Garden State Equality Fails To Produce “Evidence” of “Conversion Therapy Torture Camps”
An unknown representative of Garden State Equality, New Jersey’s largest gay rights organization, who showed up uninvited and took the podium at the conclusion of Monday’s Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act Press Conference, was visibly uncomfortable as he answered questions from the press. The representative, who failed to identify himself, stammered back and forth, hands in his pockets, looking at the ground with a mischievous smile as if he was just caught with his hands in the cookie jar. This was the scene at Monday’s press conference at the State Assembly House in Trenton, New Jersey. Watch the video by clicking here.
After a couple of minutes of more lies, in which he claimed that six other “camps” existed in Ohio with similar names as “True Directions,” the fictitious camp that Brielle Goldani said she was tortured in 1997 that only exists in a 1999 movie starring drag queen Ru Paul, I had to challenge.
“Could you tell me what kind of child abuse that therapists do…?” Unwilling to answer our questions, his boss Troy Stevenson, Executive Director of Garden State Equality, stepped in and I asked once again: “Tell us, what kinds of abuse do therapists do and what are the names of those camps in Ohio so I can personally investigate them?”
Stevenson promised to provide me and all members of the press corps the names of these camps right after the press conference (which he did not and still has not provided, after multiple e-mails and phone calls to his office) and then went onto to say, “the abuse we are talking about is taking a child, who has no consent over the therapy that is happening to them, and they’re being told there is something fundamentally wrong with an immutable part of their character.” He went onto say, “The American Psychiatric Association . . . finds this type of (sexual orientation change efforts) to be an abusive practice.”
For the record, Stevenson stated two inaccuracies. First, in 2008 the American Psychological Association stated that homosexuality was not an immutable part of a person’s character: “There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”
Second, the American Psychiatric Association has never said that Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) Therapy is an “abusive practice,” and further, Stevenson claims that parents who send their homosexual-oriented children for therapy is akin to child abuse and that these children do not have any rights or consent.
In fact, I have gone on the record and all of the colleagues I know who work with lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) children do not work on helping them change homosexual feelings unless it is their choice. I am very careful to use advanced informed consent with these parents and children, and often counsel families together for many sessions to ensure that the child is not in therapy against their will. That Stevenson says this is “harmful” and “abusive” is categorically false, and he is misleading the public, which is why he has not provided me the names of these so-called “conversion therapy torture camps” or any citations to back up his claims.
Stevenson finished by invoking sympathy for Brielle Goldani, saying she was “brave” for speaking out against her abuse and that she had been re-victimized. Sorry Troy, no one’s believing that this liar has been re-victimized, because she wasn’t victimized in the first place! Her story was totally fabricated and not one single part of it can be corroborated. I then finished by stating, “Troy I want to go on record and say that I will work with you and Garden State Equality to make sure that any conversion therapy camp in the USA or internationally is completely wiped out . . . as professional counselors, we do not support that type (of work) . . . that is not a mainstream practice.”
You can watch more the questions and answers from Monday’s Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act Press Conference by clicking here.
To watch the entire Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act Press Conference (nine segments) click here.