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‘GayMormons Seeking Out Conversion Therapy’
Sincethe emergence of gays in the church, the church has never been thesame again. The issue led to the split of the church on the basis ofbelieving with some advocating for acceptance of gays in the church,while other against it, indicating this is against the teaching ofChristianity. However, the church has been thrown into more debate,when gay people have looked to revert to heterosexual life. This hasled to the seeking of conversion therapy by the gays, with the ideaof being accepted back into heterosexual life once again. The articleclearly shows the struggles young gay men are going through in anattempt to revert to heterosexual while denouncing homosexuality.This is because their faiths have rejected them by preaching thathomosexuality is not determined at birth. They further say that it isa result of sin and demonic temptations. This has rendered them todesperately attempt conversion therapy with a view of gainingacceptance in their communities (Nguyen,2015).Authored by Gary Nguyen, and published in the World religion news,the article ‘GaysMormons Seeking out Conversion Therapy’on 1stOct 2015 was an eye opener into the life of gay’s converts as theytry to regain their normal life.
Theview of this article is to voice out that the unofficial Mormonstance in regard to homosexuality is that the victims are not bornwith the ‘vice’ but rather develops as a result of either aprevious sin that went unchecked or a result of unresolved underlyingpsychological issues. Many Americans have sought out this therapy toconvert them to straight men and women that their faith thinks Godpurposed them to be. Local and federal governments have investigatedcenters where these services are offered in an effort to clearlyestablish the success rates and putting conversion methods undersevere scrutiny. In the last decade, lawsuits have been filed byformer clients who purport that the service providers advertisefalsely as well as questioning moral and ethics of participants whohave been subjected to the therapy.
Inthe past, extreme measures have been employed by some mental healthproviders to stop individuals from lesbianism, gays, bisexual andtransgender (LGBT). Currently, physical treatments like aversiveconditioning are still employed by some counselor. This includes acombination of cognitive, behavioral and psychoanalytic practicesthat attempt to change same –sex attraction or more so change aperson’s gender identity. These present versions are equallylacking scientific validity and are deemed to cause serious problemsto patients. This mostly goes to minors who are forced to undergo thetherapy by parents and guardians. In some states like Washington,D.C., California, Oregon and New Jersey minors are no longer allowedto undergo conversion therapies. This was after lawsuits claimed thatthe religious conversions for juveniles not only change the minors’sexual orientation but also damages them psychologically (Nguyen,2015).Despite the controversy and outrage surrounding this subject inAmerica, and a federal bill introduced to the United States Congress,numerous gay men continually seek out this therapy as reported by theReligion News Service.
Thechurch has an understanding with some organizations to ensure thatchurch members in need can be met in a customized and ethical way.The Mormon Church does not endorse whichever form of sexualorientation therapies for its followers, but can facilitatearrangements for the members to have access. This is throughthird-parties and other centers to those who willingly meet theirfees and are ready to endure the process. Having the Mormon Churchnon-allied to no stand, many health care providers have emerged andspecifically target gay men. In-house counselors have beenpopularized as ways of helping Mormons deal with the perceived sinfulorientations. They are meant to change their lives so that they canlive in line with religious teachings.
In2009 a report was issued by the AmericanPsychological Association,concluding that conversion therapy is risky and not beneficial aspreconceived. The risks range from depression, hopelessness, socialwithdrawal, lowered self-esteem, loss of friends, self-blame amongothers. The risks are immense for youth and minors who go throughrejection by family members due to gender identity. The minors,mostly attempt suicide due to increased depression, does drugs andmore often than not engage in unsafe sexual intercourse as comparedto peers who face no rejection. This has then discredited numerousright-wing religious groups that spread the concept of reparativetherapies and prayer to change a person’s sexual orientation(Nguyen,2015).The limited research has conclusively said that such religiousefforts are affirmatively dangerous and of no efficacy. Psychiatristslike DR. L. Spitzer, who contributed to studies on this therapy havedenounced the practice and apologized for supporting the practice.
Otherorganizations like the American Association for Marriage and FamilyTherapy (AAMFT) also consider the therapy as helpless. They do notconsider homosexuality as a disorder that would require treatment.The AAMFT hence expects its members to indulge based on the clinicalevidence documented after best research. The Church of Jesus Christof Latter-day Saints considers this topic of complex reality to a lotof people. They insist that getting attracted to the same-sex is nota sin, though acting on it is. They believe that its individuals whochoose on how to act to such attractions. They argue that the humanfamily is coupled with different shades and we all possess uniquetalents and weaknesses. To them, we need tolerance with each otherand a lot of forgiveness since we all suffer from sin. Everyone needsintimacy and companionship and a ground where we can discuss themwithout shame and rejection (Nguyen,2015).
Theattraction of the affected people in same-sex attraction should notbe regarded as an illness and judging anyone for what they experienceshould cease. Unlike the past, the church advices that throughrepentance, forgiveness can be found. They further indicate thatrespect and understanding can be cultivated amongst all humanswithout compromising religious beliefs. Religious factors in theUnited States have become more important in the two decades. Peopleare becoming substantially supportive of marriage rights.
Inconclusion, debates on same sex marriage institutions are reaching apoint of exhaustion in the United States. A lot has been said anddone yet there’s no victory for either side. For those advocatingfor these unions in the church is a particularly distressing topic.This is so because of the confronting reality of dignity extension tosame sex couples. Opponents of same sex marriages have lot vigor towork with and are backed by the mainstream religions that find thetopic abusive in the religious community. The road to acceptance ofthese marriages lies in the arms of rising communities of faith thatembrace divergent arguments from other faithful. This is the onlyweapon to beat traditionalists-religions to allow integration of allpeople, including affective couples particularly in America. Thiswill eradicate the need for laws that regulate therapists who providereparative care for same-sex patients. Harming patients throughunsafe practices and minors who are coerced to go through conversiontherapy will be a thing of the past. These practitioners whoconstantly prey on parents with good intentions and guardians who donot have full knowledge of the harm they are subjecting theirchildren. They do not understand that these dangerous practices, lackany scientific basis and that the damage could be severe andlong-lasting.
Nguyen,Gary. GayMormons Seeking Out Conversion Therapy, But Is It Actually Proven -WorldReligion News`. WorldReligion News.N.p., 2015. Web. 6thOct. 2015. Retrieved fromhttp://www.worldreligionnews.com/issues/gay-mormons-seeking-out-conversion-therapy-but-is-it-actually-proven