The Fear of Change

On issues related to marriage and sexuality, the strategy from the left is now a well-established; punish behavior we dislike regardless of whether anyone is actually harmed.  Whether you’re a student, doctor, property owner, florist, bakery, or photographer, you are not free to make decisions in your professional life we dislike.

It’s all very familiar by now.

The left apparently feels the need to protect gay people from anyone who might not agree that homosexuality and heterosexuality are the same.  I suspect more than a few gay people are insulted by the presumption of frailty projected upon them.

Nevertheless, the campaign to punish everything they dislike has moved into a new front here in Washington State.  Yesterday, the House Health Care and Wellness committee held a hearing on HB 2451 which would ban sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) involving minors. (View Hearing)

The bill would make it professional misconduct for a licensed therapist to help a minor reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attraction.

The committee testimony included lots of hearsay and one personal account of people who were made to feel rejected and unloved as they struggled with their sexuality as adolescents.  The pain was undoubtedly real.

However, the inference that all their childhood pain could be directly traced to the fact that some people in their circles did not embrace their homosexuality is likely incomplete.

The most sensational story included allegations that an Olympia area therapist forced a child to watch pornography while in an ice bath so that they would associate sexual arousal with pain.

The woman providing the testimony could not provide any details about who the therapist was, when it happened, or where the person that this had happened to was.  In addition, when questioned after the hearing, she was unwilling to do any research to help uncover whether, if it had in fact happened, it was a licensed therapist.

Obviously, no one would support forcing a child to watch pornography in an ice bath for any reason, but no new laws are needed to address that problem.  Child abuse is child abuse whether a therapist is involved or not.

Nevertheless, coercion by therapists has been professional misconduct for generations.

Regardless of the nature of the counseling, professional guidelines require the goals of therapy to be determined by the client, not the therapist.

Therefore, under current professional practice, the only time it would be appropriate to help a client control or reduce same-sex attraction would be when the client requests it.

As a result, the only real change from this bill would be to make it impossible for clients who have unwanted same-sex attraction to be able to get help from licensed counselors.

Apparently the, “If you don’t like abortion, don’t get one” standard doesn’t apply to therapy.

The truth is, however, those pushing bans of this sort actually believe they are harmed when someone else is able to get this kind of therapy.

For the militant, political wing of the gay community (and it is important to distinguish them from the rest of the gay community which is often far more reasonable) the only thing more troubling than the prospect of someone wanting to change their sexual orientation is the idea that change is possible.

They attempt to preempt the philosophical or moral question of whether someone should change their sexuality by taking the factual position that change is impossible.

Undoubtedly, for many, their personal experience leads them to that conclusion.

I don’t think any of us can claim to know more about another’s experience than they do.  When someone says they didn’t choose to be gay, I don’t feel a particular burden to challenge them on that point.

However, those asking others to accept their reality that they did not choose to be gay are often unwilling to extend the same courtesy to former homosexuals whose experience is different but no less real.

The existence of ex-gays is an inconvenient truth that assaults the foundation upon which the “gay rights” movement is built-the immutability of homosexuality.

If it is true that some people who used to be gay no longer are, it raises issues they prefer not think about.

So, instead, they close their eyes tightly, put their fingers in their ears, tell themselves those people didn’t really experience what they said they experienced, and hope they’ll go back in the closet where they came from.

Sweet, blessed irony.

Not only is change not possible, they argue, it should be professional malpractice to suggest that it is.  I don’t care how many say they have changed and I don’t care how many clients may actually request this kind of therapy from their therapist.   My motives are good, I’m trying to save young people from pain.  Please don’t confuse me with facts.

With proposals like this one, the campaign to take away people’s individual freedoms in the name of sexual equality is making a shift.  In the case of the photographers, florists, bakers, doctors, and innkeepers, the state is punishing businesses who are doing things they believe are “discriminatory” against a customer.  Therefore, they force them to do things they otherwise would not do.

However, in this case, the state would prohibit professionals from doing things they are otherwise willing to do and restrict the therapeutic services available to individuals simply because they are offended by the idea that someone would ever want it.

Honestly, I kind of get it. My desire to ban skinny jeans has similar motivations.  However, being the good liberal that I am, I’ve decided I’ll be satisfied with simply not buying any. Here’s to hoping the legislature will be equally as accommodating.

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