Anyone close to my generation knows the 1999 hit song "Californication" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. In the very last chorus, the lyrics are as follows: "Pay your surgeon very well to break the spell of aging. Sicker than the rest there is no test but this is what you're craving . . . Dream of Californication. Dream of Californication."
On April 17, 2013, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco heard oral arguments to determine the fate of California's law to ban sexual orientation change effort (SOCE) therapy for minors. Among the three-judge panel are two democratically appointed judges from Presidents Clinton and Obama, and one libertarian-leaning justice appointed by late President Reagan.
While most of the mainstream media failed to wait until the actual hearing to publish stories, sticking to their usual talking points that SOCE is "harmful" and "discredited" and that every "major mental health association is against it," the Los Angeles Times piece actually shed some light on the tone of the hearing.
While the Libertarian-learning Chief Judge Alex Kozinski asked the question: "Why can't the Legislature say, 'We looked into it, we think it is harmful, we think it causes harm to minors … and we the Legislature are going to protect them," he also observed that even a small limitation on free speech was impermissible – "It doesn't have to be breathtaking - and would have to be justified by compelling reasons."
But Judge Graber, the Clinton appointee, noted that compelling justification of the ban would only be required if the court determined it infringed on free speech. "Talk therapy is entitled to some constitutional protection but is not immune from regulation."
Still not satisfied, Kozinsky went on to say: "We don't have any compelling evidence" that SOCE therapy should be banned. "Point me to the one piece of evidence we can call compelling saying that this causes harm."
The truth is, there is no scientific evidence that SOCE causes harm or is ineffective for minors. While major mental health organizations have made this claim, they have no data to back it up. Instead, some have cited research that shows homosexual youth are more likely to experience poorer outcomes when rejected by their families.
For example, a 2009 study in Pediatrics found that minors who experience family rejection based on their sexual orientation face especially serious health risks and that such youth were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, and 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection.
However, this study did not examine outcomes of minors in SOCE. But LGBT-activist committees within major medical and mental health associations are using it to advance their agenda. It is also being peddled in several state bills, as well as in California Rep. Jackie Speier's resolution in the United States House of Representatives titled "Stop Harming Our Kids Act."
I spoke with the legislative aide in Speier's office who was in charge of writing the language, and she admitted that SOCE was not mentioned in the aforementioned study, but told me that family rejection towards LGBT children can be compounded to make that conclusion of SOCE. To this I replied: "Well, that may be a good enough argument to make politically, but this will not hold up in a court of law."
As the conversation progressed, the legislative aide became more agitated with my challenges, and eventually, hung up on me. Attempts to land a meeting with Rep. Speier have been turned down due to "multiple scheduling conflicts." However, according to her office, the congresswoman plans to reintroduce this resolution again this year (it died in committee last session).
I expressed my concern that the congresswoman should at least meet with those persons she seeks to marginalize in this resolution – that is, former homosexuals and persons with unwanted same-sex attractions. But according to her office, the congresswoman does not recognize persons who experience SSA but do not identify as gay. Apparently, her office was also unaware that former homosexuals are now a protected class in Washington, D.C.
Speier's refusal to meet with and recognize former homosexuals is now treading into a case of sexual orientation discrimination. In fact, just a few years ago a group of ex-gays, myself included, met with Joseph Wheeler, Attorney for the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, who agreed with the 2009 Washington D.C. Superior Court ruling that ex-gays are a legally protected class (PFOX v. Government of the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights).
While Rep. Speier and a handful of state legislatures continue to promote falsehoods about SOCE, pedophiles such as convicted former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky will continue to molest boys, some of whom will develop homosexual inclinations as a result. In fact, a 2012 study in the peer-reviewed, scientific journal Child Abuse and Neglect found that "gay/lesbian respondents had higher odds of exposure to child abuse."
But you'll never hear of that research, nor will you see any of the hundreds of other studies over the last 100 years that demonstrate some men and women can and do change from homosexual to heterosexual. So we wait for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to decide if California will apply the same standard to youth who want to change their sexual orientation as they do for transgender youth who seek counsel to change their gender.
While transgender youth might not be paying their surgeon to "break the spell of aging," California could prove to be "sicker than the rest" and give gay activists exactly what they're craving: no choice, no freedom, and no way out of unwanted same-sex attractions. For a group that has fought so many years for tolerance and equality, this tyrannical direction by the LGBT lobby may backfire on them. As Nietzche once said: "Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one."