Thursday’s federal court ruling to uphold a ban on therapy to young people with unwanted homosexual inclinations supports a blatantly unconstitutional position and is part of a ‘zero-sum game’ on the part of the gay lobby to force approval of their behavior in every corner of the nation, according to Liberty Counsel President and Chairman Mathew Staver.
On Thursday, a three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously to uphold California’s statutory ban on counseling minors with an intent to help them work past their homosexual feelings, whether wanted or unwanted. Supporters of the law say the counseling amounts to little more than parents taking steps to stop their kids from being gay.
Staver, who is arguing this case in California and represents two families involved in such counseling, says that’s total fiction.
“This is about minors who want this kind of counseling and parents who want to support their sons or daughters to get this kind of counseling,” said Staver. “These minors have gone to their parents and said, ‘I am having these issues and I am beginning to have these same-sex sexual attractions. I don’t want to have these attractions. I don’t want to engage in same-sex behavior. I don’t want to identify myself as homosexual. Can you help me?’ And so the parents have sought out counselors who can.”
“The counsel has actually helped these children. Their self-anger and self-hatred has gone down. Their self-esteem has gone up. Their relationships with their friends have improved. The relationships with their families have greatly improved,” said Staver.
“Now under this particular law and this ruling, that counsel will have to come to an end. This is devastating to them. This is a very dangerous decision because for the first time we have the government telling a counselor what kind of counsel he or she may give to a client who needs it, instead of leaving it up to the counselor’s professional judgment and to the clients who have a right of self-determination to set their own counseling objectives,” he said.
Staver says his clients will likely appeal the decision to the full Ninth Circuit rather than go straight to the Supreme Court. That decision is partly due to Staver successfully arguing for an injunction to the law before to a separate three-judge panel of the court last year. He says that hearing proved the state has no basis for arguing that this sort of therapy is harmful, with one of the judges strongly rejecting the argument provided by the government.
“They tried to point to the (American Psychological Association) Task Force of 2009, and the judge said, ‘That doesn’t support it.’ In fact, the same task force says there’s evidence of benefit of this kind of counseling. There’s no research whatsoever, zero, regarding minors,” said Staver. “So the state doesn’t have any background or foundation to ban this kind of viewpoint. This is completely and only politically motivated.”
Staver believes public officials who should be affirming traditional marriage and other Constitutional freedoms but aren’t fall into two categories – those who share the liberal ideology on homosexuality and those who fear the fierce backlash of the homosexual movement. He says it’s a relentless movement that is not just content to demonize contrary beliefs but to force acceptance of their agenda.
“What we’re seeing is the zero-sum game that I talked about a long time ago that’s coming and now is here. The homosexual agenda is a zero-sum. There’s a winner and a loser. There’s no compromise. There is no tolerance. It is a dominating agenda that no only wants to crush every other worldview or every other contrary opinion, but force every other contrary opinion to fall in line and affirm homosexuality as normative. That’s the clash that’s here,” said Staver.
According to Staver, the demand for total acceptance and even celebration of homosexuality is intensifying by the day. He says it won’t be long at all before churches are targeted legally for accurately preaching scripture on the issue or for refusing to perform same-sex ceremonies.
“I think it’s right around the corner. I think we saw the decision last week of the Supreme Court of New Mexico saying to a wedding photographer, ‘You’ve got to give up your religious freedom if you want to be a wedding photographer. You’ve got to be forced to photograph same-sex ceremonies.’ I mean that’s just as absurd as saying you’ve got to be forced to photograph KKK rallies,” said Staver.
“Here you’ve got a lady who says, ‘I’ll photograph anybody, but I’m not going to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony.’ This court said, ‘You have to. You must, not withstanding your religious convictions. Either give up your religious convictions or change them or get out of that profession.’ That’s the zero sum game. That’s the zero-sum collision that we’re facing.”