After the supreme court made same sex marriage legal in all states, politicians have been under the microscope when it comes to their views on the issue. One topic of discussion that has been coming up repeatedly is that of conversion therapy. Politicians, however, should not have any right to say whether a homosexual person should go through conversion therapy or not.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, conversion therapy is based off of the theory that homosexuality is a mental disorder and a person can be cured through therapy and corrective behaviors.
There is not a lot of evidence to support that conversion therapy helps people in any way. In fact, for the most part it only ends up hurting the person involved by putting them in a helpless situation, where they are attracted to one group of people but are told that thought is wrong.
The struggles that LGBTQ community members face daily are numerous. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, LGBTQ youth have higher risk of depression and suicide than most other groups of people.
The arguments of people who support conversion therapy are usually rooted in that of a religious background. People also fear that which they do not know. For these reasons, politicians like Vice President, Mike Pence and more recently, Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education, Frank Edelblut, have been accused of not standing up for the LGBTQ communities rights.
Most notably, Edelblut was on the fundraising board of directors for Patrick Henry College, a school that prohibits students from being homosexual.
Shameless, a popular TV show, just recently addressed the issue by putting Frank Gallagher, one of the show’s main characters who is heterosexual, through conversion therapy. The show highlighted the ridiculousness of the situation while keeping the comedic angle of the show intact. The character that was really wronged in the episode was the woman who Frank met while in therapy. She was unable to perform the acts that the therapists were asking of her because it felt wrong to her. This storyline showed the underlying evilness of the theory of conversion therapy, that people are being forced to go against their natural instincts just because other people think those instincts are not right.
This issue affects all people, even those not directly related to the LGBTQ community. The people who support conversion therapy think they are doing people in the LGBTQ community a favor by helping them get over a mental illness.
The decision to go through the conversion therapy process is an extremely personal one. If a person decides to go to conversion therapy for reasons like religious beliefs or whatever other reasons, it should be on their own terms.
The government should not have any say in it, at all. The government should not even have a stance on whether they think it’s good for people or not because of how personal of a decision it is. The government does not have any stance of traditional therapy, so this should not be any different.
Alyssa Salerno can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org