From Randy Thomasson’s website promoting protection of something that does not exist

Hate group leader Randy Thomasson (Save California) does not like California AB-2943. Should the measure succeed, which is likely, it will prohibit conversion therapy as a commercial service. Thomasson, like many conservative Christians, is heavily invested in the idea that being LGBT is a choice because it is hard to justify discrimination against a group based upon an immutable characteristic (not that they haven’t tried).

The latest from Thomasson is: Protect Natural Gender Counseling:

Authored by 8 homosexual-activist Democrats, AB 2943 would, for all practical purposes, prohibit California adults from choosing to obtain professional, expert counseling to help them overcome their unwanted homosexual desires or gender confusion.

The sexuality of the bill’s authors is completely irrelevant. What I want to know is just who are these “professional, expert” counselors? What expertise do they have? What is their substantiated success rate? Where is the peer-reviewed research in support of conversion therapy?

Randy Thomasson
Randy Thomasson with his second favorite book

The truth is that Randy Thomasson couldn’t care less about the efficacy of conversion therapy or its potential toxicity. Just the availability of the practice is sufficient for Thomasson’s purposes. Thomasson wants to rationally argue that being LGBT is a choice that is somehow curable.

As far as I can tell, gender identity and sexual orientation are separate natural variances in human sexuality. Being gay or having incongruent gender and sex or being gay and having incongruent gender and sex makes someone part of a minority.

Being in the minority doesn’t make one’s sexuality illegitimate. Mr. Thomasson’s religious disapproval of sexual minorities has no bearing on legitimacy.

What is illegitimate is the claim that conversion therapy is safe and effective. That cannot be proved to anyone’s reasonable satisfaction. With respect to “natural gender counseling” there is no intervention known to medical science that cures or reduces gender dysphoria. Thomasson is arguing in support of something that does not exist. That is the view of people who are expert professionals. Counseling doesn’t work to change gender identity or sexual orientation.

AB 2943 would accomplish this by attempting to expel from California moral counselors who offer to help adults overcome unwanted “LGBT” feelings.

Selling something that is ineffective and potentially dangerous isn’t “moral.” Nor is it helpful to misinform people. Again, where is the evidence of safety and efficacy? Conversion therapy exists for the simple reason that it serves as a pretext for discrimination.

Groups opposing AB-2943 for religious reasons have tens of millions of dollars available to them. Nevertheless, they have been unable to fund research published to a mainstream, peer-reviewed journal in support of conversion therapy. That is not because eight of the authors of AB2943 might be LGBT. That is because conversion therapy is, at best, pseudoscience premised on the notion that people with certain variants of sexuality are mentally ill because religious people do not approve of them. It makes no sense and it never did make sense.

In addition, AB 2943 would censor the religious speech of churches, para-church ministries, and pastors if they hold a conference or event or sell a book about overcoming same-sex desires.

Is that a commercial transaction where money is exchanged for counseling? I do not think so. Pastors remain free to say anything they want. They can even engage in (ineffective, unsafe, unscientific) counseling. They just cannot sell such counseling as a service in exchange for money.

The same morons have claimed that books will be banned or even their bible could be banned. It is just a lame attempt to defeat a measure that is sure to become law. Why are they so desperate to defeat a bill that protects people from charlatans?

Time to bring in another hate group:

As Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) explains:

At its core, AB 2943 outlaws speech, whether offered by a licensed counselor, a best-selling author, or even a minister or religious leader. It targets a specific message—that an adult who is experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion can find help to address those issues—for censorship. The breadth of this censorship is staggering. Under AB 2943:

  • A licensed counselor could not help a married mother of three who is experiencing unwanted attraction to a close female friend or confusion over her gender identity overcome those feelings;
  • A religious ministry could not hold a conference on maintaining sexual purity if the conference encourages attendees to avoid homosexual behavior; 
  • A bookstore (including online bookstores like Amazon) could not sell many recently published books challenging gender identity ideology and advocating that these beliefs should be rejected by society; and;
  • A pastor paid to speak at an event addressing current social topics could not encourage attendees that they can prevail over same-sex desires or feelings that they were born the wrong sex.

The first of those bullet points is true in two ways. A counselor would be unable to help that married mother by virtue of the fact that there is no counseling proven to alter either sexual orientation or gender identity. Secondly, were money exchanged for the counseling, ADF is correct that AB-2943 makes such counseling impermissible under California law.

The rest of those bullet points are flat-out lies.

This is all reminiscent of when the Mathew Shepard Act was pending in Congress. Opponents (the same folks who now oppose AB-2943) guaranteed us that the purpose of the act was to criminalize Christianity in order to imprison pastors. Day after day in multiple emails, it was the same thing, over and over again. Randy Thomasson, himself, did some fear mongering after the bill was signed by President Obama:

Beyond the lunacy and thought-police of “hate crimes,” another significant problem is how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender inclusion in ‘hate crimes’ laws lay the foundation to legally promote and enforce these lifestyles above anyone else’s rights.

By the way, does anyone know where we are keeping all of those incarcerated Christian pastors? I cannot find them. Are they at one of W’s black sites?

Thomasson isn’t done quite yet:

AB 2943 comes six years after California’s Democrat legislators passed a law forbidding parents from getting counseling for their molested children to help them overcome sexual confusion.

I suspect that these folks know that molestation does not cause kids to become gay. They repeat the bullshit because they know that some of their supporters believe it. I have found that there are many conservative Christians who falsely believe that most gay people are gay because they were molested as children.

Religious conservatism is a damper on intellectual curiosity and Thomasson knows how to maneuver those levers.

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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.