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Friday, May 4, 2012

Action! Oppose SB 1172 - Do Not Let More Children be Sacrificed

Do Not Let More Children be Sacrificed
Urgent! – Take Action!

Note: (Update added July 3): This bill has passed the senate and come out of committee in the assembly.  It will be coming to a full vote in the assembly.  Contact your assembly member and urge them to oppose.  Write to newspapers and Web sites, call radio shows, and tell friends.

In California a terribly destructive bill passed one senate committee last week and will come before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.  SB 1172 denies children under 18 access to any therapy to help with unwanted homosexual attraction, and requires those who offer such therapy to inform all adult clients that the therapy doesn’t work and will pose significant risk to their mental health.  It goes on to establish increased opportunity for patients and their families to sue therapists.
Forget for a moment the fact that the bill would require therapists to lie.  For people who compassionately practice a certain therapy to disclose to their clients that it is ineffective and dangerous, despite the fact that evidence demonstrates the opposite, is insulting and inexcusable.  Forget for a moment that the bill opens doors for people to seek such therapy only for the purposes of pretending to be harmed by it and suing the practitioners.
My first outrage over this bill is that it would be state-inflicted child abuse on those who are most vulnerable.  The bill states that no one under 18 will be allowed to undergo such therapy regardless of how desperately they want to. 
I have become somewhat familiar with therapists that provide therapy for people struggling with gender identity, unwanted homosexual attraction, or other sexual confusion.  They are among the most compassionate people in therapy and their work is often highly successful.  What’s more, children can struggle at a very early age with gender confusion, and these therapists often help them with extraordinary success.  This, I suspect, is the real motivation behind this bill.
The California state senate is on the verge of sacrificing many children on the altar of a political agenda and we can not let it happen.
I have worked for many years with many young people of many different ages and in many different settings.  In that time I can remember one who suffered from gender identity confusion.  I remember his struggle and discomfort.  I can still see his innocent eyes, his beautiful soul.  And I know there are people who can help him.
But if the supporters of SB 1172 get their way, he will never be able to take advantage of that help.  He will have to suffer in silence, for not only will they deny him the chance to heal, they refuse to acknowledge his suffering.  It does not fit their agenda.
To them he is anonymous.  One day perhaps he will understand that his suffering served, in their eyes, a higher good.  Well, to me he is not anonymous.  He is precious.  He is a child who simply needs help.  He is made in the Image and Likeness of God, and he is destined for greatness.  He needs people that will love him, help him, suffer with him, and succeed with him.
But if this bill passes what he will get from his state is a deaf ear and a cold shoulder.  He will become a statistic.  His pain will probably even be manipulated so as to justify more of these types of bills.  And if his life is ruined, well at least it was in the service of “progress.”  And yet some would say it’s the Church that’s repressive and bigoted.  Yeah, right.
We can not sit back and allow this to happen.  Yes, I know this bill is one in a number of steps being taken to rob me of my freedom of speech and to persecute religion.  Well, I’m a big boy.  And I can stand up and fight for myself.  But how can these children fight?  We must not allow them to be sacrificed for someone else’s agenda.
Now, I am sure there are senators who are supporting this bill that sincerely believe it is right.  They are sincerely wrong.  Whether their intention is to harm these children or not, that is what SB 1172 does.
We are Catholics.  We defend those who can’t defend themselves.  We stand up for truth, even when the whole world bows down to idols.  Stand up. If you live in California, call your state senator.  Ask him or her to oppose SB 1172.  No matter where you live, call Senator Tom Harmon, the vice-chair of the Judiciary Committee and ask for his help.  The fate of these children matters to us all, whether or not we live in the same state as they.