Anthony Verdugo
Want some mayo on that mic?

Anthony Verdugo, head of Florida’s Christian Family Coalition, is like a tormented dog hopelessly chasing its tail. Unfortunately a fair number of state politicians are in his grasp. I continue to fail to out Verdugo’s enablers. I will be sure to do so going forward.

A Miami-Dade Count ordinance prohibiting reorientation therapy on children is under consideration. Within the county there are already municipalities with a comparable ordinance on the books. Among those is my city, Miami Beach. Mayor Phillip Levine has consistently done the right thing and I hoped that he would run for governor. Apparently, he is not.

The existence of this ordinance under consideration has created a state of war for Mr. Verdugo. Verdugo departed from being unhinged and is now in unknown psychiatric waters as depicted by two recent emails:

The first email sent Wednesday:

we can’t allow this

Miami-Dade County wants to ban parents, pastors and everyone else, from counseling minors who have been raped and/or sexually abused and have unwanted homosexual urges and sexual identity disorder.

Section 21-289 of the proposed ban prohibits “any counseling, practice, or treatment performed with the goal of changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity including, but not limited to, efforts to change behaviors, gender expression, or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic attraction or feelings toward a person of the same gender.”

If guilty of having a conversation with your child, you will be fined $500 each time.

The Miami-Dade County ban is illegal, discriminatory and unconstitutional!

Every child has the right to seek help.

It is a clear violation of YOUR First Amendment right free speech!

URGENT! Please sign this petition NOW.


Most of the above is either underlined or in bold print which I did not reproduce.

Verdugo is wed to the discredited notion that sexual abuse turns people gay, perhaps trans. Then he embraces the idea that reorientation therapy is anything more than pseudo-science. He seems ignorant of the fact that there is a dearth of evidence in support of that proposition including an absence of peer-reviewed research. Even when Robert Spitzer wrote his controversial paper (which he eventually withdrew) he complained about the impossibility of getting a representative sample. Practitioners do not perform downstream reviews of clients. I think that they know what they would find.

Needless to say, parents are not restrained and similar laws have been found constitutional, Twice now the Supreme Court has declined to hear cases, leaving the bans in place as a result of actions by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Therefore, they are legally constitutional unless the Supreme Court rules otherwise.

The second email sent Wednesday

they said no.

MIAMI- On Tuesday, October 3rd, Christian Family Coalition (CFC) Florida will rally to protect parental rights. Miami-Dade County has a proposed ordinance to ban parents, pastors and everyone else, from counseling minors who have been raped and/or sexually abused and have unwanted homosexual urges and sexual identity disorder.

You are making the difference. Your calls, your emails, and your online petition signatures have reached the commissioners! Common sense has prevailed, but the fight is NOT over.

Univision took out a poll on twitter and had Miami-Dade constituents vote. Look at the results!

There he is again with the rape BS (which is a favorite theme among the Christian right). It has no basis in truth and is unsupported by science — but they really, really like it nonetheless. Verdugo is also oblivious to the fact that sexual orientation is not defined by urges. The blowhard is ineducable. He believes what he believes and no amount of evidence will change those beliefs. Nor, for that matter, will the absence of evidence affect his thought processes.

As we all know, Twitter polls are highly scientific with great care in sampling. What we really know is that polls are irrelevant. This is about the people qualified to influence the matter. Those are psychiatrists, possibly pediatricians and psychologists. With the exception of some moron from the hate group, American College of Pediatricians, the experts have been unconditional in their support of such laws and unanimous in their view that reorientation therapy has no place in science.

Why is Verdugo adamantly supporting something proved harmful to children? 

The experts are split. Some say that reorientation therapy might be harmful while others assert that it is harmful. They all agree, however, that sexual orientation is innate and that the potential for harm far outweighs the nonexistent possibility of effectiveness.

Verdugo is also misleading parents while destabilizing LGBT children. There is simply nothing that any parent can do to alter their child’s sexuality. They are either going to come out now or wait until later in life when they are full of resentment. Closeted kids are terribly fearful. I have been there. It is no way to have to live. And certainly no way to live because of the advice of crackpots and know-nothings like Verdugo. 

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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.