Last year, WND tried to brand state bans on conversion therapy as "Must Stay Gay" laws (without explaining why folks must be forced to stop being gay). Now it's obfuscating about the therapy itself by calling it "gender-confusion counseling," as it did in a Jan. 27 article touting a right-wing legal group's latest lawsuit:
A lawsuit contends Maryland’s ban on any gender-confusion counseling that does not promote homosexuality or transgenderism violates the constitutional rights of counselors, parents and youth alike.
Liberty Counsel’s complaint seeks preliminary and permanent injunctions against the new state requirement.
The state measure prohibits minors from receiving voluntary counseling from licensed professionals to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion.
Such restrictions have been adopted in several states already, but the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in large part against states taking such moves, based on the First Amendment.
Advocates for the homosexual lifestyle have worked through lawmakers to impose the restrictions, which ban any counseling that does not advocate homosexuality and transgenderism.
WND never provides evidence that conversion therapy works; instead, it uncritically quotes from Liberty Counsel's complaint to vaguely complain that "Maryland purports to try to 'protect' youngsters with its ban on counseling, but the “evidence” included in the law 'misrepresents the empirical record.' And studies that were cited were biased."
Indeed, the Liberty Counsel complaint spends a lot of time ranting about one study questioning conversion therapy. It also promotes supposed guidelines for therapy forwarded by something called the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice and Scientific Integrity -- which, it turns out, is a rebrand of the notorious anti-gay group NARTH, and which still shames same-sex attraction.The complaint never identifies the Alliance as an anti-gay group.
A Jan. 30 article -- like the earlier one, anonymously written -- didn't go the rebranding route, but did promote a separate Liberty Counsel lawsuit that takes a different legal tack by claiming conversion-therapy bans violate the First Amendment. WND then misrepsents what conversion therapy bans are about:
The fight has been going on for years already: pro-homosexual activists in city and state lawmaking bodies want to ban anything that suggests same-sex relationships are not the ideal, and so they try to ban speech that carries that message.
In the counseling fight, it’s that governments are trying to censor any counseling speech that could be viewed as not endorsing same-sex relationships.
Actually, legislators see the harm that an unproven therapy can do to youngsters -- considering how they're so heavily based in shame -- and are trying to keep them from being victims of anti-gay "therapists" trying to coerce them into not being gay.
Again, WND provides no evidence that conversion therapy actually works in a consistent and replicable way.
An anonymously written Feb. 10 WND article promoted yet another Liberty Counsel lawsuit over conversion therapy, this time in New Jersey, again invoking First Amendment rights. Once more, WND doesn't note that Liberty Counsel provided any evidence that conversion therapy works and again falsely claims that "the issue is governments trying to censor any counseling speech that does not endorse same-sex relationships."