Should Conversion Therapy be Legal?


Mercedes Debesa

This image is considered the logo for those against gay conversion therapy.

Maia Berthier, Staff Writer

Conversion therapy, a method of indoctrinating a person in hopes of changing their sexual orientation, is an outdated practice that has recently been called into question. A Tampa judge partially blocked a ban that was previously on it because of a lawsuit that was filed by a Christian legal advocacy group stating that banning the practice is unconstitutional. Gay conversion therapy should be banned even if it is just “talk therapy” because it is based on pseudoscience that has proven to mentally damage patients. It pushes our society back to a dark time where the LGBTQ+ community was not accepted. Our country has evolved since then and it is time to leave those practices in the past. Even if the freedom of speech of the therapist is protected, that does not allow them to infringe on the rights of the patient.

In the past, gay conversion therapy methods have consisted of physical pain, such as shocks of electricity that were used to deter people from same-sex attractions. This was never proven to work and it is cruel to control someone’s natural attractions. Nowadays, conversion therapy is slightly different. Physical abuse used in conversion therapy is now illegal in most states, but “talk therapy”, often considered a form of mental and emotional abuse, is still legal. This so-called conversation consists of the therapist shaming and forcefully convincing the person to stop their completely natural feelings. This affects the patient’s perception of themselves and severely damages their mental health.

“Personally, I believe that conversion therapy is morally and ethically wrong. While I understand the argument of freedom of speech and expression being applied in this case, I ultimately believe that imposing one’s belief on another and damaging them psychologically because their reality and identity make you uncomfortable is unacceptable and unforgivable,” freshman Rowan Blum said.

Many of the people that fight for gay conversion therapy argue that it is unconstitutional to limit what the therapist can or cannot say. However, this is not the case because these therapists infringe on their patient’s own human rights with their coercive and hateful speech. Further, these practices can be considered as false advertising because of their lack of results entirely. The therapy groups refer to being gay as a “disease” instead of as simple human sexuality. As a result of these defenses against gay reparative therapy, making it illegal would be completely supported by facts and legal precedents.

Reparative therapy must continue to be disputed on behalf of patients undergoing such torture towards a part of themselves that does not need to be “cured”. Although many individuals mistakenly view homosexuality as a “disease”, our genetics beg to differ. There are many studies proving that sexuality stems from our DNA, which means that it was not wrong in the first place and there is no reason to harm people as an attempt to get rid of it.

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I believe gay conversion therapy is wrong and a terrible thing to do. Being gay is not a choice, it is who you are and that right to love whoever you want is harmed with this cruel act of trying to make someone fit into societies ‘norm’.”

— freshman Lauren Gregorio

Gay conversion or reparative therapy is not only morally wrong but physically harmful as well. Attempting to change such an integral part of a person has a detrimental effect on their mental health and well-being. Trying to combat the attraction that comes from their genetics is unnatural and the practice has not yet been proven to successfully “convert” someone. Therapists’ coercive behavior is borderline dangerous, and these therapy groups referring to homosexuality as a disorder has been proven time and time again to be illegal. Our society has reached a point where people should not be oppressed for their sexuality. Allowing reparative therapy condones the oppression of the LGBTQ+ community and the only solution would be to eliminate the therapy across the country. once and for all.