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Third Circuit Upholds New Jersey Ban on Conversion Therapy

Friday, September 12th, 2014

New Jersey mapAnother court has upheld New Jersey’s ban on so-called “ex-gay” conversion therapy for minors.

Towleroad.com reports:

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld New Jersey’s ban on ‘ex-gay’ conversion therapy for minors, which was being challenged by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) and other ‘ex-gay’ activists. Last year, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the bill into law banning the dangerous practice.

So far, these bans have survived all their court hearings. It’s time for some more states to block this practice.

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Former Ex-Gay Activist Apologizes, Glad Marriage Equality Bans Being Struck Down

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Randy ThomasRandy Thomas, the former executive vice president of Exodus International, has had a big change of heart.

Pink News reports:

“The night that Prop 8 in California and Amendment 2 in Florida (both banning gay marriage) passed I was jubilant. I truly believed what I was saying. What I didn’t make widely known was how heart-broken I was when I saw the gay community in California take to the streets.

“Eventually the doubt over what we had done would get louder in my mind and change from a question to a conviction; a conviction that indeed we had done something terribly wrong. We made it clear that we thought that investing in rules was more important than sacrificially serving in honest relationship. We communicated that we valued the letter of the law more than the authentic expression of grace in the context of humbly living our lives and loving our neighbour.

“The message we sent was deeply damaging to our relationships with our gay neighbours and family members. For my part in this, I deeply apologize.

“Today, I can honestly say that I am glad that the courts are striking down all the marriage bans across the country. It is my hope that we (Christians) can learn from the past, make the appropriate amends, and rebuild dialog and relationships with the LGBT community.”

Wow. I mean, just wow. Some among us will want to throw it back in his face, to say that this doesn’t make up for his past actions against the LGBT community. But I hope we can rise above that impulse and be gracious in our response. After all, isn’t this what we want? For those who don’t understand what being gay is really about to have an epiphany and come to support LGBT rights?

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USA: Nine Former Ex-Gay Leaders Join Campaign to Ban Conversion Therapy

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Gay RightsA group of former ex-gay leaders is joining NCLR to fight to ban the practice in the US.

Pink News reports:

Nine former leaders of the ‘ex-gay’ movement have published an open letter in support of the #BornPerfect campaign of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), which aims to ban ‘conversation therapy’ across the US within five years. The letter was signed by: Brad Allen, Michael Bussee and Yvette Cantu Schneider, formerly of Exodus International; Jeremy Marks, founder of Exodus Europe and Courage UK; Bill Prickett, founder of Coming Back; Tim Rymel and John J. Smid, formerly of Love in Action; Catherine Chapman, formerly of the Portland Fellowship; and Darlene Bogie, founder of Paraklete Ministries. “Together we represent more than half a century of experience, so few people are more knowledgeable about the ineffectiveness and harm of conversion therapy,” the letter reads in part.

Wow – the whole ex-gay thing is just falling to pieces.

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USA: Another Ex-Gay Activist Now Supports LGBT Rights

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Yvette Cantu SchneiderYup, another one – ex-gay activist Yvette Cantu Schneider is distancing herself from the ex-gay movement and supporting LGBT rights.

Towleroad.com reports:

Yvette Cantu Schneider, one of the most vocal and best known representatives of the ex-gay movement, has announced that no longer wishes to identify with anti-gay groups, reports GLAAD. Schneider is known for her high-profile start at hate group the Family Research Council and her work with California’s Proposition 8 campaign. She is still one of the key people who anti-gay voices cite in order to prove that “change” works. The American Family Association continues to sell a video, It’s Not Gay, in which Yvette appears as a talking head. Her “personal testimony” still appears on Ex-gaytruth.com. However, Schneider has said that she is sorry for the pain she has caused to LGBTI people, is questioning of the idea of “ex-gay” itself and is now fully supportive of LGBT people and their families.

The ex-gay movement, like the anti-gay marriage one, is crumbling, probably inevitable when you build your house on a foundation of lies.

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USA: NCLR Launches Initiative To Abolish “Conversion” Therapy Nationwide By 2019

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Born Perfect NCLR

Advocates of “conversion” therapy often promote the practice as a means for gay children and adults to successfully rid themselves of “unwanted sexual desires.” This aforementioned “conversion” is supposedly accomplished through a wide variety of methods, which can include showing the subject images of gay sex scenes accompanied by sensations of extreme heat, extreme cold, or even extreme pain, and in some cases, may even include electroshock therapy. These methods among others utilized by “conversion” therapy practitioners and the detrimental psychological effect these methods have on the subject are contributing factors to the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the National Association of Social Workers (to name a few) all officially denouncing such efforts to change a person’s sexual orientation as likely to cause severe and long-lasting psychological harm to the subject.

As of this writing, the only U.S. states which have enacted legislation to ban “conversion” therapy for minors under the age of 18 are California and New Jersey. In the past year, there have been several efforts to enact similar bans on the practice in more than half a dozen other states plus the District of Columbia (which is scheduled to hold hearings on the subject starting Friday), however, most of these efforts have stalled.

Enter the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). On Tuesday, the group announced the start of a new campaign entitled #BornPerfect, which aims to ban “conversion” therapy throughout the entire United States of America within the next five years.

