PFOX defends the “parental rights” to force children into ex-gay therapy

PFOX, “Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays”, is up in arms over a California bill that would outlaw sexual orientation “conversion therapy” for minors. In an open letter, they decry this as “fascism”:

Sponsoring legislation endorsed by the gay lobby to ensure that children only receive gay-affirming therapy is an act of childhood endangerment and an unconstitutional attempt to deny parental rights everywhere, but especially for parents in California and those in your Torrance district. Your bill will turn California into a nanny state by usurping the civil rights of parents who support their child’s right to receive therapy for unwanted same-sex attractions, especially when that child has been sexually molested. This smacks of fascism and ex-gay bashing.

Apparently we must respect the “right” of parents to force their LGBT children into ineffective, harmful “therapy” that will teach them their normal inclinations and identities actually make them broken, defective, sinful human beings who must change who they are – an expectation they’ll never be able to meet without compromising their very self. Imposing all of this on a child whose wishes will be disregarded is indeed a matter of freedom, just not in the way they think. The freedom they’re defending is the “freedom” to make one’s own children hate themselves.

Of course, this wouldn’t be complete without a heaping dose of AIDS scaremongering:

Senator Lieu, since you claim your concern is for the safety of children, please read the 2010 CDC AIDS report: 77% of diagnosed HIV infections were attributed to MSM (men who have sex with men). Of those aged 13 to 24 youth, 89% was attributed to MSM. In fact, MSM aged 13 to 24 youth had the greatest increase in diagnosis (44%). Talk about harm to children! Why do you want to prevent youth from receiving counseling for unwanted same-sex attractions when those attractions can kill them?

Love leads to sex! Sex leads to death! Suppress ALL the same-sex attractions!

PFOX defends the “parental rights” to force children into ex-gay therapy
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43 thoughts on “PFOX defends the “parental rights” to force children into ex-gay therapy

  1. BK

    Hey wait, in women, straight sex is more likely to transmit HIV than lesbian sex. Would PFOX support lesbian conversion therapy for straight girls?
    Won’t somebody think of the children?

    1. 1.1

      I mention that all the time – and for some reason that issue doesn’t get addressed. 🙂

      Yeah, once you bring out AIDS in a discussion about homosexuality you’ve lost.

    2. 1.2

      They don’t see that as relevant because they don’t even accept that lesbians exist. To them, all women are just in search of the right cock that will turn them into silent baby incubators. It better be the first cock, too. Otherwise, the woman might just be a worthless slut.

      1. BK

        Aaah yes, I forgot. Women have to make babies, because God said so. Once they make said babies, the women deserve HIV, because they’ve had sex, which is evil.

    1. 2.1

      I’m being repressed:

      Click it or ticket.

      Mandatory motorcycle helmet laws.

      Fucking taxes.

      Hell, I can’t even cook meth in the privacy of my own home.

      Repression. It sucks.

  2. 3

    I think it might be better to use the licensing protocols for psychologists and therapists and take away licenses from those who are providing anti-SSA therapies. Then fine/arrest the ones who continue to provide such therapy as practicing without a license – essentially.

    Then the organization who decides what therapy is and is not appropriate for children is the professional organization. This also avoids the problem of how broadly defined “SSA therapy” could be, because if you define it to include many of the activities that churches tend to engage in to abate SSA than the bill is going to run afoul of the first amendment pretty quickly.

    It’s best to avoid the morass of arguing that it’s okay for government to make medical decisions – unless it concerns abortion.

  3. 5


    I was thinking along the same lines, but this doesn’t stop uncredentialed persons from putting out a shingle and performing “reparative” “therapy”.

    I’m hemi-semi tempted to force the parent to listen to their child’s heartbeat and hear a written statement from “the doctor” about the long term adverse health effects of this therapy.

    1. 5.1

      Right – but I doubt this law is going to stop that from happening either. You just don’t call it “therapy” you call it counseling or something. The state can’t dictate what you say to someone, in fact in some cases they can’t even compel you to tell the court what you have said because it’s privileged.

      The real effect of this law could be that anti-SSA therapy goes more underground. I think a more effective approach is to expose what happens during anti-SSA therapy; as it ranges from sexual abuse to just a front for a support group for closeted gay people in conservative churches.

      Having said that, I hope I am wrong. It might also expose the tactics of anti-SSA therapy to have a court battle about the law. Then the argument that current laws against child abuse and medical malpractice are sufficient might be a means of explaining to the public that anti-SSA therapy routinely falls into those categories.

  4. F

    At the very least, these things should be illegal per commerce laws (whether money is involved or not) for false advertising.

    Unless they add “for entertainment purposes only” as a large, prominent, and repeated disclaimer.

    (OK, not even then, really. I think it’s BS that all sorts of crap is allowed to be peddled with such disclaimers.)

