In a report released Thursday in Miami Beach, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute ... said some Christian-based gay prevention and treatment groups have used the First Amendment protection of religion to avoid sanctions by state health officials seeking to enforce regulations on counselors who offer therapy without a license.Much as I dislike these conversion efforts, I don't think having the government force them to fit a psychotherapy model is a good idea. Religious counseling operates in its own way and has for an awfully long time. Portraying psychotherapy as the only correct model is oppressive and not even very scientific. Have these professional psychotherapists proven the effectiveness of their approach?
Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman said officials need to ensure that those offering such therapies are licensed -- as opposed to simply being clergy -- and that clients and their parents should be informed about the programs' long-term success rates.
''Many of these programs are crossing the line as to what is approved under freedom of expression,'' Foreman said in an interview with reporters. ''This deserves attention. It deserves to be regulated.''
The real controversy is over whether anyone should attempt to prevent homosexuality. Obviously, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute has a strong position on that. It is also a very persuasive position, and they have plenty of power to convince others that they are right about it. In this light, it is especially sad to see this turn toward government regulation to suppress the speech the oppose.