Ex-gay therapy harms, not helps

At a public school in Maryland, seventh-graders were recently shown an anti-bullying video featuring stories about gay students who underwent therapy to become straight, and they were also shown an interview with an ex-gay therapist. After public outcry, the video was pulled from classrooms, and rightfully so, but such garbage never should have been allowed in a public school in the first place.

How much professional discrediting will it take before sexual orientation therapy is seen for the quackery it is? Apparently, the definitive condemnation of such therapy from the likes of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association and the National Association of Social Workers, to name just a few, is not enough to kill the idea that treating homosexuality as a mental illness can turn a sad, confused, gay person into a happy, well-adjusted straight person.

Of course, sometimes when pondering how in the world a video promoting a completely rejected method of “therapy” was shown to public school children, one needn’t look too far for the answer. In this case, the probable culprit is a conversion therapist named Richard Cohen, who sits on the school system’s health council board, despite the fact he was kicked out of the American Counseling Association for numerous ethics violations. How curious.

Instead of promoting harmful quack methods of so-called “therapy” that result in nothing but more problems for LGBT youth, public schools should look to the experts to make it clear that sexual orientation is just that: sexual orientation—not a disease in need of a cure.

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