During my fall semester, I wrote an article for a class, and eventually a published story, about reparative therapy on homosexuals. I found a girl in one of my classes who had experienced therapies from her family, peers and church. Equally as surprising was when I discovered that the former presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann’s husband owned a therapy center where he practiced this on homosexuals. And then, the icing on top of the cake, was when I found various churches across my home state of Kentucky that have centers just like that.
Fortunately, at least one state is in the right direction. California just passed Senate Bill 1172, which will make the practice of attempting to “change” ones sexuality illegal for those under the age of 18. The bill describes how these types of therapies have harmful mental and emotional effects.
Sadly, this is only for California, not for the entire country. Even with these therapies being discredited by the American Psychological Association, American Medical Association and just about every other medical venue in the world, there are still several areas of the world that practice them.
Those who undergo these therapies are eight times more likely to attempt suicide, nearly six times more likely to report high levels of depression and more than three times more likely to use illegal drugs, according the Human Rights Campaign’s website.
Reparative therapies are obviously harmful. And as I said previously, there are still being openly practiced every single day. Just because California is cracking down on them, does not mean everywhere else in the world is. Send a letter, phone call or email to your state legislators and let them know that we aren’t going to stand for this kind of mistreatment in our communities. Simply go to http://www.usa.gov to search your state’s contact information. Let them know you want equality for all, not just some!