Religion

Christian Group: Banning Gay Conversion Therapy Is Tyranny (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Focus On The FamilyFocus On The Family

The Family Policy Alliance, the political arm of the Christian ministry Focus on the Family, released a video (below) on July 18 that said laws banning gay conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy, amounted to "tyranny."

The video features Jayson Graves, a self-identified former gay man who used to sit on the board of Exodus International, a gay conversion organization that closed its doors in 2013 when CEO Alan Chambers publicly apologized for conversion efforts to the LGBT community, noted ABC News.

The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that Graves has told people on his call-in radio show that masturbation opens the door to "same-sex attraction" because "it is a form of sex with yourself."

In the Family Policy Alliance video, Graves promotes therapy for unwanted same-sex attraction, a similar pitch that Exodus used for 37 years.

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Graves' main focus in the video is against laws that ban gay conversion therapy for minors. Seven states and the District of Columbia have passed laws against, or laws that restrict, conversion therapy for minors, noted The Washington Post.

While conversion therapy is supported by many Christian groups, it has been condemned for years by the American Psychological Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of Social Workers.

Graves insisted that laws which ban gay conversion therapy for minors were akin to tyranny:

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The message that bad legislation is sending that wants to attempt to undermine parental rights and authority, and limit people's self-determination is tyranny at its worst. It's concerning to think that a state government can make the decision for people and for parents based on nothing but assumptions and rhetoric that this is inherently bad to help people with their own their desire to live according to their own faith values and self-determination.

The American Psychological Association said in 2009 that therapists should not tell gay patients that they can become heterosexual by therapy or other treatments, noted The New York Times. The association also said research had shown that gay reparative therapy could possibly cause depression and suicide.

The Family Policy Alliance states on its website that it is fighting the ACLU and other groups, which support laws which do not allow conversion therapy to be used on minors.

Graves states on the Family Policy Alliance website that those legal fights (to allow parents to force children into conversion therapy) are actually for children:

This fight is for vulnerable kids -- just like I was at eight years old. Family Policy Alliance is uniquely positioned to win, with 40 state groups and proven strategies to mobilize citizens effectively. I encourage everyone who cares about protecting children and parents’ rights to support the work of Family Policy Alliance.

Sources: Family Policy Alliance, Southern Poverty Law Center, ABC News, The New York Times, The Washington Post / Photo credit: David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons (2), Ursus sapien/Wikimedia Commons

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