you.

    But, any form of psychotherapy that stigmatize a psychological state is unethical. May it be treating OCD, psychosis or ego-dystonic disorders, hypersexuality, disphoria, and ego-dystonic homosexuality.

    An ethical psychotherapists would not force a patient to do something they do not like, do not want.

    This article is full of unscientific, misleading, exaggerated generalizations.

    There are so many people with so called “gay brain”. Brain is  not a decisive factor. Brain rewires itself everyday. Brain is always on the change. Im sure none of those researchers meant to say that sexual orientation is an inborn trait. There are inborn tendencies, but they are not decisive.

    1. Jerome Reiter Oct 23, 2012

      I don’t ask for pity or wish it, and my story is far from the most extreme. Google yesterday’s news reports “Gay man held prisoner in church” to read about how he was beaten and forced into repeated exorcisms.  Michael Bussee, a co-founder of Exodus ex-gay ministries, who left to marry another co-founder was barred from his husband’s funeral.  There are cases of abuse of gay people by anti-gay conservatives all the time, up to and including murder.  And teens were forced into gay-curing camps in Tennessee by the Focus on the Family sponsored Love in Action where they were held against their will, as outlined in the new film, “This is What Love in Action Looks Like”.   As far as brain research goes, your argument is outdated. For a long time now, the physical observable differences in brain structures of heterosexuals versus homosexuals have been visible. What’s new is that those differences are present in fetuses in their mother’s wombs. And those differences have never been shown to be a matter of choice or change at will.  

      1. ShehanR Oct 23, 2012

        But don’t you feel that you guys are being selfish by only thinking about your welfare. Don’t you feel bad about denying the right of people to change, just to please yourselves and your insecurities.

        My opinions is that gay identity does not have to be so fragile and weak to deny the fact that some may not want to be gay.

        Those brain differences can make someone sensitive to external stimuli but they don’t necessarily make people gay. That’s ludicrous. There could be people with those brain differences but should be a tiny minority. If a therapists feel that there are strong biological influences, she/he will not try to change and i’m sure those with strong biological influences will not want to change either. I have not come across any study that scanned the brains of the babies. I don’t think that it is even possible to figure out a baby’s orientation like that.

        Banning therapies, will motivate people to seek help outside the scientific, ethical therapeutic framework. People will go for exorcists and will tend to “pray the gay away” and will eventually get depressed, thanks to Jerry Brown.

      2. ShehanR Oct 23, 2012

        Brain is probably the most misunderstood organ in the human body.

        Did you see that oxford graduate with practically no brain. His skulls had no brain tissue but was full of spinal fluid. It had no effect on his sexual orientation.

        There is a difference between the brain and the mind. Mind changes all the time, it conditions it self.

  3. I have a prediction:  Within the next 20 years there will be “therapy” available to convert “straights” into homosexuals.  Wondering if there will be an equal outcry against that.

  4. Robert Hagedorn Oct 17, 2012

    For something relevant:  Google First Scandal.  When you get there, go to the top of the page and click on “Welcome University of Alabama Students.”

