Therapy Bans Are Child Abuse
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays: Withholding Talk Therapy from Minors is Dangerous and Unhealthy
For Immediate Release
May 11, 2015
Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, or Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com
RICHMOND, Va.—A State Senate Committee in Oregon recently—and disappointingly—voted to send a proposed law to the full Senate that would prevent minors from seeking voluntary talk therapy for unwanted same-sex attractions and gender identity confusion.
Illinois, Washington, Nevada and Colorado have rejected similar harmful bills. These states joined at least 11 others in 2015—as well as an additional 15 states in 2014—that have either voted down or failed to advance this dangerous legislation.
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 whose loved ones have same-sex attraction and gender confusion, says when states ban talk therapy, they are endangering children. PFOX says it’s time to address the numbers of molestation issues discovered during therapy sessions to prevent the victims from living with shame and slow down child abuse by stopping the victimization of youth.
“Not only is withholding talk therapy from minors who are seeking help a violation of individual rights and self-determination, it’s also dangerous,” said Regina Griggs, PFOX executive director. “No one should be forced to live with or accept unwanted same-sex attractions when talk therapy is available to help the individual overcome unwanted feelings. Children who have been sexually abused keep the abuse a secret. Through talk therapy, children feel free to confide in a therapist who can walk and talk them through the horror and, in some cases, bring the abuser to justice. Why would anyone want a child to live in silence about their abuse? Perhaps that’s the question for those seeking to deny a child’s right to receive help. Our society should allow every child and every person the freedom to live their life in accordance with their personal beliefs and faith.”
PFOX shares the video story of Stephen Black on its web site, where Black says he lived as a homosexual for about eight years after entering the lifestyle at the age of 14. As a 6-year-old boy, he was sexually molested by a male friend of the family who was babysitting him. Then at the age of 10, a male friend of a neighbor molested him again.
Black lived with the shame that he had somehow caused the abuse. Then, bullies in junior high routinely called him a “sissy” and “queer,” beating him up on the way home from school. Black was more and more attracted to his same sex and, eventually, became a sexually addicted man. But growing up in Catholic school, Black said he believed in God, and in fact wanted God. He found his way back to him with the help of a friend.
After his decision to follow God, Black said there was no “praying away the gay,” but he received counseling and pastoral care and learned to interact with men in a nonsexual way, which took years. But the journey, he says, was “so well worth it.”
“To withhold counseling or therapy from a teenager struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or unwanted homosexual behavior when he or she really desires change and is seeking help is akin to child abuse,” Black said. “It’s tragic that our society would limit anyone from self-determination, especially someone who wants to seek help.”
Today, Black is the director of First Stone Ministries (www.firststone.org), which operates with the purpose to lead the sexually and relationally broken into a liberating relationship with Jesus Christ. Discipleship and restoration in every area of one’s life are stressed; however, there is detailed emphasis on overcoming all forms of sexual brokenness including homosexuality, sexual abuse and addiction to pornography.
He said that in his work, he has found that between 60 and 70 percent of males and between 75 and 85 percent of females who struggle with unwanted sexual feelings were sexually abused as minors.
“When you understand the prevalence of sexual abuse as a precursor to unwanted sexual feelings, it’s actually abusive to children to prevent them from getting counseling or therapy when they have been sexually molested and are confused in their teenage years. For the government to step in and prevent sexually abused children from getting help is itself child abuse.”
Black also noted that by attempting to prevent minors from accessing therapy, the government is communicating the message that ‘gay is the only way’ and that if children have unwanted same-sex attractions, they should embrace those attractions and embrace homosexuality rather than getting the help they want.
Through education and awareness, PFOX also works to dispel the myths and mistruths that homosexuality is genetic and part of someone’s DNA. Indeed, current studies show no one is born gay, and research on identical twins proves it. According to the site, “Identical twins have the same genes or DNA. They are nurtured in equal prenatal conditions. If homosexuality is caused by genetics or prenatal conditions and one twin is gay, the co-twin should also be gay.”
On its web site, PFOX shares personal stories of people who made the decision to leave the gay identity behind, many of whom are speakers committed to PFOX’s Safe Exit program, which offers resources, expert speakers and ongoing support to churches that want to open their doors to those struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions and gender confusion, and to support those who’ve left the homosexual lifestyle.
Griggs says thousands of men and women with unwanted same sex attractions and gender confusion make the personal decision to leave their homosexual lifestyle and identity and seek support and help from churches in their journey. Churches interested in finding out more about Safe Exit can visit www.pfox.org/safe-exit/.
PFOX is also planning its annual Safe Exit Summit on Oct. 2-3, 2015, in Washington, D.C.
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 child 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, or Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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PFOX, P.O. Box 510, Reedville, VA 22539 United States