Gay Conversion Therapy
Sheldon W. Helms, Associate Professor of Psychology, Ohlone College
As our country tackles the issue of marriage equality, gays in the military and other forms of inclusion of gays and lesbians into mainstream society, and as Russia and other countries enforce laws limiting the rights of their gay and lesbian citizens, fringe religious and therapeutic organizations have operated mostly in the shadows, attempting to "convert" their homosexual clients to heterosexuality through a mixture of prayer and pseudoscience.
Helms describes the history of attempts to define homosexuality as an illness and to make gays go straight.
Some forms of gay conversion therapy have been outlawed in California and New Jersey, and one of the primary institutions that promoted it has announced its closure, but what are the real stories behind these announcements, and do they go far enough?