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Dr. Oz Condemned By Top LGBT Organizations For ‘Ex-Gay Therapy’ Episode

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As we reported earlier today, Dr. Oz today aired a purposely and unnecessarily controversial show about so-call “ex-gay therapy,” and included NARTH, a notorious ex-gay group with ties to Focus on the Family, an organization started by James Dobson, the same man who created the anti-gay hate group, Family Research Council.

Via a joint press release:

 LGBT ORGANIZATIONS CONDEMN DR. OZ SHOW FOR EPISODE ON SO-CALLED REPARATIVE THERAPY, ASK DR. OZ TO STAND UP FOR HIS LGBT VIEWERS

New York, NY, November 28, 2012 – GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students and PFLAG National, the nation’s largest family and ally organization for LGBT people, today released a joint statement denouncing  the Dr. Oz Show for airing an episode debating the merits of so-called reparative therapy, and positioning a representative of the discredited National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) as an “expert.” The groups are calling on Dr. Oz to stand with the entire medical community against this so-called therapy, and to tell his LGBT viewers that he does not support the idea that their sexual orientation should be “repaired.”

Producers of the Dr. Oz Show framed their program on so-called reparative therapy in a way that provided a lengthy platform for junk science. The first two segments of the show featured two proponents of so-called reparative therapy, neither of whom was challenged, at any point, by Dr. Oz or any guests.  These two “ex-gay” activists, however, were invited to stay and rebut statements by opponents throughout the rest of the program. NARTH representative Julie Hamilton was introduced by Dr. Oz as an “expert” and spoke to countless parents and youth in the audience, as if NARTH’s work and practices represent legitimate and acceptable medical practices. Producers held conversations with GLAAD, GLSEN and PFLAG National leading up to the episode, but did not disclose that a representative of NARTH would be featured.  Although the show also featured guests who condemned the idea and practice of “reparative therapy,” Dr. Oz himself never weighed in, and the audience was misled to believe that there are actual experts on both sides of this issue. There are not.

NARTH is a splinter group of anti-gay therapists/activists, formed in 1992—according to its founders—in order to “fully understand the homosexual condition and the factors which drive this self-destructive behavior.” NARTH co-founder Charles Socarides called gay people “a purple menace that is threatening the proper design of gender distinctions in society.” NARTH says it supports clients who seek to “diminish their homosexuality and to develop their heterosexual potential” through therapy.

This idea, which is NARTH’s main focus, has been dismissed by every single mainstream health and welfare organization in the country, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of Social Workers. Each of these organizations, and more, has rejected the notion and practice of any therapist attempting to change a client’s sexual orientation.

A coalition of 13 national health, mental health, education and religious organizations spearheaded by the American Psychological Association produced “Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth: A Primer for Principals, Educators and School Personnel” in response to concerns raised by GLSEN in 1999 that schools and parents were receiving inaccurate information on the issue of sexual orientation, particularly about whether youth can change their sexual orientation.

“GLSEN would not have participated in The Dr. Oz Show had we known that NARTH would be represented,” said GLSEN Executive Director Dr. Eliza Byard. “The Dr. Oz Show provided a platform to a fringe organization promoting dangerous and harmful practices that every major health, mental health and education organization has consistently repudiated as harmful to youth. As we have since 1999, GLSEN and our partners in the Just the Facts Coalition will continue to hold the line against dangerous misinformation that threatens the wellbeing of youth.”

“This issue is not one that can be discussed as though both sides are equally valid” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick.  “The idea of therapists attempting to change a patient’s sexual orientation has been proven ineffective and dangerous, and has been soundly and conclusively rejected by the entire medical establishment. This line of thinking is outdated, ultimately harmful, and in modern media, should be treated like lobotomies or medical mercury.”

PFLAG National Executive Director Jody Huckaby agrees with Graddick. “A doctor’s first oath is to do no harm, and yet by making the decision to air this show, the harm has already been done. The doctrine espoused by so-called “ex-gay” organizations—that gay people can and should change their sexual orientation—has been condemned by every mainstream professional medical and mental health association. LGBT youth and their families must have access to safe and accurate information, and all responsible medical doctors, psychiatrists, and therapists have a responsibility to convey such information, not offer up dangerous debunked methods as legitimate or as fact. What LGBT youth need is the love, support, and acceptance of their parents, families, and friends, not to be told to change who they are.”

The American Medical Association states “(We) oppose any psychiatric treatment, such as “reparative” or “conversion” therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation.“ The AMA also says that “most of the emotional disturbance experienced by gay men and lesbians around their sexual identity is not based on physiological causes but rather is due more to a sense of alienation in an unaccepting environment.”

By presenting former NARTH President Julie Hamilton as an “expert” on this topic, Dr. Oz chose to ignore what the actual experts say, and wrongfully presented this topic to his audience as an ongoing debate, rather than as the settled matter that it is within his own medical community. As someone who is trusted to deliver sound medical advice by his own patients and an audience of millions, his failure to do so on this topic is troubling. We ask that Dr. Oz stand with his colleagues and peers who oppose “reparative therapy.”

