May 2, 2019 – What a great opportunity to interview with Ryan Warner, senior host and editor of Colorado Public Radio’s daily program, Colorado Matters. Topic for the day was the recent ban on conversion therapy for Colorado’s youth. Although the ban directly impacts health and medical facilities, it does not prevent religious organizations from practicing conversion therapy. I was able to address the controversy surrounding this practice, religious freedom, and claims for and against conversion therapy.
Drawing from my book, there is much research that discredits conversion therapy and documents its ineffectiveness and harm. Ryan Warner asked for my response to a man who recently testified in capitol hearings that he had successfully changed his sexual orientation. He attributed it to prayer and conversion therapy. I stated it was not my right to deny this gentleman’s sexual orientation, any more than I would want someone to deny mine. However, there are those who would say that he may have been bisexual, or that he changed his behavior, not his sexual orientation.
All major national health organizations have officially expressed concerns about therapies promoted to modify sexual orientation. There is no proof that conversion therapy works, and there is much evidence that it can be harmful. It is premised on a lack of understanding about sexual orientation or the denial of its existence by conservative Christians.
A recent UCLA Law School study stated that an estimated 698,000 LGBT adults in the U.S. have received conversion therapy. Of those adults, 350,000 were adolescents when they were subjected to therapy. Much harm has been done and thankfully many are re-evaluating and challenging conversion therapy today.
Thank you, Ryan Warner – and others – who are willing to address this topic on talk radio, television, and in print media!
You can listen to the interview on Colorado Public Radio at CPR.org.
The segment on Conversion Therapy begins 6:15 minutes into the program.