Dr. Martin Luther King, that great civil rights lion and beloved the world over for standing up for the downtrodden and the disenfranchised would today have his honor stripped from him and ridiculed in the circles of enlightenment for telling a young black teen that he could change his homosexual desires. In California and New Jersey he might even be arrested. Standing up for therapy equality —whether it takes on the form of religious pastoral counseling or nonreligious therapy— is something Dr. King would be leading the charge on today. VoV adamantly believes it should remain a protected right and option for ALL Americans.
The fight for therapy equality and affirming equal access to counseling options in Texas is no longer just a dream thanks to the courageous actions of the Texas Republican Party. As a native Texan and a 24 year EXLGBT American, Im elated to write about it.
Johnathan Saenz of Texas Values Action told KERA News, “Texas Republicans want to make clear: If a parent wants to take their child and have a discussion with a counselor about their questions about sexuality, they should have the freedom to do that.”
The resolution reads in part:
“…we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle…”
Bucking the trend to punish citizens who seek counseling for unwanted same sex attractions —and the professionals who want to help them— the Texas GOP took an unusual step and voted to affirm therapy equality. The move would have made African American Texas GOP pioneer Norris Wright Cuney (1846-1898) proud. When Cuney and other African Americans were building the party in Texas, passion to build a better social and economic future for African Americans was the catalyst that birthed their innovative drive. At that time, there existed no promises of “affirmative action” to lull them into complacency. What they did face was the consistent attacks of the Democrat-led Klan who conspired at every turn to block access to the well being of black American citizens.
There was strong and widespread support for passage of the resolution among Texas conservatives, perhaps fed up with the anti-American actions of liberals who continue to deny rights and suppress hope for potential millions of Americans seeking avenues to change sexual and emotional dysfunctions. Rape, molestation and sexual abuse have been at the root of much sexual confusion. The New Jersey legislation was dubbed the “Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act”, because opponents contended it would prevent victims of abuse and molestation who subsequently developed homosexual inclinations, from getting much needed counseling.
Much of the therapy discrimination is based on nonscientific political posturing. To date, there has been no recognizable scientific evidence or research demonstrating that therapy (or ministry) to individuals seeking change from homosexuality is harmful or ineffective.
American citizens who seek therapy and ministry options to help them live out their identity has been under attack. In California and New Jersey, unnecessarily punitive laws have been passed depriving hurting parents of the opportunity to help their OWN children get professional counseling to overcome unwanted same gender sexual desires. In nine other states, serious attempts have been made to deprive tax-paying Americans of the freedom to seek ssa counseling.
The driving force behind this historic move was Jeremy Schwab of Dallas, himself a beneficiary of therapy and counseling. He’s taken a more proactive, positive role in fighting discrimination against EXLGBT Americans.
Schwab found that necessity was the mother of activism.
“Activists have drafted a bill to be introduced in all 50 states which will ban or severely restrict access to Reparative Therapy and all other SOCE (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts) including religious counseling. A similar bill is currently under review in the British Parliament which goes much further,” he said.
Said Schwab, “After California and New Jersey passed these laws last year, I began reaching out to Republican State Legislators and State Senators to discuss the law. In Washington State, the bill flew through their House without any opposition from Republicans, but once we talked with the GOP state senators and they came to understand the full story, they stood up and blocked this awful bill. The same has been the case now for eleven other states.
In each case, it took significant efforts to educate GOP legislators and rally grassroots support before their GOP lawmakers realized the importance of this issue to religious freedom. Since this bill is being introduced in all 50 states, it is a critical and unique addition to the State GOP which is not fully covered by the current language.”
That’s why what happened in Texas matters. State legislatures must understand that its immoral to enshrine into law deprivation of therapy equality. No American should have to go day after day tortured and suicidal because he or she has been told there are no options and no choices for them. LGBT Americans have the freedom to seek counseling to affirm their homosexual behavior and its big business. The San Francisco based Gaylesta, a “GLBTQ Psychotherapy Association” lists some 250 mental health professionals available to homosexuals. Why are EXGLBT Americans treated differently? Why give some unlimited options for personal happiness but deprive others of even one hopeful avenue of change? Why is the fate of their happiness and the happiness of their families placed in the hands of people who despise them? Aren’t all Americans guaranteed the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?
This isn’t empty complaining, but the stark reality that in America homosexual activists are pursuing legal tools to punish people who simply want freedom from a crippling sexual and emotional condition.
Pastor Darryl L. (DL) Foster is the Co-Founder of Voice of the Voiceless and an ordained minister, husband, father, and self-described abolitionist pastor. In 1990, he left homosexuality to follow Christ and subsequently founded Witness Ministries, Inc. a prominent Christian outreach focused on helping people of color gain their freedom in Christ. In 2010, he also founded and organized the Overcomers Network, an Atlanta based EXGLBT empowerment organization with chapters in 18 US cities.
On Monday, March 18, 2013, the New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee held a three-hour hearing on a bill that would take away the rights of minors who experience unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA) to receive therapy from licensed mental health professionals.
Representatives from gay rights organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, Equality New Jersey, and the Trevor Project, as well as several mental health associations, testified at length about the so-called dangers of “conversion therapy” (this is a pejorative term coined by activists to demean therapies that assist individuals who experience unwanted SSA).
