Massachusetts Family Institute | Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:   Lena Wakim | lena@mafamily.org | 781.569.0400

Three New England States Move to Ban SOCE Therapy, Stripping Minors of #TherapyEquality

Licensed Professional Counselor Christopher Doyle Says Families Will Suffer in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont

Thursday, March 31, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C.  — Three New England states are looking to ban so-called “conversion therapy,” which will strip minors of their rights to voluntarily seek therapy for unwanted same-sex attractions and gender identity confusion.

Christopher Doyle, a licensed professional counselor, leader in the #TherapyEquality campaign of Equality And Justice For All (www.equalityandjusticeforall.org) and co-coordinator of the National Task Force for Therapy Equality, says homosexual activists are working hard to mislead both lawmakers and the public in order to further their political agenda.

“Youth who seek therapy for unwanted same-sex attractions or gender identity conflicts believe there are specific causes for their feelings, and seek help to resolve those causes.  Counselors are not attempting to ‘convert’ anyone, but are actually affirming their clients’ desires,” Doyle said. “This is done through talk therapy; certainly not electroshock or any form of torture. My heart goes out to anyone who did have an awful experience through unlicensed means, and we must protect the rights of minors to see licensed counselors.”

Lawmakers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont recently moved to ban sexual identity affirming therapy, sometimes called by the misnomer of “conversion therapy,” keeping minors trapped in a lifestyle they may not choose for themselves.

“Gay activists contend that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth need a support system of family and friends that helps them navigate through what is often a confusing time in their life,” Doyle added. “That’s true—it is a confusing time—and shouldn’t we also accept our friends or children who are questioning their sexuality, by allowing them to get any therapy they choose? Everyone has the right to resolve unwanted desires, attractions and unmet love needs. If someone desires to work through those issues with a counselor, who are we to stop them?”

Massachusetts

Doyle worked closely with the Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) to inform residents there about the dangers of banning therapy to those minors and their families who voluntarily request it.

“This is the most dangerous bill of the three currently under consideration because it categorizes therapy as child abuse,” Doyle said. “Therefore, if a parent comes alongside their child for SOCE therapy, their child can be taken away from them.”

The passage of HB97, the Sexual Orientation Counseling Ban, undermines parental rights and exposes the integrity of the family to an expansive and, at times, arrogant government bureaucracy, reports MFI. The bill also creates a new category of “child abuse” for any mental health treatment that sought to help children with unwanted same-sex desires or gender identity confusion.

“What this means for parents, is that if you have a child (under 18) who is struggling in this area, and you take them to see a licensed Christian therapist to figure out ways to work through those issues from a Biblical perspective, THAT would be classified as ‘child abuse,’” reports MFI’s President Andrew Beckwith.

Reports the Liberty Counsel regarding the bill, “recent events surrounding the Department of Children and Families in Massachusetts and its blatant misuse of overreach under the guise of a 51A report shed light on the substantial danger that is inherent in this proposed legislation.”

New Hampshire

The New Hampshire House of Representatives last week passed a therapy ban bill by a margin of seven votes. The bill will now head to the state Senate.

Vermont

Vermont state senators voted to ban “conversion therapy” on March 16, after hearing from several gay activists. The bill now heads to the House for approval. A petition by Equality And Justice For All is posted here.

Doyle, a former homosexual who says that therapy changed his life, is now married to his wife and they have five children. He has long advocated for therapy freedom and therapy equality, especially as activists fight harder to ban therapies for minors that help them deal with unwanted same-sex attractions and gender identity confusion.

For more information on Equality And Justice For All, visit www.EqualityAndJusticeForAll.org.

To interview Christopher Doyle, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102, or Jen Wozniak, 610-584-1096, ext. 100, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.

Equality And Justice For All is the only civil rights organization that works to further the general welfare of the ex-gay community by promoting fair and equitable laws and policies protecting their rights. By furthering individual self-determination and liberty for former homosexuals, the organization strives to reduce bigoted representations of the ex-gay sexual orientation status, ensuring that ex-gays and their friends and families can be open, honest, safe and respected in a diverse society.

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To interview the president of Massachusetts Family Institute, Andrew Beckwith, contact Lena Wakim at 781-569-0400, lena@mafamily.org

Massachusetts Family Institute is a non-profit research, education, and public policy organization dedicated to strengthening the institution of the family and affirming the Judeo-Christian values upon which the family is based.

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