Proposed Therapy Bans Deny Children Help and Victimize Them Again
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays: Tell Lawmakers in Massachusetts That Loving Parents Should Have the Right to Support Their Children Through Therapy
Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102, or Jen Wozniak, 610.584.1096, ext. 100, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com
RICHMOND, Va.—Imagine being a parent whose teenage son reveals that he is experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction that is not the lifestyle he wants. Or if a daughter announces that she is struggling with her gender identity and doesn’t know what to do.
The Virginia Senate Education and Health subcommittee earlier this week upheld these parental rights by voting down, or choosing to “pass by indefinitely,” two bills that would have banned therapy to help minors with unwanted same-sex attractions, according to a report from The Family Foundation of Virginia. But in Massachusetts, a similar bill is still on the table.
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX, www.pfox.org), the nation’s leading advocacy organization that offers love and support to families and friends of individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions and gender confusion, is working to raise awareness about these bans, and encourage, equip and empower those concerned to advocate for therapy freedom for all.
“As loving parents, we respect our children’s rights to seek help in overcoming their unwanted same-sex attractions,” said PFOX Executive Director Regina Griggs. “Attempts to take away the rights of minors and their parents are not coming from the scientific and therapeutic community, but from those who believe that children don’t deserve both a mother and father and instead seek self-gratification by raising children in a homosexual lifestyle. Now, will Massachusetts cave to a vocal agenda and throw families and children’s rights under the bus, or support the right to self-determination for those seeking to overcome unwanted same sex attraction and gender confusion? Will legislators ignore the facts, deny the basic right to live one’s life based on their beliefs or support homosexual activists who deny that change is possible?
“Many states—and now a Virginia Senate committee—have respected the rights of youth with unwanted same-sex attractions to seek whatever type of counseling or help is available to overcome same-sex attractions,” Griggs added. “Homosexuality is based on feelings, and feelings can and do change. Thousands of ex-gays are living proof that change is possible.
“One hundred percent of ex-gay speakers who advocate and educate on behalf of PFOX were molested as children,” she continued, “so to deny children help when their pain may have been caused by molestation makes them a victim again. For whom are these activists covering up? Whom are they trying to protect? The gay agenda with its significant budget is on the fast-track, and there is no concern for the impact on families or Christians, on youth seeking help, or on the psychological damage that is done by entrapping youth in a homosexual lifestyle because they were told the lie that they were ‘born this way’ and unable to get help. The fact is, we must paint the picture of evil behind moves like these.”
David Pickup is a licensed marriage and family therapist who also speaks on behalf of PFOX and serves as an educator and resource for churches through PFOX’s Safe Exit program.
“Massachusetts children will suffer emotional and psychological harm if these therapy bans become law,” he said, “which has already been the case in four other states and Washington D.C. Evidently, none of the state legislators have yet seen the Academy Award-nominated movie ‘Spotlight.’ This incredible film documents the efforts of the Boston Globe to expose widespread sexual abuse of boys by pedophile priests, specifically in Boston. Over 249 cases of sexual abuse were discovered.
“Every licensed and experienced therapist knows that homosexual feelings obviously arise in heterosexual children whose forced sexual abuse sexually stimulates their bodies,” Pickup continued. “But with so much scientific and anecdotal evidence that shows that homosexuality can indeed change, coupled with the fact that there are many people who experience great help and healing through change therapies, some states are poised to consider bills that will harm one group of children while trying to help another group.
“In almost every one of the cases in which gay men have testified that therapy has harmed them, it is revealed that they experienced some sort of camp experience or religious quackery. Hardly any experienced change therapy via licensed therapists who have been fully trained. These therapy bans are a violation of freedom of speech and freedom to be one’s authentic heterosexual self. Is the government qualified to decide the gender and sexuality that each person truly is? And why are these state legislators trying to approve these bills? It can’t be because they are concerned with children because these bills will, in fact, harm another group of children. What this issue really is about is forcing the gay ideological agenda onto the states’ citizens, regardless if they simply disagree with them or not.”
Stephen Black, another PFOX ally and Safe Exit speaker and the executive director of First Stone Ministries, added his thoughts as well.
“I believe that any legislator who would vote for banning therapy or counseling of a youth is, at the very least, engaging in a form of child abuse by neglect,” Black said. “However, if legislators know that there are teenagers who have been sexually abused as children and are confused and struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction, but continue to move forward with banning therapy and counseling for these youth, then they are aligning themselves with child abuse. It is child abuse to withhold counseling, therapy and pastoral care from a child or teenager struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction when he or she desires change and is seeking help. It is tragic to withhold or prevent counseling from sexually abused children who are confused in their most tender years of sexual development. Isn’t American culture to be ‘free’ for allowing self-determination of individuals, especially for those who desire to live a moral life?
“Voters need to ask,” Black continued, “what kind of legislators communicate that they are pro-family, yet align themselves with such a diabolical plan to recruit more young people into homosexuality? What kind of legislators call themselves Christian yet fail to fight against such laws to ban counseling and therapy? Wouldn’t it be a very deceived or naive legislator who doesn’t pay close attention to what is going on in our country in regard to the recruitment of young people into homosexuality? Might this be a leader whose fear of gay activists overrides the desire to do the right thing? Is it possible that these legislators actually know what they are doing, and they just don’t care about the family? Men and women who don’t care must be replaced with those who do—with courageous leadership that advocates for what is righteous and what strengthens families and sincerely helps children.”
PFOX highlights other stories of those who are either ex-gay or have been affected by transgender, homosexual and other sexual identity issues in their family on its web site at www.pfox.org/personal-stories and www.pfox.org/safe-exit, including the very personal stories of Pickup and Black, who were both sexually molested as children and who both lived a homosexual lifestyle in the past.
Some of those featured in the videos now serve as guest speakers at churches for the Safe Exit program. For details on the program, including how to invite a guest speaker to a church or how to obtain family help, visit www.pfox.org/safe-exit.
PFOX is a national non-profit organization that supports families and educates the public on sexual orientation and the ex-gay community. PFOX supports an inclusive environment for the ex-gay community and works to eliminate negative perceptions and discrimination against former homosexuals by conducting public education and outreach to further individual self-determination and respect for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation.
PFOX believes that every person seeking positive life change needs the love and support of family, friends, the community and the church, and strives to offer a place for help, a place for truth, and a place for ex-gays to participate in the conversation about same-sex attraction. PFOX families love their homosexual children unconditionally, believing that unconditional love between them and their child is based on treating each other with kindness and respect. Each year, men and women with unwanted same-sex attractions make the personal decision to seek help in overcoming a homosexual identity through gender-affirming programs, including counseling, support groups, faith-based ministries and other non-judgmental environments.
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization with a mission to support families and educate the public on sexual orientation and the ex-gay community. PFOX is committed to supporting parents and friends of homosexuals who want help, hope and community, and exists to provide education and resources. PFOX works toward understanding and acceptance of the ex-gay community.
To interview a representative from Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102, or Jen Wozniak at 610-584-1096, ext. 100, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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