comscore Ban on gay therapy is sought | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News

Ban on gay therapy is sought

  • KAT WADE / MAY 2014

    Brides Denise Baron Luna, 32, left, and Joanne Howard, 33, hold hands while rehearsing for their wedding on May 12, 2014 in Honolulu.

Hawaii lawmakers have introduced a bill banning a hotly disputed treatment that aims to turn gay teens heterosexual on the basis that being gay is an illness.

The proposed law, which was introduced in both the Senate and the House, says being gay is not a disorder. Supporters of the ban on gay-conversion therapy say it would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens from serious harm caused when parents force them into therapy to become heterosexual.

The bill would make it illegal for teachers or professional counselors to try to change someone’s sexual orientation. It would also ban advertising that promotes changing sexual orientation.

“These children, these teenagers, are quite vulnerable,” Democratic Rep. Della Au Belatti said. “This is an issue because we don’t want them to be subject to further pressure and stigmatization during their formative years in school.”

Belatti (Moiliili-Makiki-Tantalus), who introduced the bill in the House, said the bill is aligned with widespread opinions in the medical community that say conversion therapy is harmful to teens.

Studies say teens are more likely to attempt suicide, become depressed or use drugs if they’ve been rejected by their families because of their sexual orientation.

Republican Rep. Bob McDermott, who took the state to court to challenge the same-sex marriage law, said he does not support the ban on conversion therapy and expects the bill to be contentious in the community.

Parents should be able to decide whether to send to treatment children who are unsure about their sexual orientation or have behavioral problems, McDermott (Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point) said. “What if I want my kids — they’re questioning, they’re on the fence, and I want to steer them to the rich life of being a heterosexual, and as a parent I don’t have that right?” he said.

However, teachers should be prohibited from counseling children because they’re not mental health professionals, McDermott said. Instead of passing legislation, the state Department of Education could make a rule preventing teachers from counseling minors about sexual orientation, he said.

So far, several states, including California, Oregon, New Jersey and Illinois, have passed similar laws.

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  • Gay is an illness? Of, course . This is exactly why we have the Bible. Everything about the right way to live in written in there. Kids are all mess up ever since school prayer was banned from public schools in America. Now the kids have no direction in life.

        • Boots. Not to good to be labeling kids that otherwise will just grow out of this “gay” phase of life. Life is just a bunch of different phases as we learn what our priorities are.

      • If you are talking about Leviticus 20, I think it is referring to a man, not a child.

        Some same sex attractions in childhood are a transient part of growing up and therapy can be useful.

        • I didn’t make the statement: “Gay is an illness? Of, course . This is exactly why we have the Bible. Everything about the right way to live in written in there. “

        • @ seaborn – the link you cited is so full of exegetical error that I don’t have the space to that address it here. However, to answer your question. Old Testament laws in Israel consisted of 3 categories – civil, ceremonial and moral laws. Obviously the civil laws no longer apply as we do not stone people to death for violations of the law. Nor do we perform ceremonial sacrifice of animals. However the moral laws such as the prohibition of homosexuality still stands (Romans 1:24-27). The 10 Commandments still apply as Jesus summed up the 10 Commandments when he declared: Matthew 22:37-40 …’Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’ The first 4 Commandments relate to one’s relationship toward God and the last 6 Commandments one’s relationship toward others. Therefore, Jesus succinctly summarized the 10 Commandments when he spoke those words.

      • Peter, as with the Democrats, you are a strong supporter of choice and individual freedom. This issue must be left to the parents. as their choice for gay therapy or not. The number of patients are less than 1% of the population. The legislature must let this one die.

    • “Gay is an illness? Of, course . This is exactly why we have the Bible.” Really? “Gay” is what drove all the camel jockeys to create their book of fables and fairy tales, 2000 years ago?

    • Where have you been? Gay therapy has been around for decades and has been shown not to work. I remember one such practitioner bragging about how many gays he converted. I asked him about how many were still straight after a couple of years and surprise surprise. He didn’t have an answer.

      • I think that part of the problem is our current addiction to pseudo science.

        Social “scientists” observe several examples of something and then manufacture a category, such as sexual orientation, acting like they have discovered some essential truth.

        In fact there is no such thing as sexual orientation. We are all complex individuals with combining influences and tendencies. Freud placed us on a continuum. Forcing people to create themselves inside one of these manufactured categories is a source of mental disability. Therapy should not be directed at convincing people that this is who they “are”, so much as explaining that there are many forces, and tendencies in their lives, and they have control over how they will behavior, and how they will live. Not some phony category being forced on them.

