To the California Legislators considering the passage of AB-2943.
I would like to share with you five thoughts on why this bill should be overwhelmingly rejected, and that in the future, nothing like this ever sees the light of day again.
It’s based on a flawed scientific premise.
The Bill says: “Contemporary science recognizes that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is part of the natural spectrum of human identity and is not a disease, disorder, or illness.”
Contemporary science recognizes no such thing. There is no research to date that can definitively provide a biological basis for sexual attraction. There is no genetic test that can be performed at birth which can determine the future sexual orientation of the child.
The idea of a “spectrum” of identity has no scientific basis. In fact, what is scientifically verifiable is the binary of male and female differentiation that is written into a human at every biological level of their being.
LGBT attractions fit the very definition of a disorder. It is a dis-order of body and mind which causes the person to seek treatment (often very radical) that is hoped to provide harmony and alignment.
Definitive (and punitive) laws should not be passed to govern an area of life where a definitive understanding of that area of life does not exist.
“Psychotherapeutic modalities to convert or ‘repair’ homosexuality are based on development theories whose scientific validity is questionable. Furthermore, anecdotal reports of ‘cures’ are counterbalanced by anecdotal claims of psychological harm.”
The author of the legislation admits that the science behind understanding LGBT attractions is still uncertain. His subjective opinion is that certain theories are “questionable” but that is not a statement of fact. Many other experts could be summoned to refute his own opinions. His opinion is substantiated by “anecdotal reports and claims”.
Why would any legislative body pass definitive laws with very real punitive enforcement measures to govern an area of life where much of the debate is driven, not by facts, but by “hear-say”.
While we’re on that subject…
There is yet no consensus even among the LGBT community how to describe sexual attractions.
We were told prior to the passing of gay marriage laws a little more than five years ago that sexual attraction is innate. People are “born that way.” Now we are told that sexual identity is actually a spectrum, influenced less by biology than choice. The sex “assigned” at birth is less important that the sex “identified” by the person.
So which is it? And if you cannot even agree amongst yourselves what the causes are, why should we be passing legislation that would literally shut down debate and discussion concerning it?
The bill assumes that all therapeutic efforts to help correct LGBT attractions are unwanted, ineffective and dangerous.
“…efforts…to change…sexual orientation or gender…have been proven ineffective and harmful.”
First of all, change efforts for many with these attractions are very much wanted. The author assumes that “social stigmatization” is the “primary motivating factor” behind the distress felt by an LGBT person.
Social stigmatization has been largely removed in the last 20 years, yet the distress lives on in countless lives. This makes biological and psychological sense. The person has feelings that are very much inconsistent with the actual body they were born with. Distress would automatically arise in many suffering this condition. Many of them would then also seek to “treat” this “disorder”.
Why would anyone even consider passing legislation that would deny a person suffering in this way the ability to seek a counselor or therapist or spiritual advisor who could help guide them? It’s absurd beyond reason.
Furthermore, a line of individuals from here to Sacramento could be produced testifying that change-efforts have worked for many. No one is saying that these efforts are easy, or that relapse isn’t possible, or that the attractions ever go away entirely (much like an alcoholic who has found sobriety), but change can and does happen.
Again, why would anyone even consider passing a law that would prevent this possibility, especially if it leads to greater health and well-being for the individual.
No one is considering the incredible harm that would result from this law, if all the “science” and “reasoning” behind it turns out in the end to be flawed.
“…keeping in mind the medical dictum to first, do not harm…The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior…”
If the concern of the author is simply to do no harm, then he would rip up his bill at once. He says the “potential risks” of the therapy he seeks to outlaw are great. But once again, he does not know this for sure. What about the potential risks that might result if therapy is not given, because the law prevents it?
What we do see in increasing number today are many individuals in adulthood who “transitioned” to an identified gender earlier in life – with hormone blockers and surgeries – who now regret the decisions they made – and were made for them.
The tragedy however is that for those who went ahead with these especially severe remedies, the damage cannot be undone. Their lives have become filled with “depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior” after doing all the “correct” things their parents and the professionals “lovingly” urged them to do.
What current research suggests is that a vast majority of those who suffer gender dysphoric symptoms early in childhood eventually align with their biological sex by adulthood without intervention. The body and mind usually just have a way of working themselves out.
To those considering saying “yes” to this bill, forget for the moment the free-speech and religious liberty aspects of it. Consider these young people you say you want to help. These “progressive” ideas you hold about sexuality are novel, untested, and unproven.
What if you’re wrong? Have you considered the damage that your bill might be unleashing on the next generation? Is this really the time to be experimenting on the minds and bodies of children? Or do you care more for your political ideology than for them?
Which do you think is easier when you have a child struggling with these feelings: To try to encourage them to learn to live within the body that nature and nature’s God gave them, at least until they reach the age of adulthood when they can make decisions for themselves?
Or to use your authority as an adult and push them along a path of therapy, hormone blockers, and surgery, with the very real possibility that once they reach adulthood, you learn that you did not help them at all, but put them on a path toward greater distress than could ever be imagined?
If there is any uncertainty in your heart and mind about any of these outcomes, then you have no business passing this legislation.