Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-07-23
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Dining news: RIVA's Bloody Mary bar; restaurant awards Dining news: RIVA's Bloody Mary bar; restaurant awards
—Navy Pier's RIVA Crab House announces a new brunch menu available every ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

SPLC, Truth Wins Out hold meetings on conversion therapy
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2012-04-18

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email
Sam Wolfe. Photo courtesy of the SPLC


The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Truth Wins Out held community meetings to discuss "conversion" therapy at the Provo Community United Church of Christ in Provo, Utah, April 11 and at the First Baptist Church of Salt Lake City in Salt Lake City, Utah, April 12.

"We wanted to raise awareness of the harm that 'conversion' therapy causes people ... that this isn't a thing of the past and is still taking place around the country and abroad," said Sam Wolfe, a civil-rights lawyer for SPLC who helped launch the LGBT Rights Project.

The meetings were held in Utah, Wolfe told Windy City Times, because of his personal connection to the area, growing up as a Mormon and attending Brigham Young University where he first encountered "conversion" therapy as a student. Also, Wolfe said, Mormons tend to be a strong constituency within the conversion-therapy movement.

"About 15 people attended the Provo meeting and about 20 people attended the Salt Lake City meeting," said Wolfe. "They included community members, health professionals and other survivors who were not on the panel. So far the Provo meeting was the most powerful one we've had."

According to the SPLC website, "Conversion therapy (sometimes known as reparative or 'sexual reorientation' therapy) is a dangerous practice based on the premise that people can change their sexual orientation, literally 'converting' from gay to straight. The therapy includes everything from counseling to acting out scenarios to in some cases shock treatment. Conversion therapy has been discredited or highly criticized by virtually all major American medical, psychiatric, psychological and professional counseling organizations. People who have undergone conversion therapy have reported increased anxiety, depression and, in some cases, suicidal ideation."

Panelists included survivors of conversion therapy; Wolfe; Wayne Besen, founding executive director of Truth Wins Out; Dr. Lee Beckstead, a Salt Lake City psychologist; and Lisa Diamond, associate professor of psychology and gender studies at the University of Utah.

Each panel member discussed a different aspect of conversion therapy citing his or her own experiences and research on the topic. The survivors of conversion therapy told their stories and how the therapy impacted them to help other LGBT people who have undergone or are considering "therapy" to "cure" themselves.

Wolfe said that this therapy is not just about counseling individuals; it is a movement. Many of the major figures in the conversion-therapy movement, Wolfe explained, are actively fighting against LGBT equality by using their ex-gay conversion therapy data. Wolfe said that the SPLC is also seeing the influence in schools such as the Anoka-Hennepin School District case in Minnesota.

Besen explained the history of conversion-therapy movement and the figures who were supportive but have since denounced the practice.

"We want to educate the public that these kinds of therapies are ineffective and destructive," said Besen. "People are wasting money and time to chase a false hope that they can change their sexual orientation. These groups are relying on junk science and religious propaganda to defraud people into thinking they can turn straight.

"We are excited that these groups are getting exposed and are on the losing side of history since their experiment has failed. We aim to make sure that people know this information so they don't get sucked into their web. The only 'ex-gay' people out there to promote any success stories are still a part of "reparative" therapy organizations. No one else is espousing this philosophy outside of these organizations."

Diamond said that conversion-therapy organizations have used her written material against her, according to Wolfe.

Wolfe added that Beckstead went into how unethical it is for therapists to use conversion therapy. He also mentioned his involvement with the American Psychological Association's Task Force to evaluate sexual-reorientation treatments and provide recommendations based upon that evaluation.

The question that most people asked was what they could do to help expose conversion-therapy organizations such as the Utah-based Evergreen International. Suggestions included protests, complaints to professional medical boards and lawsuits.

As for the future, the SPLC wants to collect as many stories as possible so they can take further action against conversion therapy groups. "The bottom line is that this is a fraudulent practice that has harmed many people and needs to stop," said Wolfe.

SPLC and Truth Wins Out held previous community meetings on this subject in Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; and Atlanta.

See www.splcenter.org/conversion-therapy and www.truthwinsout.org for more information.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

Clinical counselor Matthew Dempsey on gay men, body image 2014-07-22
LGBT youth more likely than heterosexual youth to try suicide 2014-07-22
Hundreds gather for Chicago Disability Pride 2014-07-20
CDC educates on dangers of smoking for HIV+ 2014-07-16
ASK LAMBDA LEGAL Sex-reassignment surgery and Medicare 2014-07-15
Program to look at fertility options for lesbians 2014-07-15
Howard Brown takes part in gay blood drive 2014-07-14
Child with HIV, once thought cured, shows re-infection signs 2014-07-11
Howard Brown to host gay blood drive July 11 2014-07-10
Study: Children of same-sex parents are healthier 2014-07-07
Study: Religious counseling associated with suicide tries 2014-07-03
Bisexual Research Collaborative On Health formed 2014-07-02
HBHC's HEALE program: Educating nurses about LGBTQ elders 2014-07-02
Supreme Court lets stand CA's ban on ex-gay therapy 2014-07-01
Surgeon General video warns on high LGBT smoking rates 2014-06-27
HBHC town hall tackles youth health issues 2014-06-22
AMA adopts new policy on gender-change requirements 2014-06-19
Two Lake View events focus on LBTQ health 2014-06-17
Medicare lifts ban on trans surgical procedures 2014-06-17
Federal employee health plans to include transition-related care 2014-06-14
Howard Brown Health Center establishes advisory board 2014-06-12
Marriage Equality Symposium at Advocate Illinois Masonic 2014-06-10
Anti-bi discrimination becomes focus of HBHC town hall 2014-06-08
Mosier receives professional honor 2014-06-05
'Step Up. Get Tested' aims to test 5,000 for HIV 2014-06-05
Houston expands pro-LGBT measure; change in HIV statute 2014-06-04
Gareth Thomas in Cinderella; South Africa drops blood ban 2014-06-04
Retired doctor reflects on his 90 years in new book 2014-06-03
Howard Brown announces expansion plans, new board members 2014-05-30
HBHC forum looks at aging in LGBT community 2014-05-30
VIEWS: Trans* people and access to health care 2014-05-28
HBHC officials meet about LBT women's health needs 2014-05-25
Groups present forum on LGBT health care curriculum 2014-05-25
New CDC campaign inspires HIV conversations 2014-05-21
Campaign distributing safe-sex kits 2014-05-21
International study on homophobia launches 2014-05-21
International sports study; Obama talks IDAHOT 2014-05-21
Step Up, Get Tested, month-long campaign for HIV testing 2014-05-18
CDC issues PrEP guidelines for health providers 2014-05-15
Inside Lurie's Gender and Sex Development Program 2014-05-14





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

John D'Emilio: Renowned professor, historian retires
 
Knight at the Movies: And So It Goes; film notes
 
Chicago Theatre Week expands in 2015
 
The Dinner Party holds Taste of Chicago special
 
Tony Tripoli tag-teams with The Cabaret Project
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.