Topic: Media Research Center
We've already noted how WorldNetDaily is distorting the facts around AB 2943, the proposed California bill that would ban effectively ban anti-gay conversion therapy in the state. Nnow, the Media Research Center has joined the party with a May 8 MRC Latino piece by Morela Scull, which repeats only anti-gay sources in attacking the bill. For instance, the gay-bashers at the Alliance Defending Freedom:
In an interview with the MRC, attorney Matt Sharp from the Alliance Defending Freedom explained that “AB 2943 infringes upon the First Amendment right of counselors, religious organizations and so many others to speak freely on the ability of people to find hope and to explore all options as it relates to their sexual orientation and gender identity. This bill, if passed, would restrict that freedom of speech, telling people that certain viewpoints like the idea that people can change is now off limits and declared fraudulent in the state of California.”
Sharp added that “the idea that people can change and find true joy in embracing and living out their faith is at the heart of many religions. California should not be telling people that such faith is fraudulent”.
Actually, what's fraudulent is conversion therapy -- which is the whole issue. You generally don't have the right n America to peddle fraudulent things. Sharp is not quoted as explaining how a fraudulent process furthers the "true joy" of religion, and Scull offers no evidence to bolster the implication she's peddling that conversion therapy is safe and effective.
Scull also plays the First Amendment card, quoting someone named "René Scull, from the free-market champion Atlas Network" (Morela Scull does not disclose what her connection is, if any, to this person with whom she shares a last name, though she really should have), asserting that “it is absurd to try to interfere with the commercialization of goods related with ideological postures or postures against social attitudes because the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech. Violating the rules of the market converts these measures that are trying to be implemented in something not only illegal, but also interferes with a healthy process of supply and demand.”
Again, this misses the point. Conversion therapy has been largely proven to be ineffective and even damaging to clients. There is no First Amendment right to provide an ineffective and damaging service, regardless of the processes of supply and demand. It's also not a restriction on religious liberty to stop a fraudulent practice.
Scull concluded by huffing: "The ramifications of the legislation go far beyond considerations about being heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or transgender; or about being a Christian or an atheist: it is mainly about the prohibition of freedom." No, it's pretty much limited to the former; people like Scull and the people she quotes don't believe being "homosexual, bisexual or transgender" deserves any consideration and that it should be stamped out. And that's where the real rights issue resides.