Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Real Costs Of "Ex-Gay" Therapy

Think Progress comments on the real cost of "ex-gay" therapy like that performed by Marcus Bachmann:
Beliefs that gay people need to be “cured” of their sexual orientation also contribute to harassment and violence against gay people and anyone else who doesn’t conform to rigid stereotypes of gender and sexuality. In 2008, more than 2,400 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people were victims of crimes perpetrated against them on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Significant underreporting means that the actual number of hate crimes against gay and transgender people is probably much higher than the statistics show. Ex-gay therapy tears at the mental health of gay people while contributing to the poisonous attitudes that mark them as targets for violence and discrimination. And for this “therapy,” it’s society as a whole that foots the bill: every blow at the ability of gay people to take care of themselves and their families has its costs, whether in the loss of a job because of harassment, days missed at school because of bullying, or medical bills for dealing with depression or the aftermath of violence.