Obama calls for end to efforts to ‘straighten out’ gay, transgender children

Obama calls for end to efforts to ‘straighten out’ gay, transgender children
Source: Nathan Chute/Reuters

Consider it the latest in Barack Obama’s “evolution” from a politician who opposed same-sex marriage and the military’s don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy to a sky-is-the-limit, in-your-face gay rights zealot. The New York Times reports that the president is calling for an end to therapies aimed at “repairing” or “converting” gay, lesbian, and transgender children.

In one of his rare reactions to a petition created at the WhiteHouse.gov “We the People” web page, Obama condemned the practice via surrogate Valerie Jarrett, writing smarmily:

Tonight, somewhere in America, a young person, let’s say a young man, will struggle to fall to sleep, wrestling alone with a secret he’s held as long as he can remember. Soon, perhaps, he will decide it’s time to let that secret out. What happens next depends on him, his family, as well as his friends and his teachers and his community. But it also depends on us — on the kind of society we engender, the kind of future we build.

To Obama’s small credit, he will not, the Times’s Michael Shear writes, “explicitly call for a federal law banning therapists from using such therapies on their patients, but he is open to conversations with lawmakers in both parties.” As I wrote here two days ago, that conversation has already begun in several states, two of which — Oregon and Colorado — have already taken up measures in their Houses that would illegitimize such therapies.

Shear includes a rebuttal by David Pickup, a licensed family therapist, who asserts that “the president and gay rights advocates were purposely misconstruing the work that he and others do. He said that minors should never be forced into therapy, but he insisted that being gay was often brought about by serious emotional problems or sexual abuse.”

But by making this policy law, children who aggressively want to go straight are left with no viable remedy. To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, there is nothing wrong with being gay. There is, however, plenty wrong with being told that you have to be, whether you like it or not.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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