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USA Today Publishes Vile Op-Ed Supporting ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy By NARTH-Linked Psychologist

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USA Today, in a case of journalistic malpractice, chose to publish today an op-ed supporting so-called “ex-gay” or “reparative” therapy, a practice that has been denounced and labeled as not only ineffective but actually dangerous by many if not all major medical organizations. The op-ed is authored by a psychologist linked to NARTH, the “National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality” whose main body of “work” is by Dr. Paul Cameron, a wholly discredited “scientist.”

USA Today is in the business of publishing news and opinion from reliable sources, and has failed miserably in this instance. The editorial board should remove this dangerous column, apologize for publishing it, and follow up with one explaining the facts about “ex-gay” therapy and the dangers associated with it.

Contrary to popular desire among anti-gay and anti-science conservatives, some issues — like climate change and evolution — are settled science. There’s no “debate” to have because they are proven facts. The danger of “ex-gay therapy” is one of those settled science facts not up for debate any longer.

Additionally — shamefully, lazily, callously, and offensively — USA Today used an image of LGBT activists and allies from a recent New Jersey United for Marriage rally to accompany the op-ed, clearly without their express consent of it being used in association with this dangerous opinion piece. It was a poor choice and should be changed if the editors refuse to remove the piece entirely. Figured prominently in the image (screenshot, top) is New Jersey native Penny Gnesin, wife of former Army Captain and LGBT activist Sue Fulton.

“That’s Penny, in the scooter,” the couple told The New Civil Rights Movement in an email today:

“In eighteen years together, we’ve dealt with job loss, MS, and breast cancer. We’re strong enough to stand up to the haters, but we won’t allow our images to be used by those who would use their crackpot theories to mistreat young, vulnerable gay and lesbian kids. We are outraged.”

Now, to the actual op-ed.

Sexual reorientation therapy not unethical” is by Nicholas A. Cummings.

Cummings’ bio in the piece says he “was president of the American Psychological Association (1979-80).” It does not state that he is associated with NARTH, nor does it state that he delivered a keynote address for the group, nor does it state that the man NARTH used to use before they were forced to turn to Cummings has denounced his previous reparative therapy studies.

In fact, every major leader in the “ex-gay” movement has denounced their participation and apologized for the harm they’ve caused.

But USA Today is oblivious to this fact, and by publishing Cummings’ op-ed has given unnecessary and false “hope” to some who still believe homosexuality is a disease and something in need of a cure, like cancer, diabetes, or high blood pressure.

In fact, homosexuality is as normal as being born blond, left handed, or tall.

“The sweeping allegation that such [reparative therapy] treatment must be a fraud because homosexual orientation can’t be changed is damaging,” Cummings writes. He is wrong, and there are countless medical professionals who have, do, and will oppose him.

“I personally saw more than 2,000 patients with same-sex attraction, and my staff saw thousands more. We worked hard to develop approaches to meeting the needs of these patients,” Cummings writes, as he links to an article at NARTH — another dangerous and poor choice by USA Today for allowing it, which they do again below.

“They generally sought therapy for one of three reasons: to come to grips with their gay identity, to resolve relationship issues or to change their sexual orientation,” Cummings continues:

We would always inform patients in the third group that change was not easily accomplished. With clinical experience, my staff and I learned to assess the probability of change in those who wished to become heterosexual.

Of the roughly 18,000 gay and lesbian patients whom we treated over 25 years through Kaiser, I believe that most had satisfactory outcomes. The majority were able to attain a happier and more stable homosexual lifestyle. Of the patients I oversaw who sought to change their orientation, hundreds were successful.

That last part, “hundreds were successful,” has been disproven time and time again by case after case after case of so-called ‘ex-gays” who amazingly get caught not being ex-gay. The perfect example is former officer and scientific advisor to NARTH, George Rekers, whom, you’ll remember, was caught with a young male prostitute coming back from a European vacation. NARTH quickly scrubbed their website of any vestige of his name and Rekers was forced into exile.

Alan Chambers is another example.

Chambers is the former president of the now defunct Exodus International, which used to be the top “ex-gay” organization. Here’s what he recently said about his “work”:

“I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents.”

Chambers also acknowledged that his work has ultimately resulted in suicides, and said:

“I have heard many firsthand stories from people called ex-gay survivors. Stories of people who went to Exodus affiliated ministries or ministers for help only to experience more trauma. I have heard stories of shame, sexual misconduct, and false hope. In every case that has been brought to my attention, there has been swift action resulting in the removal of these leaders and/or their organizations.”

At Think Progress, Zack Ford explains the harm caused by “ex-gay therapy”:

The APA has concluded that sexual orientation change efforts are at best ineffective, if not harmful. In a survey of ex-gay survivors — those who once attempted to change their orientation then later embraced it — over 90 percent reported that they experienced harm. A study designed to prove ex-gay therapy worked found that even those who claim success are just acting the part — their orientation hasn’t changed. Arguably, many of the “treatments” the plaintiffs in the JONAH case experienced were not only ineffective and potentially psychologically harmful, but outright abusive.

Again, USA Today must remove the op-ed and apologize for publishing it. And they must publish one in its place detailing the dangers of “ex-gay” therapy.

You can contact USA Today by phone: 703-854-3400, by Twitter, Facebook, or on their website contact page.

 

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Dr. Cummings as a psychiatrist. He is a psychologist.

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Donald Trump Guilty on All Counts in New York Criminal Trial

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Donald Trump has been found guilty by a jury in the State of New York’s criminal prosecution on all 34 charges of falsifying business records to cover-up a conspiracy to assist his election to the presidency of the United States by unlawful means. He is the first American president in history to have been criminally charged, and now is the first to have been convicted of crimes. The ex-president’s efforts to hide payments of “hush money” to two women, a Playboy model and an adult film actress, to prevent the voters from learning of his affairs was central to the scheme.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prosecution alleged Trump had “repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.”

