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Part 6

2018 & 2019: Trying to Convert Gays
to Heterosexuals using Reparative
Laws prohibiting such
therapy on minors. Online apps.

LGBT image 1

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This topic continues here from the previous essay

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2018-OCT: A 6.2 mb PDF report concerning LGBT conversion therapy in Australia:

According to the La Trobe University and the Human Rights Law Centre, their:

"... major report confirms that religious conversion therapy and related practices are pervasive in many faith communities in Australia and [is] causing real harm to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.

'Preventing Harm, Promoting Justice: Responding to LGBT conversion therapy in Australia' calls for action by governments, the health sector and religious communities to better respond to people experiencing conflict between their gender identity or sexual orientation and their beliefs. 11

The report notes that:

"... up to 10% of LGBT Australians are still vulnerable to harmful conversion therapy practices. At least ten organisations in Australia and New Zealand currently advertise the provision of conversion therapies. Rather than receding, our research suggests that conversion practices and ideologies are being mainstreamed within particular Christian churches. Ex-gay and ex-trans ideology, counselling and pastoral activities are still being promoted in the messages and teachings of many churches, mosques and synagogues, through print and digital media, and through some Christian radio programmes. ..."

"Prior to the 1970s, the predominant religious approach to LGBT people was pastoral. When mainstream medicine ceased to experiment with the reorientation of LGBT people, faith-based conversion therapies and organisations emerged. These developed independently in Australia before becoming affiliated with like-minded international organisations in the 1980s. ..."

"For the majority of them, this has taken an extraordinary toll and they have ultimately been forced to choose between one part of themselves at the expense of another. Those who have sacrificed their religious beliefs to be true to their sexuality or gender diverse identity have had to deal with the deep grief that comes with a loss of faith and being separated from their faith-based community, family and friends. Those who have remained faithful to the beliefs of their religious communities have often done so by denying their sexual feelings or gender diverse identity in order to pass as heterosexual and cisgender. Some live in a constant struggle to maintain their diverse gender, sexual identity and faith in the face of varying degrees of rejection from both LGBT and religious communities." 11

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2019-FEB-20: The Ozanne Foundation (UK) finds conversion therapy dangerous to youths:

The Ozanne Foundation conducted a 2018-National Faith & Sexuality Study in the UK. It placed notices in social media platforms and national newspapers between DEC-09 to 31. The survey was open to residents of the UK over 16 years of age. Using this survey technique, the participants were self-selected and therefore do not represent a random slection of older youths and adults. Of the 4,613 respondents, 458 had undergone reparative therapy.

The survey found that:

  • star One fifth of reparative therapy "survivors" say they have attempted suicide." 14

  • Most of those who had attempted to change their sexual orientation reported mental health issues. 15

  • Nearly half stated they had "found it hard to accept myself for who I am" and that they had "had to leave or change" their faith group.

  • 51.1% of respondents were in favour of criminalising "sexual orientation change therapy."

  • The overwhelming reasons given is that it "is damaging to a person’s mental health" and "causes self-hate."

  • Those who defined themselves as "same-sex attracted" were the least likely to want it criminalised and the most likely to believe it "should be practised with informed consent of the individual."

  • Each of the weighted average mental, emotional and spiritual well-being scores of the full group of LGBQ+ respondents were significantly lower than "heterosexuals". These scores were significantly lower still amongst those who had experience of trying to change their sexual orientation. 15

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2019-MAR-06: Utah House Judiciary Committee defangs reparative therapy bill:

State Rep. Craig Hall introduced Bill HB399 to ban conversion therapy in Utah. It was a compromise bill that resulted from extensive negotiations between LGBT advocates in the state, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, individual state lawmakers and agencies like the Human Rights Campaign, The Trevor Project, Encircle, Mormons Building Bridges, American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, Utah Psychological Association, Utah PTA, Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition, etc.. It would ban reparative therapy by state-licensed therapists aimed to convert homosexual youths to heterosexuality, and transgender youths from changing their gender identity. If passed, it would be the 15th state in the U.S. that bans reparative therapy on youths.