##

About GLAAD
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.

About GLSEN
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN’s research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visitwww.glsen.org.

About PFLAG National
Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the original family and ally organization. Made up of parents, families, friends, and straight allies uniting with LGBT people, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education and advocacy. Now in its 40th anniversary year, PFLAG has more than 368 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states. To learn more, please visit http://www.pflag.org or connect with PFLAG National on Facebook or Twitter.

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News

‘Taking Us All for Fools’: Critics Decimate Greg Abbott’s Claims and Defense of His Actions in Wake of School Shooting

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Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in a press conference that left reporters frustrated defended his actions and insisted his earlier praise for law enforcement’s widely criticized response to the Uvalde school massacre was the result of being “misled.”

“I am livid about what happened,” Abbott declared, blaming others for his “recitation of what people in that room told me.”

Critics aren’t buying his claims.

Abbott, who’s in the middle of a heated re-election campaign, appeared extremely defensive when reporters asked him questions.

“Let’s be clear about one thing. None of the laws I signed this past session had any intersection with this crime at all,” Abbott told reporters when asked if he would call the legislature back for a special session, as The Texas Tribune’s Sewell Chan noted.

“No law that I signed allowed him to get a gun,” Abbott insisted.

“The answers fell pretty flat,” opined MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, who noted the press event lasted just 36 minutes, less time than the police officers “stood outside and did nothing,” which was 47 minutes.

Abbott ended the press conference with many reporters almost begging him to take more questions. As the governor got up and left one frustrated reporter was caught on a hot mic saying “unbelievable.”

Chan, who is the editor in chief of the Tribune, added on Twitter: “Abbott rejects background checks as a simplistic and ineffective fix. Wouldn’t have prevented Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe shootings, he says. Tries to turn focus to broken mental health system.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC delivered a strong rebuke to Governor Abbott’s remarks.

“No amount of free flights, no amount of free caskets, no amount of mental health counseling is going to bring back any one of those murdered children,” Figliuzzi said, referring to Abbott’s announcement an anonymous donor is putting up  $175,000 for funeral expenses of those who were murdered in the shooting and said the state will pay for mental health treatment.

Abbott also insisted that since Texas became a state it’s been legal for 18-year-olds to buy long guns.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, blasted Abbott:

And long guns of today, as Figliuzzi noted, are often semi-automatic “killing machines.”

“The governor seems completely unable to understand that he can easily make a distinction when you’re talking about whether an 18-year-old should buy an assault rifle or not. And all he cares about is a century of history in Texas on long guns. We didn’t have the AR-15 style assault weapons back then.  He can easily make a distinction and say, ‘you can go hunting, here are the rifles you can do, you can buy, you can possess – and here’s an assault-style rifle.'”

“If he thinks that people are stupid and unable to understand that there is a clear distinction between a killing machine and a hunting rifle, that he’s taking us all for fools.”

 

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‘I Apologize for Interrupting Your Press Conference’: Tearful Texas Democrat Urges Greg Abbott to ‘Do Something’ on Guns

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The Texas Democratic State Senator who represents Uvalde stood up during Greg Abbott’s Friday afternoon press conference and almost begged the Republican Governor to “do something” about gun violence after Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School that took 21 lives.

Abbott was trying to place the blame for the school shooting on mental health despite the gunman having no documented issues, and told attendees, “we’re focusing our attention on the wrong thing.”

That was not good enough for Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who politely introduced himself and said, “I’m not making a political speech.”

“My colleagues are asking for a special session, you’re getting a letter tomorrow,” from the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“We’ve asked for gun control changes – I’m asking you now, bring us back in three weeks.”

Gutierrez grew emotional, sounding as if he was choking up, and added, “I apologize for interrupting your press conference about the needs of this community. I’ve been here for three days with all of these elected officials – this county judge has been working his ass off,” he continued.

“I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to,” he added.

“You have to do something, man,” Gutierrez said, all but begging the governor to take action, and saying his “own colleagues are calling me and telling me this is enough.”

Watch:

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Watch: Right Wing Host at NRA Convention Likens 18 Year Olds Buying Guns to 3rd Graders Deciding Gender

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A host from a right-wing streaming service covering the NRA convention in Houston decided to compare conservatives’ growing active opposition to the rights and existence of transgender people, to the majority of Americans demanding expanded gun control legislation.

“We are being told by the left that a third-grader has the knowledge to determine if they were born a boy or they were born a girl, whether or not they want to stay that gender that they were born with,” said Brian Glenn, Right Side Broadcasting’s director of programming and correspondent.

“And if we feel like at a third grade you can make decisions on your gender, then I think by the time you’re 18 you should have enough maturity – assuming you’re not a complete psychopath – to buy a handgun and exercise your Second Amendment.”

Of course, that hypothetical third-grader is harming exactly no one and later can reverse that decision if they choose, which the vast majority do not.

That hypothetical 18-year old, or, in the case of this week’s horrific tragedy, an actual 18-year old, buying two AR-15 style assault weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition within three days of their 18th birthday, gunning down 21 people including 19 elementary school children, cannot reverse any of those decisions.

Watch:

 

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