Colorado Republicans Get Icky Over LGBT “Conversion Therapy”

Rep. Kathleen Conti (R).

Rep. Kathleen Conti (R).

A debate here in Colorado over legislation that would ban the practice of so-called “conversion therapy” to “cure” individuals of their homosexuality made international news yesterday, as the UK Guardian’s Sam Levin reports:

Colorado Republicans and conservative religious groups have mobilized against the proposed ban, even though the practice of trying to change someone’s sexual orientation has been widely discredited as harmful and dangerous, and are expected to defeat it.

Repeating homophobic and scientifically disproven claims about sexual orientation, [Pols emphasis] Republican legislators and backers of “reparative therapy” have argued that this kind of counseling can be effective at enabling LGBT people to live heterosexual lives. And if their efforts to defeat the bill are successful, the state’s licensed professionals will continue to expose queer youth to a methodology that advocates and psychologists say can lead to depression and suicide.

The legislative battle could have national implications as other states explore similar efforts. Some supporters of the ban who have experienced conversion therapy will testify that their parents sent them from across the country to Colorado for the controversial services, which can have long-term negative impacts on mental health.

During the debate on the House floor on House Bill 16-1210, House Republicans led by Reps. Tim Leonard and Kathleen Conti pulled out every discredited chestnut in the homophobe’s arsenal of talking points–not just to defend “conversion therapy,” but to very openly disparage LGBT citizens in blunt terms:

Representative Kathleen Conti, a Republican, compared being gay to alcoholism, [Pols emphasis] asking psychologists who testified against reparative therapy whether they would help a minor who came to them wanting to overcome the addiction.

Conti further expressed concerns that the bill would prevent professionals from helping LGBT minors who want to “compartmentalize” and suppress same-sex desires, who may say to a therapist: “I feel like I have these homosexual desires, but … I know innately I want to have my own biological children.”

Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt.

Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt.

Leonard, a staunch social conservative with a long history of uncouth statements about gay people, eagerly joined in Conti’s gay=alcoholism analogy (BTW, we should point out that this is the same Kathleen Conti who was absolutely convinced that al Qaeda was operating secret training camps in Colorado). And then, naturally, Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt got his turn:

Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, R-Colorado Springs, tried to tack an amendment onto the bill that would have created a religious exemption to the measure, allowing a child to have such therapy if that’s what they wanted.

The point of the bill, of course, is therapy that presumes one’s LGBT sexuality to be a “mental illness” has been completely discredited by the vast majority of mental health professionals–and should not be used on anyone. Any attempt to create an “exemption” for those who may “want” this discredited “therapy” ignores the state’s responsibility to prevent the use of quack therapies by licensed professionals.

But in the process of debating this legislation, we’ve learned once again that some of our lawmakers have seriously messed up views about gay people.

You know, in general.


25 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Conversion therapy is a bunch of crap and any intelligent person knows that. Sure, gays can deny their orientation all they want and many do, marrying persons of the opposite sex and raising families. But, ultimately, one can't deny their own genetics. 

    "allowing a child to have such therapy if that's what they wanted….."  Who is "they?" Parents?  The kids themselves, assuming the child is of age, meaning at age 18 (16 in some states)?  I'll go out on a limb here by saying that conversion therapy is a form of child abuse. 

    • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

      You’re not out on a limb, CHB. I don't hear any wood cracking. It is child abuse, and I guarantee that any teenager put through this nightmare will end up hating their parents for subjecting them to it. 

      On another line of thought, what kind of person would be gullible enough to marry someone who had been through this process? I've yet to hear of anyone who stayed "converted" over the long haul. They always seem to end up leaving a spouse, usually with at least one child to raise alone.


      • VoyageurVoyageur says:

        Well said.  We were friends with a couple for 20 years, our daughter babysitting their kids, etc.  One day the guy moved out and my wife had no clue as to why.  World wise as I am, I said "Cerchez la femme.."  If a guy moves out after 20 years, it's always for another woman, usually  younger one.

        Actually, more like "Cherchez le homme."  I ran into him in my Capitol Hill neighborhood a few weeks later with his new, gay, companion.  Imagine the torment my friend went through for 20 years.  Trying to make a marriage work for the sake of the kids, etc.  Practicing the dark arts of deception and self-loathing until he just finally had to come out as the person God made him as, not the man he was always told God wanted him to be.

        God knows, I'm no expert on sexual orientation.  Studies on identical twins show if one child is gay, the likelihood of his/her sibling being gay is much higher than random, about 25 percent, yet still well less than genetics alone would determine.  Whatever it is, it''s not a conscious choice, any more than I choose to be diabetic  — another genetically influenced condition.  And whatever it is, it is determined early and irreversibly.

        Yes, this shaming and bullying is child abuse.  And it should be outlawed as the barbaric practice it is.



  2. TheTruth says:

    One is free to believe what they wish of course; but I choose to believe that God doesn't make mistakes, And to say that a person is "born gay" is saying that God made a mistake. Why you ask? Because if logic follows, why would God create something that He clearly condemns in His own book? That makes no sense. Ergo, being gay is a choice, not genetics as some would claim to suit their own bias. If you don't believe in God, that is also your prerogative, but it changes nothing.

  3. FrankUnderwood says:

    So THAT'S what Kathleen Conti looks like? I see a future for her as Fox News talking head. She looks like Malibu Barbie Wing Nut. I mean that as a compliment. I figured her to be another Vicky Marble/Peggy Littleton psycho-stare zombie clone. Conti can be the next Sarah Palin……

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account

You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.