        The situation has become so absurd at some universities that students and employees are now forced to recreate themselves into one of 16 categories. In the meanwhile, the social “scientists” plow on, pleased with this category trick that they have perfected.

        Interestingly, the category nonsense was at the root of Aristotle’s totally misguided physics, which was demolished at the time of Galileo. In the Social Sciences they are still at.

  • They should not ban gay therapy. I would hate to see back alley and back room gay therapy being conducted. To keep gay therapy safe it has to remain legal.
    This was the argument for keeping abortion legal, right?

    • In order for someone to practice it, they must be able to show that it is effective for the long term. Doubt they will ever be able to show this so it should not be allowed as it is just snake oil. Just say No to snake oil salesmen.

  • Thanks to Della Au Bellati and shame on McDermott. But what did we expect from McDermott? He has always claimed to know better for everyone else on how to live their lives.

    • Bellati introduced the bill supposedly because she stated that she has heard anecdotal stories that this was occurring in the schools. Really Ms. Bellati? How widespread a problem is this? How many, if any students have been affected? Have you met any of the students to hear their accounts? The teen years can be very confusing as they struggle with identity issues. Feelings are malleable and behaviors are subject to change. What if a teen is conflicted about his/her homosexual feelings and desires to change? Your bill would limit a teen’s choices from getting the help that he/she desires. After all, it is their “choice” isn’t it?

      • Let’s stop pretending that it’s the teens themselves who decide to attend these so-called “therapy” programs, shall we? These dangerous scams take advantage of religiously indoctrinated parents who are convinced that their children are broken and must be “fixed”.

        • It’s solely the child/parent’s decision as to what kind of help they seek. Who are you to decide how to run their lives?

    • Actually I agree with McDermott on this one. State leg passing ‘laws’ is a total waste of time. There should be DOE RULES that prohibit DOE teachers and other employees on giving ANY advice on personal sexual orientation. DOE can give a phone number of a licensed counselor in child sexual orientation that is contractrd with the DOE for students to call anonymously or non-anonymously for advice or guidance. Unless a parents insistence with gay therapy for their child attains the legal level of ‘child abuse’, the State is NOT to dictate how a parent raises a child. Belatti is a meddler who is attempting to use state law to intervere with how a parent raises their child and McDermott is just as bad filing lawsuits regarding same sex masriage in Hawaii. If someone needs to make a plea to god, it would be to install term limits for Hawaii State legisIatures.

    • lol, yet gays can be conservative. Ever hear of Log cabin republicans? Sadly though, republicans stand for nothing today except for more welfare for the rich. Pathetic.

  • “Parents should be able to decide whether to send to treatment children who are unsure about their sexual orientation or have behavioral problems, McDermott (Ewa Beach-Iroquois Point) said.” What an uninformed, homophobic, bigoted fool McDermott is!! It’s not the teens who are “unsure….”, it’s the PARENTS, who are just like McDermott and hope their kids can be “fixed” with this “therapy”.

  • Being gay is not normal, otherwise the majority of the population would be instead of a tiny aggressive vocal minority trying to force their beliefs on the rest of the us.

    If you have any doubts look down between your legs. Whether you believe God created us, or you descended from monkeys, its obvious that male parts were built to work with female parts. Even children see this which is why the gay agenda is trying to confuse them in school via programs that promote an unnatural lifestyle. They need to raise a crop of future partners so they confuse them when they are young since they can’t give natural childbirth.

      • It’s his and many others opinion on the matter. Regardless of how you feel eberyone is entitled to their own opinions. That is the thing that irks me about the LGBT mobement. LGNT suppprters are bery quick to bash anyone who doesn’t support their views.

        • Gay militants support the idea of choice when it comes to choosing their lifestyle but abhor the idea of being able to freely change one’s mind because it threatens their false premise that one cannot change due to being born that way. Even if one were born that way (which studies do not reflect), why try to dissuade a person from doing what he/she wishes to do?

  • I used to work with a gay man who always donned a pair of latex gloves before he sat down to type. He wanted to keep his hands soft for tonight’s event.

      • I believe Mike had the job while he was in high school (see Mike’s above post). That man showed him on many occasions. Mike used to, wink wink, be gay. But, he is not any more. Wink wink.

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