  5. Dan Oct 17, 2012

    I spent about ten years between age 14 and 24, in three slightly different patterns of religious-psychological activities, intentionally designed and expected to change me from same sex attracted to opposite sex/dating/married happy and behaving.  None of it worked.  Not one real moment.  My first phase was just being as compliant a young Christian boy as possible.  My family was in church every time the doors opened, morning, noon, or night.  The only place I was, more than in church, was in school through high school.  That lasted two years, and did not de-intensify my attractions one whit.  Immense social-religious pressures were generated from many directions, to say that it was changing me for the better.  I was caught in a catch-22.  If I said I was changing when I know down deep I was becoming more same sex attracted, not less, then I would be intentionally lying.  If I did not say I was changing, I would seem deeply ungrateful and problematic to all the good family and church people in our small farm town who were praying and believing so sincerely.  My solution?  I became very, very quiet.  I let others do much of the talking.  I smiled as much as I could in public.  In private I was feeling cornered in a strange contraption of a teen/youth life that seemed to have no healthy exit.  Then when I finally told somebody it wasn’t going too well, we moved on.  To phase two.  I was mentored and guided in very strict, very religious bouts of nearly constant fasting and prayer, along with keeping up all my prior good Christian boy exploits.  I could only manage to go without eating for three days at a time, so I doubted my fasting/prayer would be penitent or prayerful enough; but people said, just keep on.  So I kept on.  For two to three years, I ate mainly on those fourth days.  I tried to eat as little as possible on that anguished, primal, hungry fourth day.  I hoped that my minimalism might substitute for my wimpiness in fasting, ages 15-17.  I lost so much weight, along with my growth spurt, that I quickly became a six foot two inch bean pole.  My grandmother whose generation was scourged by tuberculosis, began wondering out loud at family gatherings, whether I would get TB and succumb.  She was never told the reason for my being so skinny.  When the first cycles of prayer/fasting seemed to be failing, my family added deliverance prayers, a pentecostal church equivalent for what the Catholic tradition knows as Exorcism.  I would slink away after school to the pastor’s house where spiritual figures and prophets gathered repeatedly to pray the demons out of me.  Pentecostal believers assume that no simply human person would ever feel same sex attracted, so demons must be at work.  Best case?  You are demonically oppressed.  Worst case?  You are possessed by one or more demons from hell.  After a few years of phase two, again I had to finally tell somebody it still wasn’t working.  Now we were all tired, really exhausted.  Some church and town people had had enough.  People started dimly, darkly hinting: Had I somehow sinned the absolute, final sin against the Holy Ghost?  Though I had never held hands, never dated, never kissed a boyfriend.  Then a new-fangled Christian guy came to town, saying he was a Christian counselor.  He had a new approach to cure me.  Everybody rushed me to see him regularly, almost embarrassingly relieved to have phase three to recommend to me and my family.  I met the Christian counselor weekly.  We talked as honestly as possible about my life, my week at high school, my inevitable yearnings and crushes on classmates and erotic dreams (always cute boys).  Then we would talk about how dirty, how damaged, and how dangerous all these daily life experiences were, and then we would call my experiences every bad name in the book.  Finally we would pray vigorously together, plentifully pleading Jesus’ work of salvation, and wrap up by spending some vivid times in bonded prayer that God would accept my gifts of subservience, obedience, and sacrifice on the burning, holy altars of heaven.  We asked God to burn up my stubborn, foolish lusts in a holocaust fire of pure holiness.  Then the cycle would repeat, all over again.  After three years of this I graduated high school, spent a year wondering what in the world to do next, then was accepted to the alpha class at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  On the outside I seemed smoothed out, quite conformed, and snappy-happy for Jesus.  Inside I felt like I was a robot.  Inside I also felt sorrier and sorrier, more and more depressed, more and more dramatically committed to not feeling or thinking anything I wasn’t supposed to be feeling or thinking.  Dreams usually gave my act away.  Or, really odd?  One time I actually got all wound up accidentally when I was racing against the clock on the classroom wall to finish a school exam.  Before I could know quite what had happened, I realized my pants were all wet.  Somehow I had unexpectedly had an orgasm, just soaking myself into a silly mess.  I turned in my test and made a mad dash for the boy’s room down the hall.  Eventually, I admitted  to myself that I was never going to stop liking other guys, and I left ORU, and I came out.  I helped found the very first gay student group at Southern Illinois U. in Carbondale, and started college dating.  I tried my best to be a grown up and walk away from this untoward life disaster, and just get on with living life.  However about two years ago, I began to have stress injury flash backs, and so now I am finally being treated for PTSD.  Given what happened to me, and the long-delayed troubles that finally surfaced, I cannot in good conscience recommend this quackery to any young person or to their parents or to their family, and of course, never never to their home churches.  Anonymous

    1. Tom Usher Oct 17, 2012

      Nowhere in your comment does it say that you ever wanted to change. It also doesn’t say that you were seen by an authentic Reparative Therapist, only religious people who appear by your words to have been completely unaware of how to do Reparative Therapy. For you to call it quackery is highly unreasonable and irrational when you don’t know what RT entails and when you never wanted to change.

