California becomes first state in nation to ban ‘gay cure’ therapy for children – U.S. News

California has become the first state in the nation to ban therapy that tries to turn gay teens straight.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Sunday that he has signed Senate Bill 1172, which prohibits children under age 18 from undergoing “sexual orientation change efforts.” The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, prohibits state-licensed therapists from engaging in these practices with minors.

“Governor Brown today reaffirmed what medical and mental health organizations have made clear: Efforts to change minors’ sexual orientation are not therapy, they are the relics of prejudice and abuse that have inflicted untold harm on young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians,” Clarissa Filgioun, board president of Equality California, said in a press release.

Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, added: “Governor Brown has sent a powerful message of affirmation and support to LGBT youth and their families. This law will ensure that state-licensed therapists can no longer abuse their power to harm LGBT youth and propagate the dangerous and deadly lie that sexual orientation is an illness or disorder that can be ‘cured.’”

via California becomes first state in nation to ban ‘gay cure’ therapy for children – U.S. News.

Fighting for the freedom agenda | Washington Times Communities

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2012 — When people think about “the gay agenda” these days, the first issue that comes to mind is marriage. Some will also mention bullying, or workplace discrimination, or the unfair additional taxes paid by domestic partners, but as seen from the recent media firestorm over the president’s announcement, marriage is at the top of the list.

While America debates the freedom of same-sex couples to marry, around the globe lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are fighting for their lives – and this week, there are reports from Iran of four young men executed for the crime of “homosexual sodomy.”

The photographs of these gay men hanging in a town square are a sobering reminder of the freedoms we sometimes take for granted. Iran is one of five nations where homosexuality is punishable by death; the others are Mauritania, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.

Gay or straight, liberal or conservative, such deaths fly in the face of our shared values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As Vice President Dick Cheney said, “freedom means freedom for everyone” – no matter where, or what “way,” you were born…..

…..When President Bush rolled out the Freedom Collection this week, he stated, “The tactics of promoting freedom will vary, case by case. But America’s message should ring clear and strong: We stand for freedom and for the institutions and habits that make freedom work for everyone.” ….

Con’t Via

Fighting for the freedom agenda | Washington Times Communities.

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Truth Wins Out – A North Carolina Map That Says It All

It seems painfully simplistic sometimes to merely point out that, the more educated people are, the more likely they are to support marriage equality, and likewise, that a large part of the reason the Religious Right is still able to inflict their brand of hatred on the democratic process is that they prey on the fears of and outright lie to less educated voters, but sometimes it needs to be pointed out. This map, comparing the votes of North Carolinians on Amendment One with the percentage of college educated voters in each county, says it all quite nicely

via Truth Wins Out – A North Carolina Map That Says It All.

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My So-Called Ex-Gay Life by Gabriel Arana

Early in my freshman year of high school, I came home to find my mom sitting on her bed, crying. She had snooped through my e-mail and discovered a message in which I confessed to having a crush on a male classmate.“Are you gay?” she asked. I blurted out that I was. “I knew it, ever since you were a little boy.”Her resignation didn’t last long. My mom is a problem solver, and the next day she handed me a stack of papers she had printed out from the Internet about reorientation, or “ex-gay,” therapy. I threw them away. I said I didn’t see how talking about myself in a therapist’s office was going to make me stop liking guys. My mother responded by asking whether I wanted a family, then posed a hypothetical: “If there were a pill you could take that would make you straight, would you take it?”I admitted that life would be easier if such a pill existed. I hadn’t thought about how my infatuation with boys would play out over the course of my life. In fact, I had always imagined myself middle-aged, married to a woman, and having a son and daughter—didn’t everyone want some version of that?“The gay lifestyle is very lonely,” she said.