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By Lavender August 27, 2010

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Reparative Therapy Lawsuits?

It’s time to stop reparative therapy! A week ago, I met another younger man who went through gay “reparative therapy.” This wonderful man in his mid-20s had horrid stories about what occurred in “reparative therapy.” This is nothing short of modern-day torture.

My conversation with this young man is what prompted my letter. Unfortunately, I have heard this type of story a few other times, and each time, I have been appalled.

The American Medical Association’s position on reparative therapy, which is listed under Patient-Centered Policies, states that the organization “opposes, the use of ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapy that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation.”

When I think of lawsuits against those running “reparative therapy,” I first think of a huge reward for pain and suffering. Then, I think of recouping the cost of “reparative therapy,” and recouping the cost of real therapy to help one recover from “reparative therapy.”

Further, if youth are forced into “reparative therapy,” I interpret this as child abuse. Just as the legal system has forced parents to give children cancer treatment when the parents would rather only use prayer, it seems the legal system could stop parents from forcing GLBT youth to attend harmful reparative therapy sponsored by religion.

I see the potential for some significant legal lawsuits with huge rewards as a way to stop “reparative therapy” abuse of our GLBT community. I challenge our community (including straight allies) to figure out how to get this done.

Jerome Hager

Letters are subject to editing for grammar, punctuation, space, and libel. They should be no more than 300 words. Letters must include name, address, and phone number. Unsigned letters will not be published. Priority will be given to letters that refer to material previously published in Lavender Magazine. Submit letters to Lavender Magazine, Letters to the Editor, 3715 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55407; or e-mail <editor@lavendermagazine.com>.

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