Join 3,513 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Spare the rod
September 30, 2012 7:44 AM   Subscribe

California has become the first state in the country to ban the so-called "reparative" ex-gay therapy for people under the age of 18 years old. "This bill bans non-scientific 'therapies' that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery," Brown said in a statement to The San Francisco Chronicle.

American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association and American Psychiatric Association are just three of the many groups which have repeatedly criticized the practice, which is often referred to as "conversion" or "ex-gay" therapy.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (37 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
If you heard about some faddish, way-out type of bogus therapy for the last few decades, you thought it must have come from California or at least gotten popular there. est, rolfing, past-life-regression, whatever--the mental image associated with them was of a turtlenecked ex-hippie in San Francisco who surfed from one self-help fad to another, rooking much the same set of well-off suckers each time. It's an unfair stereotype (rolfing started in New York, for example), but still, you have to think, if California singles out a type of therapy as inherently bogus and harmful...
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:53 AM on September 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


Also, too, much appreciation for Truth Wins Out, Wayne Besen's organization, which has been campaigning against this stuff for years.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:58 AM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rolfing is a sort of massage-therapy, and past-life regression may or may not dredge up something real, both of which are probably limited to adults or children under the care of consenting adults. They might be kind of "out there," but neither ty to change some basic part of a person against their will.

But trying to "fix" a child who has self-identified or seems homosexual, a quality found in animals? You can't "repair" the sexual orientation of a child any more than you can make a gay duck straight.

And now I realize that Halloween Jack was probably making a comment on how this one "treatment" is actually terrible, if kooky California recognizes it as a step too far.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:14 AM on September 30, 2012


These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery

Good on you, California. I hope the state moves to kneecap the "supplements" industry next and then crushes the rest of the quacks and that the other states follow California's lead. Fraud has no First Amendment value and no legitimate commercial purpose.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:17 AM on September 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Nice work, California! That shit was barbaric.

Cue religious bigots shrieking about "persecution" in 3 ... 2 ...
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:17 AM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Four of a kind beats a gay duck straight.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:20 AM on September 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm curious what the plans are for the people who make a living doing this stuff. Are they all going to relocate to other states? Or will they find another, still legal way to manipulate people out of their money and chance at mental well-being? If we can ban them everywhere in the country, will the truly motivated ones end up having abroad ex-gay compounds? Or maybe one of those ships that stay in international waters, like the most evil bizarro version of a gay cruise you can possibly think of.

It helps me to think of them as cartoon villains, otherwise I get really worked up about how anybody can dedicate themselves to something so awful.
posted by Mizu at 8:25 AM on September 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Trying to make a gay duck straight would definitely be quackery.
posted by localroger at 8:26 AM on September 30, 2012 [19 favorites]


Or will they find another, still legal way to manipulate people out of their money and chance at mental well-being?

[leon] Always like this. [/leon]
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:30 AM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Kinda sad you didn't title this post "the dustbin of quackery".
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:32 AM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, this law only applies to minors. It does not apply to young or otherwise gullible adults who are pressured and/or brainwashed by their churches or families. But I guess it's a step in the right direction.
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:33 AM on September 30, 2012


Mizu, I expect they'll go underground or come down here to the southeast where there is a flourishing business in reparative therapy. I happen to know someone who refers clients from his marriage counseling practice to such places - it makes my skin crawl when that person is lauded for demonstrating good therapeutic practices.
posted by catlet at 8:34 AM on September 30, 2012


So they move to NV and start selling over the internet?
posted by jaduncan at 8:34 AM on September 30, 2012


So now in one state out of fifty, people like Michele Bachman's potential client list has been decreased by a small fraction (just minors).

I'm happy about this, don't get me wrong, but until paying someone to (perhaps kidnap and) torture your children is explicitly outlawed and prosecuted across the country...it's hard to get too excited.
posted by trackofalljades at 8:47 AM on September 30, 2012


Does this just ban "therapists", or does it also go after those "summer camps" parents send their boys to, to turn them into real, god-fearing men?
posted by Thorzdad at 8:53 AM on September 30, 2012


Michele Bachman's potential client list

Marcus. and this is Good News.
posted by Challahtronix at 9:07 AM on September 30, 2012


Did they outlaw the practice of shipping minors out of state (or country) for therapeutic beatings/"behavior modification"?
posted by Goofyy at 9:09 AM on September 30, 2012


No, I'm pretty sure the practice of extraordinary rendition, both domestic and international, is still legal where the faggots are concerned.
posted by hippybear at 9:11 AM on September 30, 2012


Well they were doing it for nothing more than 'attitude' last I saw the topic come up.
posted by Goofyy at 9:13 AM on September 30, 2012


This only makes it illegal for minors. That's hardly equivalent to putting these people out of business. Plenty of adults go to them as well.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:29 AM on September 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bitchin'!
posted by Melismata at 9:31 AM on September 30, 2012


Whew. One small step back from the witch's pole. Every little bit helps.