  5. 9

    As I’ve said elsewhere in discussions about circumcision, parents haven’t got any rights, only responsibilities. The child(ren) have rights, and the parents get to be their caretakers so long as they insure those rights are met/respected. I’ve never heard anyone cry ‘parents rights’ in any situation where the ‘rights’ in question didn’t involve harming the children in some way: beating, maiming, psychologically or sexually torturing them, miseducating them, refusing to vaccinate them, the list goes on, and it’s always, always assholes who are harming their children and believe they should have a right to.

  6. 10

    “support their child’s right to receive therapy for unwanted same-sex attractions, especially when that child has been sexually molested”

    Now hang on a minute! They appear to be trying to draw a causal connection between sexual molestation and homosexuality.

    1. 10.1

      That’s what a great number of them believe – because there is a correlation.

      In their mindset that correlation is due to a causal effect.

      To thinking, feeling people – it’s a horrible reminder that children who are sexual minorities tend to be targeted for sexual abuse more often.

      ZJ did a video about a study concerning this a while ago. (I tried to search for it on her channel, but couldn’t find it.) One aspect that I found particularly telling was that they defined “child” up to age 16; while most children exhibit gender-nonconforming behavior much earlier than that; sometimes even as young as 3 years old when their concept of gender is forming, they also are well aware of their sexual orientation well before that age.

      It’s sort of difficult to give evidence of a casual relationship when the effect happens before the supposed cause.

        1. Thanks, but I don’t think that is the one. I vaguely remember one where a specific study was mentioned, and I can’t find it. I could just be mistaken. It was a while ago that I watched the video.

          All such studies have the same type of flaws, simply inherent in them.

          What gets me though, is that studies about how sexual abuse and molestation might effect future sexual health and intimate relationships (or relationships in general for that matter) could give information that helps recovery – looking at such studies with a bias (even the bias of assuming that an affect on orientation never happens) can only be a bad thing.

          Having said that – for all the reasons you mentioned in the blog you linked – the hypothesis that abuse = gay, is constantly falsified; and the idea of authoritatively telling a child or an adult that their romantic feelings are the product of abuse is, well, f-ing terrible.

    2. 10.2

      Well, duh. They’re finding out that all of a sudden they can’t testify to that connection in court (nasty, evil, anti-Christian, reality-based perjury laws!), so they have to poison the well as thoroughly as possible in venues where the First Amendment allows lies (as well as in those places where there are religious exemptions to false-advertising laws, etc.). What else are they going to do — tell the truth?

  7. 11

    Also, um,

    especially for children who have been molested

    Jesus wept. If a child has been molested, they should be having therapy for the trauma of being molested.

    Apparently if someone who was molested in childhood grows up lesbian, gay or bi, it’s because of the molestation. And if a child experiences sexual feelings they are deeply uncomfortable with because of abuse, the really important thing is making sure they don’t turn gay. As opposed to, maybe, giving the abused child unbiased therapeutic treatment to understand and cope with their response to trauma, whatever it is, so that they can a) recover and b) grow up unobstructed into their own full personhood and sexuality, whatever that turns out to be.

    1. 11.1

      What’s worse –

      Instil in them the belief that their sexual orientation is due to having been molested – which couldn’t possibly interfere with being able to form and maintain healthy intimate relationships with others./sarcasm


    1. 12.1

      not necessarily.

      I’m bisexual. AMAB.

      I grew up very religious, and when I was first attracted to guys, it was unwanted and I repressed and denied those feelings. It was only after becoming an atheist that I let myself feel that attraction.

      Do not get me wrong. I am not defending those assholes. Kids should be taught that there is nothing wrong with them. But religion taught me to hate myself, sex, and my sexuality. I am still trying to clear the brainwashing from my head.

  8. 13

    You are all missing the point. This is a Parental Rights issue not a homosexuality issue. The government should not have a say in what kind of therapy a child receives, period. That is the parents’ decision. And if you read the original study, this legislation would also deny teenagers with confused sexual thoughts from electing to receive therapy. So if a child (under 18) didn’t know what they were feeling, they could not see a therapist unless the therapist selected by their parents affirmed homosexual thoughts. That’s just ridiculous! What if the child didn’t know how they felt yet. They are, after all, just a child.

    1. 13.1

      Really – the government shouldn’t have a say – “period”?

      Says the person who has no idea that raping girls straight is a form of “therapy” that happens around the world all the damned time.

      Yeah, and that whole hugging thing that happens in some anti-SSA “therapy” is a-okay?! Did you know you were gay because you hate your father and are just looking for a father figure by being attracted to other men? So, if you lay around with other men with SSA hugging them, and talk about how your father was a bad guy, you will certainly be cured of the gay!

      You don’t know what you are talking about.

      Anti-SSA therapy actively condemns “same sex attraction” by definition. Since this is generally not possible. What some versions of the “therapy” do is decrease sexual drive in general, enough so that they can successfully turn-off their sexuality in order not to “sin”. This is sometimes done with archaic aversion therapy. (At least they don’t do electroshock anymore – YES, it used to be acceptable for parents to consent to electroshock treatment for their children who were gay. It was considered better to purposefully injure a child’s brain with electricity than deal with the “shame” of a gay in the family.)