      Others know what it is and have wanted to, and do want to, change. Many have very successfully left same-sex behind. See voices-of-change.orgYou also completely ignore people such as David Pickup (mentioned and quoted in the article) who quite correctly pointed out that homosexual sexual abuse has led to unwanted same-sex attraction in molested and raped boys. Are you really promoting telling those boys that they just have to suffer with their confusion and unwanted attraction until after they are 18?

      You’ll also note that there are homosexual activists who want to make it illegal even for adults who want therapy to diminish, at the very least, their unwanted same-sex attraction.How can you only care about one side of this issue?If you ask the people at NARTH about how much they care about coercion and/or bullying on any side, they will tell you quite clearly that they are opposed to force and against bullying by anyone.By the way, NARTH has been advocating for cooperative studies on all of the issues but has been blocked by the American Psychological Association. There’s only one reason for that. The APA doesn’t want the facts to come out. I charge the APA with being, and having been, engaged in a cover-up (wittingly?). They have rejected NARTH’s express requests to do research that the APA would accept methodologically, etc. The APA consistently refused and has admitted that it has no proof of cause and effect of harm from the RT practices by NARTH members and officially promoted by NARTH. Also, it has been using studies in support of it’s pro-homosexuality position which studies are subject to the exact same criticism leveled against RT. In other words, the APA is not fair, is ideologically biased, and at best,
      is negligently suppressing scientifically demonstrable truth.I suspect that the APA is run by a clique of homosexuals who do not represent a large swath of the membership. It would be interesting to survey that membership. I also suspect that members are subject to sanctions for speaking their minds about homosexuality unless they toe the Party/Homosexual Movement line.

      1. Jerome Reiter Oct 23, 2012

        Your assumptions are false. When I began to realize what my feelings of same-sex attraction were in puberty, I was horrified and wanted to rid myself of this with every fiber of my being.  I read the bible daily, prayed hours on end, fasted and went to qualified reparative therapists and to ex-gay ministries for over two decades. I worked on my sexual orientation every day.  I was part of the largest and only worldwide evangelical ex-gay ministry, Exodus International.  Its president, Alan Chambers, has repeatedly admitted in public that reparative therapy does not work.  Chambers rejected NARTH and the Thomas Aquinas Center, pointing out that 99.9% of gays never become heterosexual.  And your evidence-free charges against the APA don’t explain why the AMA and every other scientific medical association on the planet agree with the APA that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed at will.  Since the ex-gay ministries now concede that point, there is no need to keep making such absurd claims.

        1. Tom Usher Oct 23, 2012

          You again? I’m not going to engage with you. You always ignore all the evidence presented to you showing you that you are wrong.

          Anyone who wants to see that for himself or herself need only check your DISQUS commenting-system discussion activity.

          I’ve already debunked everything you’ve said concerning Alan Chambers (zero science), NARTH, and Throckmorton. All you do is go from site to site to site repeating the same falsehoods, never acknowledging the clear information given to you pointing out the egregious and obviously deliberate (there’s no other conclusion for your ignoring the evidence) misleading errors in your statements.

          For everyone else who can hear the truth, It is becoming common knowledge that sexual orientation is fluid, and there’s absolutely nothing Jerome and his fellow false-propagandists will be able to do to block that truth (that sexual orientation is fluid) from becoming the consensus. Even Alfred Kinsey’s 1948 book shows that he wasn’t willing to make the wildly false claim that sexuality isn’t fluid.

          I feel sorry for anyone who agrees with or believes Jerome.

          1. David West Oct 27, 2012

            I think your level of interest in this issue shows your inner conflicts, and nothing about the gentlemen here who spoke from their own experiences.  Have you been “cured by reparitive therapy?”  If so please speak of your experiences.  If you haven’t been through any of these experiences, what has made you such a zealot on the issue?  Why are you so emotionally invested?  Do you have gay members of your family that you worry about?  Is their some other personal experience that makes this an essential issue for you?  The other posters on this link are speaking about their own lives….which of course makes them an “expert”….after all they have lived it.  What life have you lived?  Are you Gay, Straight, Bi? Are you single, married, a parent, not a parent?  Is your training in psychology achieved through academics, or are you self taught?  Did your beliefs come from your studies, or are they part of a larger religious perspective?   I don’t think Jerome needs you to feel sorry for him.  As far as I saw, he seems to be happy with his life as it is.  The other person who posted of his struggles also seems to be happy in the place where he is now.  Good luck in your struggles and goals.  Remember, the only person you can change is yourself. 

