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Thursday, March 29, 2018
WND Portrays Ban on Discredited Gay Conversion Therapy As A 'Speech Ban'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Media Research Center isn't the only ConWeb outlet that's trying to defend the discredited practice of conversion therapy to turn gays straight.

Bob Unruh's March 2 WorldNetDaily article on a proposed ban on all conversion therapy in California hits all the biased, anti-gay notes:

  • Unruh frames the therapy ban as a "speech ban."
  • He refers to being gay as a "lifestyle choice" and the entire LGBT spectrum as "alternative lifestyle choices."
  • He gives a platform to Randy Thomasson, head of the anti-gay group Save California, to claim that "There are tens of thousands of FORMER homosexuals and FORMER transsexuals in our country. They changed back to their natural gender once they learned that homosexuality and transsexuality are not biologically-based" -- but Thomasson does not substantite the numbers.
  • He also puts a weird frame on conversion therapy itself, claiming that youth seeking it "want counseling in ways that differ from state orthodoxy on LGBTQ issues." Isn't the "state orthodoxy" on the issue one of keeping these people from being exploited or abused?

Unruh also claims as fact that "the bias of a trial court judge and the prevailing political perspective in the Obama administration that homosexuality should be promoted killed a New Jersey counseling program that offered help to those who are frustrated with same-sex feelings," citing a 2015 WND article as evidence. In fact, the article, also by Unruh, attributes the "bias" claim to a "licensed professional counselor" who opposes efforts to ban conversion therapy, and he does not substantiate his claim that the Obama administration "promoted" homosexuality as opposed to, say, merely refusing to discrimiate against it, as Unruh apparently prefers.

Unruh even went on to provide a sanitized rehash of the lawsuit that forced JONAH, a counseling organization that specialized in conversion therapy, out of business, lamenting that JONAH was deprived by the judge of using "five of the six expert witnessees" in its defense. But he ignores the evidence showing that the verdict was deserved. As the Southern Poverty Law Center reported:

Testimony at the trial revealed the JONAH program’s bizarre and abusive techniques, which included instructing men to undress and instructing one plaintiff to touch his genitals in a private counseling session. JONAH orchestrated violent role-play exercises, encouraging clients to beat effigies of their mothers, who were sometimes blamed for their sons’ homosexuality. Male counselors advocated “healthy touch” sessions that included prolonged cuddling. JONAH’s tactics alienated some clients from their families and caused them to blame themselves or family members for their sexual orientation.

Unruh does not explain, either in the 2015 article or now, how  those "expert witnesses" could have possibly explained that away as acceptable counseling methods.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:03 PM EDT

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