The Advocate reports:

The new campaign involves working with activists, organizers, lawmakers, and citizens to enact legislation in all 50 states outlawing the use of “reparative therapy” on minors by licensed therapists and counselors within the next five years. NCLR hopes to accomplish this by providing state legislators and LGBT leaders with comprehensive resources to build local campaigns against the discredited practice, then continuing to work closely with lawmakers and advocates as they draft legislation and testifying in support of such bills in state legislatures. The legal group is already in touch with a number of LGBT adults who were subjected to such treatment as children and can speak directly to the harm it caused them.

The campaign’s website hosted by the NCLR contains sections on the dangers of conversion therapy, survivor stories, proposed and active pieces of legislation, active legal cases, a resource center, and much more. Please do yourselves a favor and check it out. You won’t regret it!

USA, California: Ex-Gay Ban Appealed to Supreme Court

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

US Supreme CourtCalifornia’s ex-gay therapy ban will remain on hold as opponents file an appeal to the US Supreme Court.

Joe.My.God reports:

Last week the Ninth Circuit Court refused to consider the Liberty Counsel’s en banc appeal to overturn California’s ban on the “ex-gay” torture of LGBT youth. But the Ninth has now delayed the implementation of the ban while the Liberty Counsel asks the Supreme Court to hear their case. California’s SB 1172, which the 9th Circuit upheld in August, prohibits state-licensed psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors from using sexual-orientation change therapy on patients younger than 18. After the full court refused to hold an en banc rehearing of the case, the challengers requested a stay of the mandate so that they can petition the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari. The appellate panel in turn granted a 90-day stay late Monday. “In the event that the petition for writ of certiorari is timely filed, the stay shall continue until final disposition by the Supreme Court,” according to the brief order. Counselors, psychiatrists and their patients filed two cases against Gov. Jerry Brown over the ban, which they challenge as a violation of their free speech rights.

Grasping at straws, people. Grasping at straws.

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USA, California: Ninth Circuit Again Upholds Ex Gay Therapy Ban

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

California MapThe full ninth circuit has upheld the legality of a ban on “conversion therapy” for minors that a 3 judge panel previously upheld.

The BAR reports:

California’s ban on gay conversion therapy for minors will remain in place after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday (January 29) denied a rehearing by the full court. A three-judge panel of the court had previously upheld the law, Senate Bill 1172… Three of the Ninth Circuit’s 27 active judges dissented from Wednesday’s ruling, “based on disagreement with the original panel’s reasoning,” according to a news release from Equality California. “The dissenting judges took no position on whether the statute is valid, stating: ‘The regulation at issue may very well constitute a valid exercise of California’s police power[.]”

Will they appeal the decision up to the Supreme Court?

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USA, New York: Legislators Push for Ban on Ex-Gay Therapy for Minors

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

New York MapNew York could become the third state to ban the controversial ex-gay therapy for minors, after California and New Jersey, if some legislators get their way. Towleroad reports:

New Jersey and Chris Christie may be in the midst of controversy thanks to the state’s newly-signed ban on gay-to-straight conversion therapy for minors. That thankfully hasn’t deterred State Sens. Brad Hoylman, Michael Gianaris and Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, who wish to use the controversy to help a similar bill that they introduced earlier this year, and that’s currently stalled in the state legislature. Hoylman, the state’s only openly gay senator, told NY Daily News that “conversion therapy is among the worst frauds in history and has been discredited by the American Psychological Association and other…leading mental health organizations.”

It’s great to see states finally standing up for LGBT kids. We hope more states follow suit.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in New York.

USA: Exodus International Shuts Down, President Apologizes

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Exodus International logoEven though we didn’t get the US Supreme Court Rulings today, we did get some other amazing news. The biggest ex-gay organization, Exodus International, is closing its doors. Towleroad.com reports:

“Exodus is an institution in the conservative Christian world, but we’ve ceased to be a living, breathing organism,” said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus. “For quite some time we’ve been imprisoned in a worldview that’s neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical.”

Chambers also issued an apology to the LGBT community:

Please know that I am deeply sorry. I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly “on my side” who called you names like sodomite–or worse. I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know. I am sorry that when I celebrated a person coming to Christ and surrendering their sexuality to Him that I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry that I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine.

Wow. I mean, just wow.

California, USA: Conservative Groups Promise Lawsuit Over Ex-Gay Therapy Ban

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Conservative Groups Promise Lawsuit Over Ex-Gay Therapy Ban in CaliforniaCalifornia Gov. Jerry Brown just signed into law a ban on ex-gay therapy for people under the age of 18, and conservative groups are already threatening to sue on behalf of the harmful treatment. Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel claimed today that the suit is necessary because he believes the law will harm children:

STAVER: The California governor and legislature are putting their own preconceived notions and political ideology ahead of children and their rights to get access to counseling that meets their needs.

A number of minors who have struggled with same-sex attraction have been able to reduce or eliminate the stress and conflicts in their lives by receiving counseling of their choice which best meets their needs and religious convictions. This bill will harm children, stress families, and place counselors in a catch-22, because they will be forced to violate their licensing ethical codes.

Authored By Zack Ford – See the Full Story at Think Progress

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in California.

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