The Washington Times reported several days ago that Representative Jackie Speier, from California, has proposed a resolution to prevent those under 18 years of age from receiving sexual-orientation reparative therapy. This is all happening because of lawsuits challenging Governor Jerry Brown’s legislation that bans the therapy for minors. I have mixed feelings about this issue, and I will do my best to analyze this in a thoughtful way.
There are certainly proponents of sexual-orientation reparative therapy; those who practice it and those who claim to have benefitted greatly from it. It is a burgeoning issue that has gained attention in recent years as Liberal activists have tried to get the therapy banned. The Left also mocks and derides it at every turn. The debate isn’t and shouldn’t be about adults who enter into this therapy of their own volition, but about minors being forced or coerced into using this method of treatment.
Those on the Left hate the therapy in all forms. On this point, I don’t agree. Those who want this therapy and those who practice it should absolutely not have their freedom of choice taken away. It is a religious right and a religious freedom to participate in such therapy.
On the other hand, I do agree with the idea of banning it for minors. Now, before you stone me, let me explain my reasoning.
1. Minors, while still under the guidance of their parents, could very likely be coerced into taking this therapy because of the authority of their parents.
2. Minors are often much less capable of handling something as mammoth as this kind of therapy. It very likely causes extraordinary mental stress that adults may handle well, but minors may not be capable of reconciling.
3. The choice to enter into therapy this radical requires maturity beyond that of a teenager. Even if the teenager wants it, I believe it’s best to wait until adulthood to make the decision to enter into therapy.
I can see and understand the Liberal agenda at work here. They want to ban the therapy for minors as a means to ban it for adults. I do understand that. However, on its own, separate from that agenda, I do agree that the decision to enter into a radical therapy such as this should be made by an adult. This is a peculiar issue, but one that requires thoughtful analysis; not rashly formed opinions.