There should be laws that protect teenagers from being forced by their parents to undergo what they call "conversion therapy".
I don't think Congress should go this far, though. Sexuality is a complicated thing. If someone who is gay believes that he can become straight, perhaps he can. Or, perhaps he wasn't really gay to begin with and actually has a lot of emotional baggage that needs to be sorted out with a therapist who is neutral on the alleged causes of sexual orientation and helps the client come to his own conclusions about what he is and why he is that way.
My concern is this: when a government or the professional associations that certify and train therapists, social workers, psychologists, etc. all agree on taking a rigid stance on something, whether it is rigid about people's sexual orientation being solely a biological matter, or rigid that it is wholly a conscious choice, the people seeking help from professionals are not going to really get what they need.
Can somebody show me where the Constitution authorizes congress to decide what psychological therapies parents can buy for their children?
It's really not a matter for the Constitution or the federal government, it's more of a state legislative matter, because it would fall under child welfare policy.
This is not an issue that has come up for me. I'm sure there are places around metro Detroit in which they do conversion therapy, but most insurance and Medicaid don't cover it. I know there are places in Grand Rapids that do conversion therapy. I have heard of situations in which parents try to "beat the gay out" of their kids, but that's a more clear child abuse situation because it's physical abuse.
Now onto this little news piece. I think these therapy sessions are bullshit, but for the Congress to try to step in and decide what practices can and can't be exercised is ridiculous. If someone wants to go to a "Cure Me, I'm Gay" class, let them. It is their money and their choice.
At age of majority, any teen can decide for themselves what therapy they will undergo, or not.
Before that, a minor can sue for emancipation from their parents, and a judge will decide that.
The typical liberal lament of "there oughtta be a law!" has done more damage to freedom and prosperity in this country than any lack of regulation, in any sphere of human activity.
Given that no respectable psychiatrist would engage in this practice, and that for some unfathomable reason anyone who claims to be a minister/priest can essentially practice psychoquackery with no education or standards whatsoever, any law in Congress is unlikely to be effective.
It's a fact of life: some kids have ignorant and harmful parents. You can't wrap the world in soft padding.
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