Should Gay Conversion Therapy Be Illegal?
The legislature in the State of California has passed a law banning gay conversion theraphy, which is counseling aimed at turning homosexuals into heterosexuals.
The author of the legislation, Sen. Ted Lieu (D), refers to the practice as “quackery” and I agree. They’re trying to treat homosexuality as a mental disorder, and it isn’t.
That being said, should the government ban it? Again, I find the practice to be despicable, but I always get a little queasy when the state begins imposing mandates for behavior on the public. Especially when it comes to areas regarding moral or social practice.
What worries me is that this sort of a law isn’t so far away from outlawing the moral or religious belief that homosexuality is sinful/immoral. That’s a belief I reject myself, but I’m not inclined to prohibit others from holding that belief. If gay conversion therapy is made illegal, can preaching that homosexuality is sinful from the pulpit be far behind?
Plus, what if some gays want this sort of therapy? I have no idea how many gays would, but if someone out there wants to make that choice, I’m not for denying it to them.
I understand what’s motivating this. The way gays are treated by many – who often use religion as a cover for their bigotry – is abhorrent, but things are changing. It would be healthier for our society, long term, to allow those changes to happen naturally.
The haters will eventually ostracize themselves, but if we try to impose change on them with the force of law, we may turn them into martyrs which is the last thing we should want. Plus, there’s that whole concept of liberty, which always faces the toughest challenges in cases of unpopular activities/expressions.Tags: california, freedom of religion, gay conversion theraphy