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Alan Grayson Guest Post: Conversion Therapy, Russian Style

In the United States, gay teenagers have been held in isolation for months, and forced to attend this "conversion therapy." Except in California. Thanks to Ted Lieu.
Alan Grayson Guest Post: Conversion Therapy, Russian Style
Image from: Angela D. Giampolo

We extended the Fleetwood Mac/Ted Lieu contest we're doing for 24 hours at the request of Alan Grayson. He has something to say about why he's backing Ted Lieu for Congress and why the two of them will be campaigning for Ted in CA-33 on September 19 and 20. So the contest is over today at 12 noon (PT). Here's where you go to be part of it. And below is the message Congressman Grayson sent out to his supporters last night. "Pray the Gay Away"? he asked. And he answered: "No."

Right-wing cranks and fools haven't come up with a "cure" yet for stupidity, greed, paranoia, bigotry, hypocrisy or even laziness. But they do think that they've come up with a "cure" for something that requires no cure: homosexuality. It's called "conversion therapy," and here's how it "works":

In one form of conversion therapy, they attach live electrodes to your genitalia, they start showing you gay porn, and then they turn on the juice.

In another form of conversion therapy, they feed you an emetic, they turn on that gay porn (is it OK to use the phrase "turn on" here?), and then they wait until the emetic takes hold, and you puke all over the floor.

Here's another method: prayer. Or as they call it, "spiritual intervention." They try to pray the gay away. The Religious Right has set up "counseling clinics" for gays, or rather against gays, that purport to "cure" homosexuality.

Who would be so stupid and cruel as to think that conversion therapy is a good idea? Or, more specifically, which spouse of which Member of Congress would be? That would be Rep. Michele Bachmann's husband Marcus. Marcus Bachmann who runs a Christian counseling clinic in Minnesota that indulges in conversion therapy.

And the U.S. of A. is not the only land in which you find such things. If you're curious, you can look up the case of Pitcherskaia v. Immigration and Naturualization Service, 118 F.3d 641 (9th Cir. 1997), and see how it's done in Mother Russia. There, gay students are beaten up-- not only by other students, but also by the school principals. Gay students are incarcerated in mental institutions, and they are "treated" with shock therapy. When released, they are required to continue such "treatment" at outpatient clinics. Other attempted "cures" include hypnosis and sedatives. All of this came to light when Ms. Pitcherskaia, a lesbian, sought political refuge in the United States. Fortunately for her, she was not required to undergo "conversion therapy" with Marcus Bachmann as a condition of entry.


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The American Psychiatric Association has unequivocally condemned any psychiatric "treatment" based on the assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder. The Attorney General has written that "a growing scientific consensus accepts that sexual orientation is a characteristic that is immutable." The World Health Organization has said that "sexual orientation by itself is not to be regarded as a disorder." And yet in the United States, gay teenagers have been held in isolation for months, and forced to attend this "conversion therapy."

Except in California. Thanks to Ted Lieu.

In 2012, State Senator Ted Lieu wrote a bill to prohibit conversation therapy for minors in California. That bill passed in the California Legislature, and was signed into law. Ted Lieu made California the first state to ban conversion therapy for minors, but hopefully not the last. That was a very important accomplishment.

Now Ted Lieu is running for Congress, and he needs your help. He is seeking the seat of Rep. Henry Waxman. Henry has served for 40 years in Congress, and yet he kept his seat last time with only 54% of the vote. It's a difficult district, it's a close race, and we need Ted Lieu in Congress.

And to give you an extra little nudge, Blue America PAC has extended its drawing for Ted Lieu contributors through noon today. One lucky contributor to Ted Lieu's campaign will receive the RIAA-certified Quadruple Platinum Award for Fleetwood Mac's album The Dance.

So I'm asking you to click here, and show your support for Ted Lieu. He had the guts to take on the Religious Right when it was the Religious Wrong, and he rescued countless children from the bigoted lie that their sexual identity was a "disease" that demanded a quack "cure." Ted Lieu deserves our support.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson

Fleetwood Mac is part of the rich sound of CA-33. Several of the members live there and their music is embedded into the culture and the fabric of life there. Enjoy these two live versions (below and up top) from the recording of The Dance and please consider joining Congressman Grayson, Henry Waxman and Blue America in making sure Ted Lieu is the next congressman from the district. You can see the platinum award plaque and contribute to Ted's campaign right here.

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