When Brielle Goldani, a transgendered woman from Toms River, New Jersey, stated she was tortured at an Ohio-based conversion therapy camp in 1997, the hearing turned very serious.
“Twice a week I was hooked up to electrodes on my hands,” she said. “I, a child, was shocked repeatedly by people who had my parent’s permission to torture me.” Goldani, now 29, claims that she had no rights when her parents sent her away as a teenager. She claims that the torture occurred at conversion camp called True Directions. “This is nothing more than legalized child abuse,” claimed Goldani at the hearing.
Having attended and testified at the hearing myself, I was shocked and horrified to hear about such abuse. As a former homosexual and practitioner of Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) therapy, I had never heard of such inhumane treatment, except from anti-ex-gay activists who often claim that SOCE employs such barbaric methods. So I tracked down Goldani and talked to her on the phone to find out more information.
Goldani claims that an Assemblies of God Church in Columbus, Ohio ran the True Directions conversion therapy camp:
“There were 12 boys, and 12 girls. The first Sunday I was there, I was forced to sit in their church service, which was nothing but hate speech. Then, on Monday, the heavier therapy began. We were forced to masturbate to heterosexual images and soft-core pornography, such as Sport Illustrated swimsuit models. Twice a week, my hands were hooked up to electrodes for two hours at a time while we were shown positive images such as a nuclear family, a female with children, a male construction worker, and a female receptionist. I was also subjected to forced IV injections twice a week for two hours each while being made to watch negative images of what they didn’t approve of…the injections made me vomit uncontrollably. Every Friday and Saturday evening, we were forced to go on ‘flirting dates’ where a camp counselor coached us on how to talk to the opposite sex romantically…we were also given uniforms to wear, black pants and white shirts for boys, black skirts and white blouses for girls.”
Sounds pretty horrible, right? What ‘Christian’ church or therapist would use such barbaric, violent treatments? In a phone interview, Rev. John Wooton, Superintendent of the Ohio Council of Assembly of God Churches, denied that any such program exists or has ever existed in their church, as Goldani claimed. But if such an abusive camp did exist, surely a participant or parent would have filed ethics complaints long ago. Surely, the Ohio legal authorities would have put an end to this abuse!
According to the office of the Ohio Secretary of State and Attorney General, no such camp called True Directions has ever existed. In fact, the only trace of this camp is from a 1999 film titled But I’m a Cheerleader, starring RuPaul. In the film, the main character is suspected of being a lesbian by her family, who then proceeds to send her to a “conversion therapy” camp called True Directions. Throughout the course of the film, two disgruntled gay men encourage the campers to rebel against the program and discover their true identities as gays and lesbians. The final scene of the film shows the main character’s parents attending a Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) meeting to accept their daughter’s homosexuality.
Dr. Elton Moose, a licensed counselor who has been working in Springfield, Ohio said in a written statement: “I have been in this business for 24 years and have not heard of this camp . . . these types of shock therapy accusations have been around for many years, but I have not actually known a practice that has used this therapy.”
Goldani, who works as a peer specialist and mental health counselor, claims that the church she attended as a teenager in New Jersey, The Church in Brielle, paid for her to attend the camp, which lasted a month and-a-half. Goldani also claims to have been counseled by the pastor of the church on staff at the time, which included talking, reading Bible verses, and listening to statistics about HIV/AIDS.
Their current leader, Pastor Lou LaFauzia, whose church is affiliated with the Reformed Church of America said in a phone interview, “We love everyone regardless of sexual orientation . . . I can say that this would have never happened at this church, and I can’t imagine any church members in 1997 who would do this. It’s outlandish!”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stated this week that he wasn’t sure if he would sign such a bill should it pass the legislature. “I’m of two minds just on this stuff in general. Number one, I think there should be lots of deference given to parents on raising their children. I don’t — this is a general philosophy, not to his bill — generally philosophically, on bills that restrict parents’ ability to make decisions on how to care for their children, I’m generally a skeptic of those bills. Now, there can always be exceptions to those rules and this bill may be one of them,” commented Governor Christie.
But what if the governor heard witnesses such as Goldani, who claimed to be tortured at the hands of SOCE? Wouldn’t that tend to sway his decision? When I informed the office of Sen. Joseph Vitale, who chaired Monday’s committee, of this fabricated testimony, they gave no immediate comment but said they would investigate the matter. The office of New Jersey Republican Senator Diane Allen, who also sits on the committee, appeared more concerned, but explained that the Senator was out of the office today and no official comment would be given on her behalf.
While it’s not immediately clear whether the proposed bill, which passed out of committee with a vote of 7-1 (with two abstentions), will be held up due to this fabricated testimony, the New Jersey Legislature and Governor Christie should be very cautious about the testimony of every witness that testified in support of the proposed ban.
A version of this article was originally published at: http://www.wnd.com/2013/03/transgendered-woman-lies-about-therapy-torture/
Christopher Doyle, M.A., is the director of the International Healing Foundation and founder of Voice of the Voiceless, which defends the rights of clients with unwanted SSA, former homosexuals and their families. For more information, visit: www.voiceofthevoiceless.info