Many LBGT organizations and mental health groups have linked conversion therapy to depression, suicide ideation, and attempted suicides among homosexual and transgender youths. Clifford Rosky, a constitutional law professor who is a member of Equality Utah’s advisory board, said:

"Before the first of these [U.S.] laws was passed 10 years ago, it took another 15 years before that for lawyers to work with all of the nation’s leading medical and mental health organizations ... to make sure that they were getting the language right,"

In a meeting of the Judiciary Committee, two House members, Rep. Karianne Lisonbee and Rep. Brady Brammer voiced concerns that the bill is too could limit a therapist’s ability to speak freely with a client. Both have introduced alternate bills that would allow conversion therapy but ban the practice of electric shock "therapy" and other practices that cause physical discomfort.

Kyle Larson, who personally experienced reparative therapy, wrote an eloquent comment to the article in the Salt Lake Tribune, saying:

"As someone who grew up LDS and went through conversion therapy, albeit on my own and not forced in any way, I can attest that it causes real and lasting harm.

Although some legislators may feel they are protecting a person's religious souls, they are misguided, just as much as those who practiced electro-shock therapy years ago. People who participate in these types of conversion (reparative) therapy activities can have very pure and good motives and be honestly trying to help. They figure that religious teachings, ideology, and their good will sanctify their actions, giving them the feeling that they are acting "righteously" and with God's support. Sadly, science and research have long since disproven these methods as helpful, and shown the harm they cause. Someone said, "The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions" and these good intentions truly cause hell for those receiving them.

At it's core, the problem with shock treatment, conversion therapy, and any other method someone might dream up is that gay people need to accept they're gay and know that there's nothing wrong with that, and our straight friends and family need to help us feel that way. It's hard to do after living years hearing Spencer W. Kimball in the back of your head saying homosexual's are "Reprobates ", but it's worth trying to change. As someone who grew up LDS and went through conversion therapy, albeit on my own and not forced in any way, I can attest that it causes real and lasting harm." 5

"Jeremiah S" added his comment to the article:

"As someone who was personally damaged by sexual orientation change efforts, I argue strongly that my life, and the negative effects years of these efforts had on my life, is about more than just political correctness. I deserve a society where I am accepted for who I am, and not who others wish I might be. We used to try to change left-handedness, too. These are barbaric societal expectations that should be left in the past." 5

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2019-MAR-21: Controversy over a LGBT "conversion therapy app:"

Living Hope Ministries (LHM) is an evangelical Christian group that specializes in matters relating to human sexuality. They believe that the Bible condemns same-sex sexual behavior by either women or men. They have organized "... weekly support group meetings, moderated online support forums, in-depth discipleship programs, and active partnerships with churches around the world" to promote their beliefs.

They also created an online app that they sincerely believe will help lesbians and gay convert their sexual orientation to heterosexual. It recommends that lesbians and gays who seek "recovery from same-sex attractions ... seek out a Christian therapist who has a redemptive perspective on homosexuality, ... [and] abstain from physically acting out, engaging in sexual fantasy, pornography, and masturbation."

During 2018-DEC, the LGBT group Truth Wins Out claimed that the app: "marginalizes and stigmatizes LGBT people [by comparing] homosexuality to an addiction." They were able to convince Itunes, Microsoft and Amazon to remove their copies of the LHM app, But Google continued to host it.

Truth Wins Out created a petition promoting the app's removal from Google. It received more than 39,000 signatures by JAN-15.

Curiously, as of 2019-MAR-22, the LHM home page still had four links to "Download Free LHM App." They link to the:

  • ITunes App Store, where the app is not available on either the U.S. or Canadian store

  • Microsoft web site which returns an error message: "We are sorry, the page you requested cannot be found.

  • Amazon web site which returns an error message: "SORRY, we couldn't find that page. 6

  • Google where the app is available and had been rated by 499 Google customers by MAR-22. The reviewers were highly polarized: All but one gave the app either the maximum rating (5) or the minimuma rating (1). The average rating of all reviewers was 2.9 put of 5 stars.