I'm not gay, but I'm worried that they'll be coming for left-handed ex-military former farriers next, and I'm pretty sure I want all the help I can get. By "they" I mean, you know, Them. Just because they don't wear them pointy hats in public (any more) doesn't mean they aren't still there.
posted by mule98J at 9:33 AM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


This only makes it illegal for minors. That's hardly equivalent to putting these people out of business. Plenty of adults go to them as well.

I'm okay with that. Minors are often in a position where they have no power over their bodies and minds. If this keeps bigoted parents from abusing their children, this is a good thing. Adults—well, you're a grown-up and if you hate yourself that much, maybe it is okay to be free to make that choice.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:53 AM on September 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good news.

Kinda sad you didn't title this post "the dustbin of quackery".

Or at least give us a DustbinOfQuackery tag.
posted by homunculus at 10:18 AM on September 30, 2012


Rolfing is a sort of massage-therapy

I've received plenty of massages of different styles including Rolfing, and the Rolfers were always amongst the most skilled and thorough at getting the kinks out. No hooey required, but strong hands are a must. Really fucking strong hands.

/end derail
posted by homunculus at 11:12 AM on September 30, 2012


Yayyy!!! May all forms of quackery suffer the same fate. Now Utah, home of the infamous Evergreen "therapy"that included electric shocks, needs to outlaw this form of torture as well.
posted by mermayd at 11:55 AM on September 30, 2012


still, you have to think, if California singles out a type of therapy as inherently bogus and harmful...

Oh, c'mon. California leads, the nation follows. This is great news for ending institutionalized child abuse.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:39 PM on September 30, 2012


"Does this just ban "therapists", or does it also go after those "summer camps" parents send their boys to, to turn them into real, god-fearing men?

It just goes after the licensed quacks — It gives them two reasons to no longer do this. First, because it's now officially unethical practice, it allows a private course of action for victims, where they can sue and get up to $5000 plus damages. It also allows the licensing boards to revoke licenses over this.

Unfortunately, it doesn't do anything to regulate unlicensed assholes who do this, but that was too legally fraught.
posted by klangklangston at 12:57 PM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just want to say these things, klangklangston:

a) awesome collective job;
b) thank you to you personally for your efforts.
posted by jaduncan at 4:16 PM on September 30, 2012


Thank fuck. Without sharing too much of a story that's not mine to tell, my ex-wife went through this and kept a lot of the printed material from it, and reading it shocked me. Telling a child that they are damaged, and that that's why they're gay, is child abuse.
posted by fiercecupcake at 4:17 PM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've been really happy to see the rapid swing in nationwide acceptance towards gay marriage. One of my best friends was stuck in a marriage where he was unhappy, and realized something he had known all along but had tried to fight - he was gay. This resulted in a divorce and severe financial consequences, but it was amazing to see him happy for the first time in years. Fortunately, he's on good terms with his ex-wife and his family has changed from "oooh, icky, gross, don't bring that around here!" to mostly (except a person or two) being very supportive and accepting his boyfriend. Seeing what he went through, something he'd tried to deny since he was a teenager because of the stigma, it was very damaging to him. I can't even begin to imagine how horrible it would be for a teenager to go through this kind of conversion bullsh*t. It will take a while, but I hope we're looking back at this in the future as one of those "wow, we really allowed people to do that before?" kind of way like we do with so many other things.
posted by azpenguin at 9:04 PM on September 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


hopefully tomorrow SCOTUS will deny cert on Prop 8 ...

not today. keep on doing good work. thank you.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:05 AM on October 1, 2012


local Equality organization
Unfortunately, for those of us living in the Bible Belt the number of politicians that would actually be perceptive to these types of inquiries is quite limited... so does anybody have a list or existing groups or even just appropriate search terms to use when looking for the above types of organizations?
posted by Blue_Villain at 10:51 AM on October 1, 2012


Equality Federation. There's a local group in every state.
posted by klangklangston at 1:12 PM on October 1, 2012


Ex-Gay Therapist Wants to Sue California for Reparative Therapy Ban
posted by homunculus at 4:36 PM on October 1, 2012


Ex-Gay Therapist Wants to Sue California for Reparative Therapy Ban: "Pickup (his real name, by the way) is the newest spokesman for National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) after their previous leader George Rekers was caught vacationing with male prostitutes."

I don't always like Gawker, but when I do...
posted by jaduncan at 5:43 AM on October 2, 2012


Good. More steps needed but, good.
posted by _paegan_ at 8:53 AM on October 2, 2012


« Older real good magic...  |  "Liberals have not always been... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments