Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-08-24
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

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

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


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 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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Health director keynotes inaugural LGBT health symposium 2016-08-23
HRC Foundation, Whitman-Walker Health release Transgender Sexual Health Guide 2016-08-23
SlutWalk 2016 defies police to take back Chicago streets 2016-08-22
Public interest groups to Walgreens: Medical service over religious doctrine 2016-08-22
Howard Brown Health releases impact report 2016-08-22
Howard Brown Health issues Community Impact Report 2016-08-18
'State of LGBT Health Symposium' Aug. 18 2016-08-17
Howard Brown Health unveils new sliding-scale fees 2016-08-15
Walgreens and HRC release LGBTQ pharmacy guide 2016-08-09
Band together, Illinois: AIDS Run & Walk Chicago to unite the HIV community Oct. 1 2016-08-05
Land of Lincoln ACA insurance plans to end 2016-08-01
Center on Halsted hosts sex-positive discussion 2016-07-27
Advocates: State puts persons with hep C and Medicaid at risk 2016-07-27
Upcoming: Trans youth group, Catholic retreat, Health Symposium 2016-07-27
AIDS Healthcare Foundation holds pre-RNC concert 2016-07-18
Health guide released for uninsured, underinsured 2016-07-13
Center on Halsted still waiting on testing payments 2016-07-12
Circle Theatre's Full Circle Series It's a Privilege to Pee July 11 2016-07-02
Chicago Women's Health Center 4th Revolutionary Healthcare Fundraiser 2016-07-02
FAMILIES OF CHOICE SERIES Dr. Jesus Ramirez-Valles 2016-06-29
Pols push to end blood-donation policy 2016-06-29
Lurie Gender and Sex program receives Pritzker $500K matching gift 2016-06-25
GUEST COLUMN Know Your Rights: Combating Health Care Discrimination 2016-06-22
Panel examines gender and psychoanalysis 2016-06-19
LGBT Advocates Issue New Guidelines for Hospitals Treating Trans Patients 2016-06-19
Groups host 'Black and Brown Town Hall' 2016-06-13
Hinde reflects as she prepares to exit Heartland Health 2016-06-08
Chicagoan among pharmacists' group's newest officers 2016-06-01
Match website surveys LGBTQ singles 2016-05-26
Group launches LGBTQ ads targeting Asian/Pacific Islander families 2016-05-25
Event to look at NY LGBTQ youth and survival sex 2016-05-25
Experts discuss online hookups at 'Out at CHM' 2016-05-25
Psychology grad conducts research on gay men's body image 2016-05-25
Enduring Love, gay couple copes with Alzheimer's 2016-05-18
Court Confirms No-Cost Contraceptive without Deciding Religion Questions 2016-05-17
Clinton meets with HIV/AIDS activists 2016-05-15
HHS confirms ban on healthcare and insurance bias against LGBT People 2016-05-13
FDA launches LGBT anti-smoking campaign 2016-05-11
CDPH unveils Health Chicago 2.0 details 2016-05-11
Howard Brown benefit show May 16 2016-05-10
 



Copyright © 2016 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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



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     
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.

www.windycitymediagroup.com
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by LoveYourWebsite.com