The Sacramento Bee has published an article, “Sacramento bill would ban gay teen ‘conversion’ therapy,” which states:
State lawmakers have approved a bill that would establish a first-of-its-kind ban on a controversial form of psychotherapy aimed at making gay teenagers straight.The bill which is SB1172 goes to the Senate next. Within the bill is this stipulation:
The California Assembly on Tuesday approved the high-profile bill on a 52-22 vote after a heated debate, with many Republicans opposed. The bill returns to the Senate for a final vote.
865.2. Any sexual orientation change efforts attempted on a patient under 18 years of age by a mental health provider shall be considered unprofessional conduct and shall subject a mental health provider to discipline by the licensing entity for that mental health provider.There are definitions of ‘conversion therapy—they can be found as a list of analyses with the latest listed on the 28th of August, under08/28/12- Senate Floor AnalysesThe definition of conversion therapy as it is aimed at mental health providers’ states:
Sexual Orientation Change Therapy, sometimes called reparative therapy, conversion therapy, or reorientation therapy, is an attempt to change the sexual orientation of a person from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual. According to the APA conversion therapy is a type of psychiatric treatment “based upon the assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her homosexual orientation.”But there is an additional definition:
Others, particularly conservative Christian transformational ministries, use the term conversion therapy to refer to the utilization of prayer, religious conversion, individual and group counseling to change a person’s sexual orientation.The analysis does not state that prayer, religious conversion, or individual and group counseling are different or outside the parameters’ of this bill. There is seemingly no provision for a Christian counselor, parent or child to insist that their religious rights are being threatened with this bill. But they are!
This is where an immoral society seeking supposed rights runs up against religious liberty. Instead of carefulness, that is, sorting out the complexity of the different definitions, is the seeming insistence that all such activity is harmful and a serious threat to individuals in the LGBT community.
With breathtaking quickness orthodox Christians are being pressed into very trying circumstances. Karl Barth, writing about the Church and theology in the totalitarian state, toward the end of his little booklet, Theological Existence To-day reminds the reader that “the Word of God abideth forever.” He goes on to point out that even in the totalitarian state the truths of the faith are needed, in fact, he calls them the “natural frontiers of everything.” And he writes:
For even in this “total state” the nation always lives by the Word of God, the content of which is “forgiveness of sins, resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.” … The church must be allowed to be true to her proper pragmatic function, and be willing to be true. (Italics the author’s)Barth is speaking of the proclamation of the gospel to the people of a compromised and totalitarian state. All sinners, all of us, whether it is the sin of a homosexual lifestyle or the sin of greed and arrogance, must hear the word of God proclaimed over our lives no matter the laws of a total state—no matter the consequences. Christ’s cross and forgiveness are the unexpected balm in the midst of our sick society.