For Immediate Release: June 5, 2019
Contact: Diane Gramley 1.814.271.9078
Will the City of Erie Take Away the Rights of Parents and Keep Kids Hopeless?
(Erie) — The American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA), a statewide child advocacy organization has contacted each Erie City Council member expressing concerns about proposed Ordinance 34-2019 — an effort to ban talk therapy for minors with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion. The letter to each council member listed 12 reasons to vote against the bill. Those include:
- Ordinance 34-2019 is a direct attack on the First Amendment rights of therapists. Last year the US Supreme Court ruled in NIFLA v. Becerra, overturning the Ninth Circuit’s NIFLA opinion, specifically identified Pickup and King (a California case challenging their law banning sexual orientation change effort – SOCE for short or “conversion therapy”) as examples of “professional speech” protected by the First Amendment. Writing for the majority, Justice Thomas stated: “Some Courts of Appeals have recognized ‘professional speech’ as a separate category of speech that is subject to different rules.” However, “speech is not unprotected merely because it is uttered by ‘professionals.'”
- This ordinance would take away the rights of parents seeking help for their children.
- The ordinance would leave city children with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion in a state of hopelessness.
- No one is ‘born gay’ or ‘transgender.’ There is NO scientific research that supports this claim and much research and clinical experience that refutes it.
- Many individuals with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria can and do change their sexual orientation, and SOCE (sexual orientation change effort) has been shown to be highly beneficial to many people experience these unwanted feelings.
- There is no research showing that SOCE is any more potentially harmful than other psychotherapies. Political activism, not scientific research, is driving efforts to ban so-called “conversion therapy.” Dr. Nicolas Cummings, a past president of the American Psychological Association (APA) and recipient of its lifetime distinguished service award, has provided a devastating critique of the APA’s growing contempt for science. (Dr. Cummings is particularly credible on this issue because he has personally treated several thousand homosexuals, including hundreds who has successfully changed their sexual orientation.)
“A vote for this dangerous ordinance would be a direct assault on a therapist’s First Amendment right of free speech, an attack on parental rights and would leave children with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion in a state of hopelessness. Any council member who votes for this ordinance is not voting for what is best for children,” noted Diane Gramley, president of the AFA of PA.
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