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Friday, May 04, 2012

Yes, but WHICH therapy will we control?

California is at it again. SB1172 is a new amendment intended to prevent anyone who would like treatment for their homosexual desires from getting it.

"Oh, now, Stan, there you go, overdoing it again. No such thing. Fabrication. Imagination. Lies."

Well, now, let's see. Here is the text of the bill without comment from right wing lunatics or left wing crazies. Just the bill. What do we find in this bill?

First, according to the "Legislative Counsel's Digest" at the beginning of the bill:
This bill would prohibit psychotherapists, as defined, from performing sexual orientation change efforts, as defined, in the absence of informed consent of the patient.
Thus, at the outset the point is to prevent "sexual orientation change efforts". It is certainly "in the absence of informed consent", but I'm unaware of anyone who has tried to forceably change sexual orientation. If they have, I'd consider them as foolish as those who might forceably try to get a drug addict off drugs or an alcoholic off alcohol. You have to want to change in order to change. So I would suggest that "informed consent" is not the aim here.

Next we read in Section 1:
The Legislature finds and declares all of the following ...
(a) An individual’s sexual orientation ... is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming. The major professional associations of mental health practitioners and researchers in the United States have recognized this fact for nearly 40 years.
(b) Sexual orientation change efforts pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people ...
(c) Recognizing that there is no evidence that any type of psychotherapy can change a person’s sexual orientation ....
Thus, the determination here by the State is that "sexual orientation" is not an issue in any way. Those who claim it is a moral problem will be declared by the State to be wrong. Those who claim that they have had successful a sexual orientation change will lying. No amount of evidence or proof can be classified as evidence or proof because the State "declares" that "there is no evidence" ... in spite of the evidence that exists. This, you see, is part of the answer to the question, "What difference does it make to you?" The difference it makes is that those who agree with the Bible on the subject will be outlawed and those who care enough about homosexuals to offer them a solution will be banned. The fact that people have benefited from these solutions is irrelevant. Interestingly, although there is precious little evidence that a lot of medical and psychological practices have any benefit, those aren't being banned. It is this alone that is in the gun sights of the legislature.

Okay, I still haven't demonstrated my initial claim that the bill will prevent anyone who would like treatment from receiving it. What I have done thus far is establish the baseline "facts" as they see them. 1) Sexual orientation is not an issue. 2) There is no treatment. 3) No one should be subjected to "treatment" without "informed consent". Thus far.

Now the guts of the bill. In Section 2 we get a list of definitions for the bill. The first definition is for "informed consent". What do they mean when they use that term? "'Informed consent' means consent that is voluntarily provided in writing by a patient to a psychotherapist with whom the patient has a therapeutic relationship." Fine. We got that. Was that really necessary? Yes, it was, because they go on to say:
Consent that is provided as a result of therapeutic deception or duress or coercion is not informed consent.
Now, we understand that "duress" and "coercion" don't constitute "informed consent". But note that they've added another term: "Therapeutic deception". And what is that?
"Therapeutic deception" means a representation by a psychotherapist that sexual orientation change efforts ... can or will reduce or eliminate a person’s sexual or romantic desires, attractions, or conduct toward another person of the same sex.
Did you get that? 1) You can't treat someone for their sexual orientation without informed consent. 2) Informed consent means that no one ever told them that any treatment could provide any beneficial effect. Thus, the only way anyone could legally undergo treatment would be if they did not believe that it would be of any benefit.

It doesn't get better. The bill specifically bans any such therapy to anyone under the age of 18 ever.
Under no circumstances shall a patient under 18 years of age undergo sexual orientation change efforts, regardless of the willingness of a patient’s parent, guardian, conservator, or other person to authorize such efforts.
Since no minor can be treated without parent or guardian consent even if the minor wants the treatment and since no consent can be given here even if the minor wants the treatment, no such treatment even if the minor wants the treatment will be allowed.

There are penalties involved for violations:
A cause of action may be brought against a psychotherapist by a patient, former patient, or deceased former patient’s parent, child, or sibling if the sexual orientation change efforts were conducted ... by means of therapeutic deception ...
That's right. Since "therapeutic deception" is any claim that the treatment might provide some value, if a therapist provides voluntary services to someone who wishes to change their sexual orientation, even if it's amenable and successful, the "parent, child, or sibling" of a dead person receiving the treatment can sue for damages with a minimum of $5,000 plus costs and attorney fees.

Where are we, then? The State is declaring that any evidence offered that indicates that a person can change their orientation is not evidence. Therefore, anyone who wishes to engage in a therapy to obtain this change will do so illegally. Anyone who assists them in their therapy can be sued by relatives. Yes, the State will control therapies, but which therapies will they control? Not questionable ones. No one is suggesting that we question acupuncture or holistic medicine. Apothecaries are still in business where pharmacies won't do. You can even visit witch doctors and palm readers for help. But what you cannot do if you are in California and this bill passes is obtain by choice help in changing your sexual orientation. It won't be long, I'd guess, before even suggesting such a thing will be illegal, but for now they'll just make the treatment illegal. More to follow, I'm pretty sure. Because, you see, this isn't merely an issue of minors or treatment or therapy. It is fundamentally an issue of what you are allowed to believe. It's not far off, then, that believing that Christ can save you from your sin (especially if it's the sin of homosexuality) will get you in trouble with the law. That "therapy" will also be banned simply for believing it.


Dan said...

The minute this bill is signed into law won't the California school system be guilty of organized crime?

Stan said...

Just because there is precious little evidence that a public education in California actually provides education is no reason to call it "organized crime". Remember ... always remember ... a total lack of evidence is a matter of definition, not reality. Thus, "no evidence for God" and "no evidence that these therapies do any good" and so forth.

Marshall Art said...

I notice that there is also NO evidence that homosexual orientation "is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming." The professional outfits might "recognize" this, but they've never produced any proof that such is the case. I've had a standing request that such evidence be presented, either by link or reference, and have received nothing so far. One thing I have gotten several times, is arguments that they have found no difference between homosexual and heterosexual as regards functioning in the world. But this was never the issue. The issue has always been whether or not the attraction to another of the same gender is normal, which, given the need for survival of the species would seem, obviously, not.

It is similar to avoiding the reality that one is a person from the moment of conception. The real point is avoided so as to move on to allowing the behavior and having it treated as a moral good or a morally benign behavior.

Stan said...

That is, after all, the option of the psychological elite. "We declare what is or is not normal. You follow." The fact that there is no evidence that anyone is "born that way" and given that 2.5% of a population is not in what is remotely "normal" range, it's clearly their call, not a matter of science or evidence.