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Friday, August 30, 2013

My review of CA bill SB 1172

I posted these points for consideration in regards to California bill: SB 1172 to the LA Times article.   

Working through CA bill SB 1172: 

Points I want to make for consideration.  I split them up into 5 separate comments to meet comment space restrictions for the LA Times:

·         You can be religious and be a clinical counselor.  Laws like this inhibit clinical counselors from seeking to be licensed, if they do not agree with the precepts of the law.

·         My point is that it also thus prohibits a licensed health professional from assisting a minor who wants to change their sexual orientation from bisexual to gay.  Gosh, this is poorly written. 

·         Even though they are saying that a bisexual orientation is not a disease, etc., they are saying by the language of the law, that it is  not healthy to change from bisexual to gay. 

·         Again, the language is only “can pose.”  This can equally be said for any form of counseling or any form of medical treatment. 

·         Not making the help available can also cause the same harm.  So, why say only one side of the story?  What is the age of consent in CA for sexual behavior for a minor with another minor?  
 

·         Seeing intimate same-sex sexual behavior as a moral issue and possibly as sin, is not seeing it as a mental illness or a developmental disorder, but the desire for intimate same-sex sexual contact can be seen as impacted by developmental factors. 

·         Accurate is a difficult term to use in the area of psychotherapy or developmental psychology, because it is not an exact science. 

·         There are many approaches that are questionable in medicine and in therapy.  The real question is why doesn’t the APA write as strongly about the other questionable approaches?

·         Again, they are not defining whether the term, homosexuality, is in regards to attractions, identity, orientation, sexual behavior or romantic attraction.  When they already state that sexual orientation is not only about sexual behavior or only about sexual behavior. 

·         Notice how they have to focus on the idea of, cures, instead of partial shifts along a continuum. 
 

·         And the claims of satisfaction of being gay are counterbalanced by the claims of satisfaction of seeing a partial shift in attractions.  Again, why only write about one side of an issue?

·         Listen again, this careful language. “rigorous scientific research.”  Now that sure is up for debate as to what that means, and when rigorous research then shows a shift in the results over time.  Science, by definition, is ever changing. 

·         The harm is done, if the opportunity is denied to an informed minor to see if some shift in sexual attractions might happen.  Remember, they quote the phrase, do NO harm.  Which of course is impossible in medicine or in counseling. 

·         This statement is completely inaccurate, “The possibility that the person might achieve happiness and satisfying interpersonal relationships as a gay man or lesbian is not presented, nor are alternative approaches to dealing with the effects of societal stigmatization discussed.”  See how they just slide that inaccurate statement in there…

·         They aren’t even addressing what the concept is of a questioning person.  The assumption is that you should select homosexuality over bisexuality – and definitely over being straight.
                             

·         You can easily come out as someone who has some level of same-sex sexual attractions, but that doesn’t mean that your identity has to be gay.

·         Here again, another completely untrue statement, “Sexual orientation conversion therapies assume that homosexual orientation is both pathological and freely chosen.”  Do you sense an agenda here…?  And they can only say that “they may be harmful.”  Just like all approaches may be harmful.

·         A person’s identity is chosen by that person.  So, it is illogical for them to say, “Psychoanalytic technique does not encompass purposeful attempts to ‘convert,’ ‘repair,’ change or shift an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.”  The APA states that identity is chosen. 

·         So, the APA says that sexual orientation can shift over time, but the AACAP says that it cannot shift through therapy.  How strange are those two statements by these two organizations when they are placed beside each other. 

·         By definition, research is never unbiased. 
 

·         But see, under Sec. 1. (o), they are saying that a minor 12 years of age or older cannot seek a shift from a bisexual sexual orientation to a gay sexual orientation. 

·         See, under Sec. 2. Article 15, 865. (b) (1) they are saying that someone who is questioning and says that they are bisexual, that they cannot receive counseling to see if their opposite-sex attractions can increase.

·         You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t say sexual orientation cannot change and then also say that it can change, unless you are saying that it can happen differently for different people. 

·         Definitely the law is poorly written.  They use language about people who are bisexual in their identity, or in their orientation or in their sexual behavior, without an understand of what those dynamics entail. 

·         As I have said many times, Angelina Jolie would publicly and openly say that she is bisexual, that she has had lesbian relationships, that she went through a heterosexual divorce from Johnny Lee Miller and that she is now in a heterosexual relationship with Brad Pitt where they are considering getting married both because of the nudging from their children, and because there has been progress in terms of gay marriage in this country.