This article originally appeared at GayRVA.com.
Good afternoon, pro-lifers of Greater Virginia! I hope you’re sitting, because we need to talk.
You claim to be about the children, about their lives and safety. Do you just mean while they’re in utero? Or do you still care about them once they’re out of the womb — but only if they’re straight?
Because if you really care about children — ALL children — the way you say you do, then we need to know where you stand on conversion therapy.
The battle to ban conversion therapy continues to rage on here in Virginia. For years, bills have been proposed within the General Assembly to ban it. Sadly, all have failed.
As recently as January of this year, Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) introduced a bill that would ban conversion therapy (defined within the bill as “any practice or treatment that seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity”) for minors in Virginia, and prohibit licensed therapists from performing it. Of course, the bill was sadly killed by Republicans on the Senate Education and Health Committee, 8-7.
Nice things, yet again, continue to elude us.
Surovell explained to the Richmond Times-Dispatch that there is sufficient evidence proving the psychological and physical harm this plays on minors, including increased depression and suicide attempts. The American Psychological Association has outright stated that conversion therapy is harmful — a 2007 report on the practice by the APA stated that “results of scientifically valid research indicate that it is unlikely that individuals will be able to reduce same-sex attractions or increase other-sex sexual attractions through sexual-orientation change efforts.”
But, hey. Why listen to people who are actual experts? Silly talk!
Numerous states have already taken the lead on banning conversion therapy, including New Jersey, Illinois, California, and Oregon, just to name a quick few. Hell, even Canada is taking more strides than you are to end this.
According to CBC, Canadian LGBTQ activist Devon Hargreaves has started a petition to ban conversion therapy on the national level.
“In the past, gay, lesbian, or transgender people were sometimes subjected to forced lobotomies or institutionalized as mentally ill,” Hargreaves told CBC. “Today, efforts by faith organizations or psychological and psychiatric practitioners to switch someone’s sexual orientation mostly take the form of ‘talk therapy.’”
Mostly, but not entirely. In an interview with NBC12, Ted Lewis, Head Director of Side By Side, talks about what can happen to your child in conversion therapy.
“There are a lot of different things that can happen to a young person,” said Lewis. “First and foremost, there is a lot of shame that comes with the person being told they are not okay who they are. And on top of that, the tools used to get them to try and convert can be electric shock, hypnotizing the person, lots of shaming, and sometimes even forced intercourse.”
So, again I have to ask. Why do you seriously just not care about our queer children?
Do you seriously care that little that our children are being subjected to legalized torture? You’re okay with them being electrocuted or shamed for just being alive? To quote Clueless, “Pretty harsh, Tay.”
Honestly, even the state licensing boards are over it, and recently aimed to ban it themselves despite the General Assembly’s continuous attempts to shut down any bills. In the words of Keegan-Michael Key, “You done messed up A-A-Ron.”
Last week, the Department of Health Professions held a work group to discuss this. Potential regulations were discussed that would prohibit anyone licensed to practice in Virginia from using conversion therapy to intentionally alter any child’s sexual or gender identity.
Naturally, Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, argued against these regulations, reminding the group that the bill had been killed in the General Assembly. “I voted against this bill (voted yes to pass by indefinitely) in the Senate Education and Health committee because it violates free speech, religious liberty, and endangers children who should be able to receive helpful counsel,” she posted on Facebook after the meeting.
Sen. Chase. You are specifically who I am calling out in this article. You are the real danger to our children, and people who think like you. You are why our children are dying.
So, I’ll just ask you flat out. Why do you want our queer children to suffer so badly? Granted it’s been a hot minute since I’ve been in my beloved Grandmother’s vacation bible school course, but I do recall a very distinct thing about everyone being created in God’s image or whatever.
If you’re into all that, anyway.
So I’m going to ask again, my dear pro-lifers, who swear until they are blue in the face and writhing on the floor that they care about nothing more than the lives of our children. Do you genuinely care about our children once they leave the womb, or do you only care as long as they are cisgender and straight?
Because if you do care about all of our children, and yes I mean every single one of them regardless their gender and or sexual identity, then you need to stop allowing conversion therapy to be foisted upon them. If you’ll stand for that, you’re not pro-life. You’re full of shit.