Liberty Counsel head Mat Staver has been spearheading efforts to strike down a California law barring ex-gay therapy for minors. Today, he chatted with Mike Huckabee about Liberty Counsel’s case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Staver warned that if the law stands, minors will be forced to turn to harmful, back-alley ex-gay therapy rather than to “licensed professionals.” Huckabee compared this to having an untrained person trying to set a broken leg.
Of course, Staver and Huckabee both support personhood laws that would criminalize abortion in all cases and dramatically increase cases of unsafe, back-alley abortions.
Staver: They make the premise that this counseling is harmful, it’s harmful if it’s engaged in, they say, by licensed professionals that have training and education. Well guess what? If this law passes and it goes into effect and the court doesn’t stop it, then if it’s harmful to have this by licensed professionals, what’s the next step? It’s even more harmful to have it done by people who are not licensed or trained, but that’s where it’s going.
Huckabee: It’s almost like saying that if you set a broken leg as a medical doctor and you don’t do it a certain way, you’re in trouble. Obviously, if you’re not even a medical doctor, I think you’d clearly be clearly under a greater level of trouble, that’s the point you’re making.
Later, Staver made the case that survivors of child abuse would not be able to receive counseling under the law and described the law as “dangerous.” Huckabee, meanwhile, wondered about the plight of a young gay man who “decided” to be heterosexual.
Staver: If this client comes in and the parents say he was molested by the likes of a Jerry Sandusky and abused, now after that several months later he started to have these acting out behaviors and he doesn’t like it, nor do we, can you help him? The counselor would have to say, ‘I can’t, you’re going to have to just accept that, that’s who you are, that’s natural and normal, I can’t give you counsel to ultimately help you eliminate those kinds of attempts that you want to act out, the kind of behavior that you were abused by.’ This is just an absurd situation; it is politically motivated.
Huckabee: I mean this really is the courts stepping in and telling the clinical practitioner the limits of his or her practice to a level that would seem unprecedented. Mat, let me pose a question, let’s say a young person comes in and says, ‘you know I’ve always believed I’m homosexual, believed that since I was seven-years-old, but now that I’m seventeen, I’ve decided that I’m not, I’m heterosexual’ and goes to a pro-homosexual counselor. Would that person be at risk? It looks like some of those folks would be nervous that they couldn’t say, ‘oh no, no you are homosexual all right because you thought that when you were seven and therefore you have to stay that way.’
Staver: The interesting thing the way the law is essentially written is if you are trying to give them counsel, even for somebody who say for example they say they’re bisexual, they’re attracted to both sexes, if you are trying to counsel them to primarily be heterosexual as opposed to homosexual that would be a clear violation. If you are trying to move them away, however, from heterosexuality to bisexuality, transexuality, asexuality, whatever sexuality you come up with, questioning, confused, then that is personally fine as long as you affirm them in that situation. But if you move them back towards heterosexuality, nope, that’s simply not permissible. You can see really where this law is coming from, this law is a political statement; it’s dangerous.