CHICAGO — Truth Wins Out today praised Maryland State Delegate Jon Cardin for introducing a bill to ban harmful “ex-gay” therapy for minors at the start of the new legislative session. The bill would follow in the footsteps of California and New Jersey, which recently passed similar bills into law, while several other states and Washington, DC are currently considering such bans. Reports state that a companion bill will be introduced in the state Senate by Senator Rich Madaleno. The original bill as filed only banned “ex-gay” therapy, but will be amended to include gender identity and expression.
“The science is in on so-called reparative therapy. It doesn’t work, and it hurts people,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “We applaud lawmakers like Jon Cardin, who are willing to stand on the side of science and quality mental health care by working to eliminate these harmful practices for the good of the citizens they were elected to represent, and for the children who are the future of Maryland.”
Truth Wins Out recently launched a comprehensive website, LGBTScience.org, where all the foremost scientists studying sexual orientation speak plainly about the current scientific consensus on sexuality. It is an unbiased resource for all interested in studying the scientific truth about sexual orientation. All major medical and mental health associations, including the American Medical Association, American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association, have stated that reparative therapy is ineffective at best, and can be extremely harmful to clients.
Proponents of “reparative” or “ex-gay” therapy frequently couch the issue as a matter of religious freedom, but as the NALT Christians Project shows, one need not renounce religious faith in order to embrace science and best therapeutic practices for LGBT clients in crisis. Truth Wins Out encourages Maryland legislators not to be swayed by those who will falsely claim that their religious freedom is somehow threatened by passing a bill that ensures quality mental health care for Marylanders.
If Delegate Cardin’s bill passes, it will render a blow to the “ex-gay” industry nationwide, as one of the worst organizations advocating for such “therapy,” the International Healing Foundation, is based in Maryland. IHF Executive Director Richard Cohen was banned from the American Counseling Association for life in 2002 after multiple ethics violations, and advocates “therapeutic practices” which involve beating pillows with tennis rackets in order to heal anger toward one’s mother, followed by sessions where he cuddles his male patients in order to recreate a father’s love. IHF Director Christopher Doyle admitted that he tried to molest little girls in his mother’s daycare when he was ten, a disturbing fact considering IHF’s focus on youth and Doyle’s status as an ill-credentialed counselor. Another “ex-gay” activist, Greg Quinlan of the Maryland-based PFOX, claims to heal LGBT people, but when he’s around like-minded people, is more inclined to practice verbal gay-bashing than healing, telling an anti-gay conference in 2010 that he was never a “limp-wristed, flaming faggot,” a statement revelatory of his true feelings about the LGBT community.
“These ‘ex-gay’ charlatans will come to the Maryland legislature with junk science and promises of love and healing for the LGBT community, but their records show that their motivations are beyond insincere,” said Truth Wins Out Associate Director Evan Hurst. “Please, lawmakers, hear us: there’s no scientific debate, this isn’t about religious freedom, and these men are the exact sort of people that Maryland lawmakers should be working day and night to protect children from. “
Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a non-profit organization that works to demolish the very foundation of anti-gay prejudice. Our philosophy is simple: We attack the underpinnings of homophobia by debunking harmful lies, discrediting hateful myths, and countering anti-gay organizations. By chipping away at the underlying ignorance that fuels anti-LGBT attitudes, we can ultimately win our fight for fairness and achieve full equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people worldwide.