Tag Archives: pray away the gay

Activists rally against ex-gay therapy in Mississippi

LGBT activists are rallying in Hattiesburg, Miss., gathering to protest a three-day conference promoting the dangerous practice of ex-gay therapy.

The Lakeside Baptist Church is hosting “Coming Out: A Gospel Response to Same-Sex Attraction,” and promoting a practice known by various names – reparative therapy, conversion therapy and ex-gay therapy – that claims homosexuality is a condition to be cured.

The therapy has been denounced by leading medical groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association, and the states of California and New Jersey have banned the use of the ex-gay therapy against minors.

Conference speakers include Hal and Lisa Selby, who have a ministry in Ocean Springs, Miss., that promotes conversion therapy and praying away the gay.

An announcement of the three nights of protest described each event as “a peaceful demonstration comprised of the LGBT community, their families, allies, and Christians who seek to spread the message of love and acceptance of all God’s children.”

Organizers include GetEQUAL Mississippi, OMEGA Mississippi and Walk Fellowship Church of Hattiesburg.

Federal appeals court upholds California law against ex-gay therapy for minors

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Aug. 29 upheld California SB 1172, which prohibits subjecting a minor to dangerous “ex-gay” therapy.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law last year and Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed a similar measure earlier this month.

The appeals court panel, in a challenge brought by a Christian right legal defense fund and California therapists who advocate the debunked practice of conversion therapy, ruled that California has a right to restrict harmful treatments.

The three-judge panel also found that the California law does not infringe on free speech rights in the U.S. Constitution.

Responding, Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign, said, “Today the court made a powerful statement that California’s LGBT young people deserve to be protected from grave psychological abuse. We’re grateful to the court for recognizing that the law is a valid exercise of California’s duty to regulate medical professionals and ensure that they do not advance ineffective and harmful practices. The law will put an end to practices that have not only been debunked as junk science, but have been proven to have drastically negative effects on youth well-being.”

Griffin praised Brown and Christie “for putting children first, and call on all states to follow their lead on this issue.”

Ex-gay therapy has been described as junk science and denounced by major medical and mental health organizations, including the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American School Counselor Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Pan American Health Organization.