      Still think the issue is as simple as allowing parents to do whatever the F they want to their own children?

      Mainstream, conventional therapies, do not either condemn or promote anyone’s feelings about anything. They take them as they are, and provide clients with accurate information and support.

    2. 13.2

      During the Victorian era, it was widely thought that women with sexual desire had something wrong with them. They were supposedly in need of therapy to repress these feelings.

      Do you agree with that, too? Should the government license therapists who believe that women who enjoy sex are broken?

      There’s only so far you can go, honestly, until one is actively inverting reality in order to support a fiction. “Parent’s rights” is one of those fictions used to prop up tradition over reason and empathy.

    3. 13.3

      You’re totally right. It’s entirely the parents’ decision whether a child should be given any access to reality or should be subject to the religious whims of the parents.

      …because that’s what you’re saying. You’re insisting that parental whim should legally mean that it’s legitimate to subject children to psychiatric malpractice. Because, if your conclusion is to be believed, then there’s no such thing as psychological or psychiatric evidence, and children should expect to be belittled, shamed, or brainwashed if they don’t conform to their parents’ religious ideology.

      Sounds a hell of a lot like child abuse to me.

  9. 14

    “So if a child (under 18) didn’t know what they were feeling, they could not see a therapist unless the therapist selected by their parents affirmed homosexual thoughts. That’s just ridiculous! What if the child didn’t know how they felt yet.”

    The second part of this doesn’t connect to the first part. So they don’t know how they feel. Okay. But how do you get from there to “a therapist who affirms that being gay is acceptable would be bad for them”?

    1. 14.1

      I didn’t say it was good or bad. I guess the PFOX has an opinion on that, but the bigger issue is that it’s none of the government’s business to tell them what kind of therapist they could see, especially if the child elected to see a therapist. That decision should be the parents’ decision alone.

      1. I have two children – I can’t do whatever the hell I want with them.

        That’s a good thing.

        Do you really want to open the door for parents to choose (with no oversight backed by law), any sort of therapy they want? Should we protect the “rights” of parents to beat their children to death or drown them in a bathtub in order to cure them of being witches?

        If you don’t agree with this law, which I have my reservations as well, because you worry about government micro-management of health decisions – fine. However, your absolutist rhetoric is amazingly short-sighted considering what some parents do in the name of “therapy” to their children.

      2. How far are you willing to take this? As you’re stating it, it sounds an awful lot like you’re suggesting that child abuse is “none of the government’s business.”

        (…because that’s what you’re saying. Substituting reality-based with ideologically-based standards for treatment of children tends to get pretty fucking abusive when the ideology involved is heterosexual-supremacist, cis-supremacist, etc.)

        1. First, we are talking about minors not adults. Legally, mentally, and emotionally they should not be treated as adults. Second, there are many wonderful state and private organizations that can step in when a child is being physically harmed. However, that is not, once again, the issue here. We are talking about the government telling parents how to raise their children – specifically in relation to emotional guidance. What if the State of California took another approach and said that all parents were required to take their children at the age of 14 to have anti-gay therapy. That would be absurd. Even if my child were already straight, I wouldn’t want them to be forced to attend this. This is just not for them to decide. I know you all think I am one-sided, narrow-minded, etc. But you’re clouding the issue. It’s not about being gay or straight. It’s about the government telling parents what’s best for their children.

          1. But you’re clouding the issue. It’s not about being gay or straight. It’s about the government telling parents what’s best for their children.

            No. It’s about the government telling parents that they are not allowed to give their children ‘treatment’ that is actively harmful.

            Children are not property. You do not get to harm your children any way you like just because you think an invisible man in the sky said so. Abraham would be locked up today, and rightly so, for being willing to sacrifice his son to the voices in his head.

  10. 15

    If this law had been in effect nationwide when my gf’s family shipped her hundreds of miles across state lines to get cured of being a lesbian … she would have had a much, much better youth. Obviously, the therapy didn’t work anyway.

  11. 16

    As I understand this, it will only affect (restrict) people that are working in the medical field. The truly heinous groups like Exodus International will not be constrained in any way from continuing to prey on the fears of brainwashed parents. I don’t know if Exodus claims to work with licensed therapists but if they do I’m sure they will have a work around.

    1. 16.1

      They should be put out of business for that reason alone. If you’re claiming to provide therapy, but haven’t got any qualified therapists on staff, then you’re practicing medicine w/o a license, straight up. Of course, everyone involved with Exodus should be facing criminal charges of kidnapping and child abuse, too and I include the parents who send their kids there.

  12. 18

    Commonly I really don’t read through write-up with blogs and forums, nonetheless would choose to express that this particular write-up pretty required me to view as well as undertake it! Your current way with words is surprised me. Thanks a lot, really nice post.

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