Democrat Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election’s popular vote by nearly three million votes but the reality TV star and real estate magnate, as he was best-known at the time, won the Electoral College vote.

Trump, soon to be 78, could be sentenced to up to four years in prison but, if convicted, is expected ask to have the verdict set aside, and to appeal.

READ MORE: Chief Justice Refuses to Meet With Senate Judiciary Chairman Over Alito Scandal

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Chief Justice Refuses to Meet With Senate Judiciary Chairman Over Alito Scandal

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Chief Justice John Roberts, presiding over a court Democrats and government watchdogs say is riddled with corruption and ethics scandals, on Thursday once again refused to meet with the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman and a Democratic Senator who for more than a decade has been working to reform the nation’s highest court.

Last week, after bombshell reports revealed Justice Samuel Alito, a Bush-43 appointee, had two insurrection-linked flags flying at two of his homes, Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin and U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) sent the chief justice a letter requesting a meeting to discuss their call for Justice Alito to recuse from cases involving the January 6, 2021 insurrection, the 2020 election, and any cases involving Donald Trump. They also asked to meet to discuss the ongoing ethics scandals plaguing the Roberts Court, and the need for congressionally-mandated reforms.

“By displaying the upside-down and ‘Appeal to Heaven’ flags outside his homes, Justice Alito actively engaged in political activity, failed to avoid the appearance of impropriety, and failed to act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary,” the two Senate Democrats wrote. “He also created reasonable doubt about his impartiality and his ability to fairly discharge his duties in cases related to the 2020 presidential election and January 6th attack on the Capitol. His recusal in these matters is both necessary and required.”

“Until the Court and the Judicial Conference take meaningful action to address this ongoing ethical crisis,” they warned, “we will continue our efforts to enact legislation to resolve this crisis.”

READ MORE: ‘Incompetently Bad’: Judge Cannon’s Latest Move ‘Approaching This Level of Stupid’

The Chief Justice cited the Court’s recently adopted code of ethics which some say merely codified existing behaviors without doing much to hold the Justices to the same standard every other judge who sits on the federal bench is required to observe.

“Members of the Supreme Court recently reaffirmed the practice we have followed for 235 years pursuant to which individual Justices decide recusal issues,” Chief Justice Roberts said in his letter to Durbin and Whitehouse.

Roberts insisted he was obligated to refuse to meet.

“I must respectfully decline your request for a meeting. As noted in my letter to Chairman Durbin last April, apart from ceremonial events, only on rare occasions in our Nation’s history has a sitting Chief Justice met with legislators, even in a public setting (such as a Committee hearing) with members of both major political parties present. Separation of powers concerns and the importance of preserving judicial independence counsel against such appearances.”

“Moreover,” he added, “the format proposed – a meeting with leaders of only one party who have expressed an interest in matters currently pending before the Court – simply underscores that participating in such a meeting would be inadvisable.”

The Nation’s justice correspondent Elie Mystal, pointing to the Roberts letter, remarked: “John Roberts, again, has already spoken about Alito’s ethical failures. And Roberts is IN FAVOR of the corruption, not against it.”

READ MORE: Alito’s Opinion in a 2022 Christian Flag Case Flies in the Face of His Recusal Refusal

Image via Shutterstock

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‘Incompetently Bad’: Judge Cannon’s Latest Move ‘Approaching This Level of Stupid’

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U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s latest move in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Espionage Act prosecution of Donald Trump appears to have at least one legal expert throwing up his hands in disbelief.

Back in February, Trump’s legal team claimed Special Counsel Jack Smith’s appointment was unlawful, as is the method of funding his office and his investigations.

“Neither the Constitution nor Congress have created the office of the ‘Special Counsel,'” Trump’s attorneys wrote, CBS News had reported, “arguing the attorney general did not have the proper authority to name Smith to the job.”

“The authority he attempts to employ as Special Counsel far exceeds the power exercisable by a non-superior officer, the authority that Congress has not cloaked him with,” they claimed. There are decades of precedence of Attorneys General appointing special counsels, special prosecutors, or independent counsels – possibly the most well-known being Ken Starr who investigated then-President Bill Clinton.

READ MORE: Alito’s Opinion in a 2022 Christian Flag Case Flies in the Face of His Recusal Refusal

CBS News also noted that “Garland cited numerous laws and regulations that he and other attorneys general have said confer necessary authority onto the selected prosecutors.”

Issuing her latest edict, Judge Cannon, who likely has already delayed the trial until after the 2024 election, responded to the Trump legal team’s challenge of Smith’s appointment on Thursday.

“Judge Cannon is giving Trump’s legal team and the government 12 days to tell her how the SCOTUS decision upholding the CFPB’s funding/appointment impacts Trump’s claim that Jack Smith was unlawfully appointed and funded…,” reports Reuters’ Sarah N. Lynch, who covers the Justice Dept.

The CFPB is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Earlier this month the Supreme Court ruled the methods by which it is funded are constitutional, overturning a lower court’s ruling.

READ MORE: ‘Doesn’t Know Most Basic Rule’: Conway Blasts Cannon Over ‘Perplexed’ Reaction

Constitutional law professor Anthony Michael Kreis, mocking Judge Cannon’s order, wrote:

“Jack Smith,

You have 12 days to tell me how what Martha-Ann Alito ate for lunch on May 30, 2024 affects your appointment as special counsel.

Xoxo,

Judge Cannon”

He added, “We’re approaching this level of stupid,” and concluded, “Judge Cannon is incompetently bad.”

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