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Federal Judge: Parents Have No Right To Ex-Gay Therapy For Their Kids

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A federal judge has ruled that banning so-called “ex-gay” therapy for minors does not violate the First Amendment rights of parents or their children.

Last year New Jersey banned the practice of so-called “reparative,” “gay conversion,” or “ex-gay” therapies for use on minors. One family sued in federal court, arguing the ban violated their First Amendment rights of free speech and the practice of religion. At the time, NOM co-founder Maggie Gallagher claimed the ban “strips religious people of equal rights.”

U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson on Thursday disagreed.

Court documents state that “Tara King Ed.D. and Ronald Newman, Ph.D., who are licensed therapists, as well as the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (“NARTH”) and the American Association of Christian Counselors (“AACC”),” filed the lawsuit in conjunction with the parents, named only as John and Jane Doe.

LOOK: Nine Leaders Of Ex-Gay Movement: ‘Conversion Therapy Harms People’

“Parents Jane and Jack Doe and their son, John, 15, later sued Christie with the help of the same lawyers last fall, alleging the law may cause their son to ‘regress’ into homosexuality,” Courthouse News Service reports.

The parents say they noticed John began to play with female dolls and toys when he was 5, and was “particularly obsessed” with Ariel, The Little Mermaid, much to his father’s dismay.

Indeed, John’s mother frequently fought with her husband for “criticizing [their son] for exhibiting female characteristics, expressions, and mannerisms,” according to the complaint.

John “remembers having a bias against the male gender and thinking that boys were stupid because his mother talked negatively about his father,” the plaintiffs claim.

The child also tried “to dress up in princess clothes” when he was 10, and he later began secretly shaving his armpits and pubic hair to appear more feminine, the complaint states.

When John began to feel sexually attracted to men and suicidal around the age of 12, his parents contacted NARTH and were referred to a licensed SOCE specialist, the lawsuit says.

Since then, John’s same-sex attractions have dropped from 8 out of 10 to 3 out of 10, and he no longer has suicidal thoughts or tries to sound like a girl, the Does say.

LGBT rights organization Garden State Equality successfully joined the suit as a defendant.

Judge Wolfson ruled that the New Jersey law does not violate free speech rights because it “does not regulate speech, directly or indirectly, but rather only regulates a mental health procedure performed by licensed counselors or therapists.”

She also called ex-gay therapy “pseudo-science.”

“Surely it is undisputed that a state has the power to regulate not only medical and mental health treatments deemed harmful, but also those that are ineffective or that are based not on medical or scientific principles but, instead, on pseudo-science.”

Noting that “the state has a compelling interest in protecting children, and has broad authority to do so,” Wolfson wrote that “the Ninth Circuit—in one of the few decisions that speaks directly to this issue—has concluded that ‘the fundamental rights of parents do not include the right to choose a specific type of provider for a specific medical or mental health treatment that the state has reasonably deemed harmful.'”

The judge concluded that “the fundamental rights of parents do not include the right to choose a specific medical or mental health treatment that the state has reasonably deemed harmful or ineffective. To find otherwise would create unimaginable and unintentional consequences.”

 

Image by Daniel Gonzales via Flickr

 

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'BLOOD ON HIS HANDS'

Trump’s ICE Is Using Torture to Quickly Deport Africans Back to a Deadly War-Torn Country

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Trump ICE deportations Africa

The central African country of Cameroon is currently experiencing a four-year separatist conflict that has killed over 3,000 people and displaced half a million more with “extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, arbitrary and unlawful detention and torture.”

But Cameroonians who fled to the U.S. to seek political asylum here as refugees are experiencing torture as well from private prison guards and agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Louisiana and Mississippi.

A new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center and Freedom for Immigrants includes six Cameroonians who say they were physically forced to sign deportation documents that they didn’t understand and threatened with choking, pepper spray, physical pain and prolonged detention if they refused.

One accuser said that ICE agents and private guards stripped him naked from the waist down, exposing his genitals and buttocks to a room of 10 people, while forcing him to sign. Others said they and other refugees were fed substandard food, subject to a humiliating full-body strip search, and housed alongside federal prisoners while waiting for their court proceedings.

If true, the actions would violate Louisiana state and federal law, the international Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment, which the U.S. has ratified, as well as ICE’s own policies within its 2011 Performance Based National Standards, Newsweek reports.

Trump has deported anywhere from  94 or 116 Cameroonians back to their home country since October. The Cameroon government has detained refugees who return to their shore to interrogate them for any separatist ties.

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'CAN'T WE END THIS ALREADY?'

Trump Is Already Planning a 2024 Run Just So Biden Won’t Get All the Press Attention

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President Donald Trump is reportedly discussing launching his 2024 re-election campaign kickoff event on January 20 just to overshadow President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Yes, really.

The Daily Beast has cited three officials who Trump has reportedly discussed the idea with. He is assessing which big-dollar donors would support his bid and which political underlings would remain loyal to him just to benefit from whatever happens.

“Trump’s scheming about a future White House run is both an implicit recognition that he views his own current legal efforts as longshots and a reflection of his inherent desire to maintain political power and public attention,” The Daily Beast writes.

According to Bloomberg News, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, reportedly told Trump, “If you do that—and I think I speak for everybody in the room—we’re with you 100 percent.”

Trump still has yet to officially concede. On Thursday he told reporters, “It’s going to be a very hard thing to concede because we know there was massive fraud.” Trump has been unable to prove his repeated claims of “massive fraud” in over 30 lawsuits which have either failed, been dismissed or withdrawn by his own re-election campaign.

Unfortunately for Trump, two comedians have already snatched up DonaldJTrump2024.com and are using the site to repeatedly call Trump a loser. They offered to give Trump the URL if he’ll concede and call himself a sad loser via Twitter.

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'LAUGHABLE CARTOON CHARACTER'

Comedians Bought DonaldJTrump2024.com Just so They Could Mock Him as the Loser He Is

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Donald J Trump 2024

Two comedians Jason Selvig and Davram Stiefler (aka “The Good Liars”) purchased DonaldJTrump2024.com and set it up to mock President Trump for refusing to concede the election, planning a 2024 re-run, and ripping off his followers.

The site, which looks almost identical to Trump’s actual website, DonaldJTrump.com, calls Trump a “loser” six times and has a fictional quote from Trump stating, “I lost the 2020 election.” It also has a banner that says “Click here to donate to a PAC that has nothing to do with my legal defense team.”

The banner refers to the fact that while Trump has been begging his supporters to donate to his so-called “Official Election Defense Fund” in hopes of overturning the election in the courts, the legal fine print on his money asks says that if anyone donates less than $8,000, the money won’t go to his legal fights at all but will instead go to the Republican National Committee or “Save America,” a Trump leadership PAC (political action committee), according to Reuters.

The comedians wrote to Trump in a November 24 tweet, “Hey @realDonaldTrump we’ll give you DonaldJTrump2024.com if you tweet ‘My name is Donald Trump and I lost the 2020 election by A LOT. I am a loser. SAD!”.

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