Reparative therapist David Pickup: NARTH is suing California

Via Mediaite, Brooke Baldwin won’t brook any nonsense from “Ex-Gay” reparative therapist David Pickup (a-heh). She forces his hand and makes him admit that NARTH is planning on suing California for their ban on reparative therapy on minors.

Considering most of their depression comes from the repressive environment they live in (since being gay is so obviously undesirable that they can’t possibly come out!), and reparative therapy is like bleaching your hair to “repair” being a brunette as though being brunette is something to be shunned, I’m very glad that these charlatans and their “therapy” are banned from peddling their snake oil on kids.

To claim that it’s homosexuality itself that’s the cause of the suicide — that’s just telling someone they’re broken and selling them the cure. Considering the entire phenomenon grew out of religious motivations, it’s not a stretch to see where the specific tactics came from. Religious folks have used the “you’re broken, Jesus is the cure” tactic to great success for millenia, after all.

I am concerned though, considering the ample evidence that it is damaging, that it’s not yet banned for adults as well. Teaching people that immutable parts of their genetic makeup must, should and can be muted is self-evidently damaging psychologically. Why is it still allowed for adults? Don’t we already have laws in place in Canada and the US to prevent people from selling harmful products? What makes it different when the harm is psychological?

Reparative therapist David Pickup: NARTH is suing California

12 thoughts on “Reparative therapist David Pickup: NARTH is suing California

  1. F

    Oh, yes, I would sincerely like to see these idiots slammed into the ground. Keep fightin’, idiots! Ima need some popcorn for this.

  2. 2

    I’m kinda looking forward to this because every single time fundamentalist Christians go in front of a court and have to provide actual evidence for beliefs they have fallen flat on their face. Go read the decision for Dover or any of the Prop 8 cases if you want a good laugh. Judges do not put up with any of their bullshit.

  3. 3

    Baldwin and the medical correspondent were pretty good.

    Pickup, and I assume Liberty Counsel’s tactics, appear to be to get the camel’s nose into the tent on the grounds that abused boys do, in fact, frequently have issues over their sexuality, amongst other things. (As do men who are raped.) One tell is how he asserts he was not gay; of course, the fact that Liberty Counsel is involved gives the whole thing away. Then they try to get the rest of the camel in by obfuscating what it is that they do.

  4. 4

    Kudos to Baldwin.
    She really, really handled that jerk well, didn’t let him run away with it and made him stay on topic. What an asshole to behave like that when he’s a fucking guest on a show.

    Yeah, as if it would help victims of sexual abuse to make them feel even worse about themselves.
    I doubt that this law will actually do what he claims it would do: stop victims of sexual abuse to get help and treatment. I doubt that it bans therapists from talking about things like body-betrayal and such.
    Those people make me sick: using victims of sexual abuse to justify more abuse.

  5. 5

    Don’t we already have laws in place in Canada and the US to prevent people from selling harmful products?

    Article: NIH’s NCCAM – Homeopathy

    – Although people sometimes assume that all homeopathic remedies are highly diluted and therefore unlikely to cause harm, some products labeled as homeopathic can contain substantial amounts of active ingredients and therefore could cause side effects and drug interactions.

    – Homeopathic remedies are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, FDA does not evaluate the remedies for safety or effectiveness.

    Article: Science Based Medicine – Can it get any worse?

    “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to take Miracle Mineral Solution, an oral liquid also known as “Miracle Mineral Supplement” or “MMS.” The product, when used as directed, produces an industrial bleach that can cause serious harm to health.”

  6. 7

    I found this report (pdf)

    Suggested bibliographic reference:
    APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. (2009). Report of the Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


    The American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation conducted a systematic review of the peer-reviewed journal literature on sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) and concluded that efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm, contrary to the claims of SOCE practitioners and advocates. Even though the research and clinical literature demonstrate that same-sex sexual and romantic attractions, feelings, and behaviors are normal and positive variations of human sexuality, regardless of sexual orientation identity, the task force concluded that the population that undergoes SOCE tends to have strongly conservative religious views that lead them to seek to change their sexual orientation. Thus, the appropriate application of affirmative therapeutic interventions for those who seek SOCE involves therapist acceptance, support, and understanding of clients and the facilitation of clients’ active coping, social support, and identity exploration and development, without imposing a specific sexual orientation identity outcome.

    I presume it could carry some weight.

    Also, I see some of the usual watchdogs have been following Pickup (I’ve never heard of him before).

  7. 9

    According to the Yahoo news, the suit has indeed been filed on 10/03 in the Eastern District of CA Federal Court. Plaintiff is a college student who was “cured” of the gay, joined by a couple of practitioners of Rep-Ther. Grounds are first-amendment based, including that “right to privacy” whose existence the Borks of the world deny. When they lose, I suppose the practitioners might take down their psychologist shingles, hang up clergy ones, and continue–but they would no longer be paid by health insurance. At that point their real motivation may become apparent.

  8. 10

    This is going to get tossed. Arguing this violates free speech makes about as much sense as saying the same about laws not letting people practice law & medicine without a license.

  9. 11

    Adults have the right to do things that are harmful to themselves. What is important is that parents can no longer decide to subject their children to harmful procedures. It’s like the German court decision on circumcision, that stops parents from circumcising their sons, but doesn’t stop an adult from having himself circumcised.

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