The Executive Director of Truth Wins Out, Wayne Besen, described the LHM reparative therapy effort as:

"... "pure unadulterated hate, candy coated with a veneer of love. They are trying to prey on LGBT youth with a product that is fraudulent. Nobody can change from gay to straight. They're selling snake oil."

He said that the LHM's recommendations are:

"... absolutely loaded with fake medical advice. ... The group refers to gay men as 'sexually broken guys ... [who can] walk out of false identities,' and claims, without evidence, that the 'gay lifestyle' is 'spiritually and physically harmful." 6

Nathan Dostal added a comment to the Newsweek article in mid-2019-JAN, saying that "Google will remove it shortly." However, the app is still available as of 2019-MAR-22.

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2019-MAY-31: Governor of Colorado signs bill banning reparative therapy:

After years of failed tries, the Colorado Legislature finally approved a bill banning this therapy. Governor Jared Polis -- the first openly gay Governor of any U.S. state -- signed it into law. It bans mental health professionals from attempting to change the sexual orientation of a minor or their "... "sexual or romantic attraction or feelings toward individuals of the same-sex." The law also makes advertising conversion therapy a deceptive trade practice under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act. Rep. Daneya Esgar, (D-Pueblo) said:

"This has truly been a testament of how progress takes time." 8

A bill that simplifies the registration of gender by transgender persons was also signed into law.

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2019-MAY-31: States that have banned reparative therapy involving minors:

In chronological order of the dates that these laws became effective, the following 17 states in the U.S. banned reparative therapy of minors:

  • 2013-AUG-19: New Jersey
  • 2013-AUG-29: California

  • 2015-MAR-11: District of Columbia
  • 2015-MAY-18: Oregon

  • 2016-JAN-01: Illinois
  • 2016-JUL-01: Vermont

  • 2017-APR-07: New Mexico
  • 2017-MAY-10: Connecticut
  • 2017-JUL-19: Rhode Island

  • 2018-JAN-01: Nevada
  • 2018-JUN-07: Washington State
  • 2018-JUL-01: Hawaii
  • 2018-JUL-23: Delaware
  • 2018-OCT-01: Maryland

  • 2019-JAN-01: New Hampshire
  • 2019-JAN-25: New York 7
  • 2019-MAY-31: Colorado 8

As of 2019-MAR-22. there were also 50 cities and counties that have passed bans. 7

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Related essays on this web site which you might find of interest:

bullet About homosexuality

bullet About transgender individuals and transsexuals

bullet What do professional groups, researchers and studies say about homosexuality?"

bullet Healing homosexuality through reparative therapy.

bullet Studies of the effectiveness and safety of reparative therapy.

bullet A small-scale study in 2015 appears to show that epigenetics working before birth is a (or perhaps the only) cause of homosexuality.

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  1. Image downloaded from pexels-photo-1317534.jpeg on Pixels at: Photo is by Sharon McCutcheon and is free for personal and commercial use.
  2. "Preventing Harm, Promoting Justice: Responding to LGBT conversion therapy in Australia." Human Rights Law Centre, 2018-OCT-30, at:
  3. Nick Duffy, "One fifth of gay cure therapy survivors have attempted suicide, survey finds,"" 2019-FEB-20, at:
  4. "Faith & Sexuality Survey 2018," Ozanne Foundation, at:
  5. Bethanay Rodgers, "Utah lawmaker warns against upsetting delicate balance of proposed conversion therapy ban — one the LDS Church has agreed not to fight," The Salt Lake Tribune, 2019-MAR-01, at:
  6. Ina Fried, "Google resists pressure to pull LGBT "conversion therapy" app ," Axios, 2019-MAR-21, at:
  7. "List of U.S. jurisdictions banning conversion therapy, Wikipedia, as on 2019-MAR-20, at:
  8. Anna Staver, "Conversion therapy for gay youth banned in Colorado," Denver Post, 2019-MAY-31, at:

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Copyright © 2008 & 2019 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2019-JUN-03
Author: B.A. Robinson

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