Focus on the Family is not happy with President Obama. In the President’s LGBT Pride Month proclamation he wrote; “…we oppose subjecting minors to the harmful practice of conversion therapy.” According to Family Policy Alliance FKA CitizenLink, a subsidiary of Focus on the Family:

Jeff Johnston with Focus on the Family says “conversion therapy,” as it has been dubbed by LGBT activists, is nothing more than traditional counseling methods used to help minors (and others) who seek treatment in order to live out their faith.

“Suppose there’s a teenage Christian boy in your family or church who’s struggling with homosexual sin – looking at gay pornography or involved in a sexual relationship. He’s conflicted, because he loves God and wants to follow Him, but he’s caught in sin. A Christian therapist should be allowed to help that boy live according to his faith.”

In other words it is an effort to turn a gay kid into a straight kid. At the outset the mission of conversion therapy is impossible to achieve. It should trouble these self-appointed moralists that they are teaching the child to lie; to pretend to be heterosexual. Shame is heaped upon the kid for being gay and then, to top is off, the kid endures the additional shame of being dishonest with his parents and siblings.

Were all that not bad enough, conversion therapy is predicated on the theory that the child’s parents did something wrong. Christian parents made their child gay. If Jeff Johnston’s hypothetical boy is conflicted it is probably because his parents discovered or suspect that their son is gay. Johnston’s boy is on a path to hate himself. Absent parental pressure from ignorance, gay children wouldn’t be subjected to conversion therapy in the first place.

Parents have a choice when it comes to their kids. Either they are going to believe interpretations of ancient chronicles of questionable provenance or they can subscribe to the findings of a mountain of peer reviewed research investigated by experts. Parents must question what it is that makes their pastor — or this guy from Focus — an expert on child psychology and human sexuality. What part of becoming a theologian provides that training?

What gay kids really need is support which includes unconditional love of their parents. They need to acquire the ego strengths and self-confidence that only come from being comfortable with who they really are. Notwithstanding the scrawl of Bronze Age theorists, homosexuality is a natural variant of human sexuality. No kid should ever be ashamed of being gay.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.