          2. Tom Usher Oct 27, 2012

            Well, David, if that’s your real name, you think wrong. You created a Disqus user just to reply to me here? If so, okay. Where else might one find you on the Internet? Do you have a blog or anything of the like? Is it your intention to remain anonymous, or have you just not gotten around to fleshing out your Disqus profile?

            I have made absolutely clear in my body of work (which is readily available) that I am focused upon protecting and helping children.

            CA SB 1172 blocks children from obtaining help with their unwanted same-sex attraction often caused directly by homosexual predators.

            Your attitude toward me accuses Jesus in your mind of having had inner conflicts (what were those in your estimation then) for having been one who stood against wickedness. Are you disinterested in stopping wickedness? Of course, I know you don’t even define wickedness properly to begin with or you wouldn’t have written what you did.

            People who work against SB 1172 and other evil things are well aware of the weak psychological ploys of the pro-homosexuality movement always getting around to attempting what you just did.
            It doesn’t work on any but the weak-minded.

            Are you for or against children in California being allowed to continue seeing their Reparative Therapists for their unwanted same-sex attraction that developed from homosexual abuse? If you’re against them, wouldn’t that make you what Jesus called a “serpent”?

            You appear to be under the false impression that one must suffer before having sympathy or empathy. That is the sign of a selfish spirit. I don’t have to suffer every pain to want to help others not to suffer. Your position is very shallow to me and indicates a deep lack. I don’t have to be crucified to feel for Jesus on the cross. What kind of mind and heart do you have? Do you not feel for the children in Japan suffering from the radiation there? Have you gone through 80 days without food so you may finally give a damn about the starving? Where’s your mind, David? Who’s teaching you? To whom are you listening?

            Experience doesn’t necessarily make an expert. A deeply disturbed person is definitely not necessarily an expert on disturbances. Many disturbed people haven’t much understanding about the causes of their disturbances or what to do about them. You didn’t know that? Would you only know it by sitting in a classroom? I am in a classroom. You don’t understand that?

            Most of the questions you asked are completely irrelevant.

            “Is your training in psychology achieved through academics, or are you self taught?” What’s the distinction? Was Jesus self-taught in theology?

            “I don’t think Jerome needs you to feel sorry for him.” He denies the thousands of people who have undergone Reparative Therapy and are glad of it and who have greatly diminished their same-sex attraction and some even having overcome completely. That’s a shame on his part, just as it is a shame that you are defending him rather than encouraging him to stop what he’s doing.

            “Good luck in your struggles and goals. Remember, the only person you can change is yourself.” You are wishing me good luck in stopping CA SB 1172. Good! As for only being able to change myself, the people who have been changed by my words and deeds are a testimony against you. Jesus changed me. His words and deeds changed me. If that’s over your head, well, that’s just the way it is. Do you want God to bless you with the truth?

          3. ShehanR Oct 30, 2012

             When I told my therapist that I dont want to be gay, she respected my autonomy. If I did not want to be gay, Im sure she would agree to that as well.Not to mention that, She has many clients who are gay.

            She did not try to cure me. She just helped me become hetero enough. There are people who has become almost complete hetero. But most people dont want that. I never wanted that. Its pretty unrealistic. And would be unethical if a therapist try to 100% rid a patient of homosexuality.

            PS : Im a Buddhist and Buddhism has never been against homosexuality.

            Im happy to say that Im a happier person. I never regret the decision I took to “change” myself.

            If you have any questions please ask me.

            @google-835054d70f6ba4ff210dab6458d2e502:disqus Read about Ad Hominem arguments. You are making a personal attack on Tom instead of making any sense. I agree that Tom is quite homophobic and insensitive.

          4. Jerome Reiter Oct 27, 2012

            You are the one who presents no evidence. You mock me for using sources, yet you only offer your prejudice as evidence for your claims. Your only scientific reference is Kinsey from the 1940’s. You are sadly out of date.  Stop the bigotry. Stop the hate.  Live and let live, doubting Thomas.

