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3/20/19  6:05 pm
Commenter: Chrystal Doyle, RN and Family NP Student

Conversion Therapy is NOT a free speech issue - it is harmful

Apparently members of the Family Foundation are sharing the same talking points by arguing that restraints on "conversion therapy" limit free speech. Such claims are false. Medical and psychiatric care is not free speech and there is strong precedent for guidance in healthcare and legislation about what is safe for minors (i.e., sexual relations with a minor=not okay; child labor=not okay; abuse=not okay; failure to vaccinate=not okay; giving breast milk of an HIV infected person to a baby=not okay; giving drugs to children=not okay; cigarettes and vaping in children=not okay). Parents cannot make any medical decision they want for their child and health providers are limited in what they can do to and for a child--they do NOT have to do what a parent requests if it will harm a child. There are many things we used to do in healthcare that we no longer do--things we now know are unhealthy or cause harm...or other things we know are healthy and provide benefit. Laws and practices change to reflect new knowledge about biology and human beings and behavior. We now know, for instance, that gender identity and sexual orientation are not black and white. Complicated hormones control identity and orientation and our born sexual organs may or may not match our hormones. We now know that "gay" is not a choice. It is not nature versus nurture. it is wholly nature. Whether one is allowed to comfortably and heathily express one's gender identity is nurture. Conversion therapy is about the latter. It attempts to change something that need not be change--that CANNOT be changed. Parents are not allowed to harm their children--they may not physically, verbally, or emotionally abuse them. It happens but it is good governance to protect vulnerable populations from abuse and we have the opportunity to do so by BANNING CONVERSION THERAPY IN MINORS. If consenting adults wish to pursue alternative therapies that are not considered in good health, then that is their right, but it is not the right of parents to harm their children by denying their gender identity, healthy expression of that identity, and dictate with whom they may enter into a healthy, lawful relationship. 

CommentID: 70553