        2. ShehanR Oct 23, 2012

           Hi Jerome, This is what Dr. Thockmortan says in his blog.

          Myths and Facts about Sexual Orientation and Change

          Myth: No one has ever changed their sexual attractions from gay to straight.
          Fact:
          Many people report such changes, some with the help of counseling, some
          with the support of their religious beliefs and some spontaneously
          without any conscious attempt to change. Dr. Robert Spitzer interviewed
          200 people who were involved in efforts to change sexuality and found
          that nearly one-third of men and two-thirds of women had become almost
          completely untroubled by homosexual desires as the result of efforts to
          change. Others in the study also reported change to a lesser degree.

          Myth: People who work to change their sexual orientation are damaging themselves in a fruitless act of self-rejection.
          Fact:
          Studies have repeatedly shown that many who are motivated to change
          same-sex attraction are able to see various degrees of change. In
          addition, research has shown that a small number of people have
          experience harm from some approaches to sexual reorientation. However,
          the decision to live in accordance with biblical teaching concerning
          homosexuality has not been shown to be harmful.

          Myth: People who attempt to change sexual orientation are doomed to experience depression and suicide attempts.
          Fact:
          In Dr. Robert Spitzer’s study of 200 ex-gays, he found that 43% of men
          and 47% of women were clinically depressed prior to engaging in an
          effort to change. After counseling, only 1% of men and 4% of women felt
          similarly depressed.

          Myth: All of the founders of ex-gay support groups and ministries have reverted to homosexuality.
          Fact:
          Not true: For instance, 80% of the founding board of Exodus
          International, the largest ex-gay ministry, are still ex-gay, 30 years
          after the founding of the ministry.

          Myth: People who are religious have sexual hang-ups and are unable to enjoy sex later in life.
          Fact: Religious people report the same or higher levels of sexual satisfaction as non- religious people do

          Myth: Those who disagree with gay and lesbian sexual behavior are homophobic
          Fact:
          Disagreement with certain forms of sexual behavior or with a pro-gay
          agenda in the schools or in public policy is not bigotry it is political
          worldview diversity. One can and should be respectful of gay and
          lesbian people without needing to agree with their worldview.

          Myth: 10% of the general population is either gay, lesbian or bisexual
          Fact:
          Most surveys put the percentage of those who identify as gay, lesbian
          or bisexual at around 4% of the general population. A recent census
          survey in Canada found between 1-2% of the general population identified
          as gay or lesbian.

          _________________________

          AMA and other orgs just follow APA. And APA did not do any research bofore taking it’s political decisions. APA is against therapy that is based on the PRIORY ASSUMPTION that homosexuality is a disorder. Therapists are suppose to understand their patients and not suppose to have any preconceived ideas whether to affirm or convert. It will be the choice of the patient. And APA respects that.

          1. Jerome Reiter Oct 27, 2012

            That’s what Throckmorton said in the past. He started out just as prejudiced against gays as anyone could possibly be. That’s what makes his growth and honesty so striking.  He now accepts that science has shown nobody chooses his sexual orientation and nobody can change it at will. 

          2. ShehanR Oct 27, 2012

            Well I suppose if that’s the case, he would remove that page from his own personal website. 

            PS: To make sure anybody can contact him via email. I did that, may be you should do it too. 

            Homosexuality is not a choice. I never choose to be a homosexual. But I might have chose to be gay. But I didn’t. 

            I support equal rights for gay community. In fact some of my friends are gay, and they didn’t ostracize me for changing my self. I also support homosexual who do not want to be gay. 

            Can you cite me of any such research? I’m sure those research never say that people are born homo (let alone gay) but might develop homosexual tendencies. Are you talking about the birth order theory?

            Oh thanks for not saying that “All people are born gay”. You admit that some (if not most) are not born gay. Looks like we have a common ground. 

          3. ShehanR Oct 27, 2012

            But such research is fraught with uncertainty, and it could not rule out that the findings were the result of changes that occurred in response to experiences and behaviors, rather than being inborn.

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