Thanks for joining us again. We know this is a very difficult, and very controversial subject to discuss, and that people have very specific views about what they believe is right or wrong. We also know that often the most important subjects are the ones that are hardest to talk about. So we are taking a look at the issue of conversion therapy, and discussing what experts have to say about whether or not it constitutes child abuse.
The place we left off last week was with the subject of choice. Because teens are minors in the eyes of the law, it is their parents who decide for them, based on what they believe is best for their children. But what happens when what the parents believe conflicts directly with what the child believes? Who is right? Should parents be free to do as they see fit for their children? Should minors be free to decide what is best for them? Or should the state be free to govern what parents may do in deciding their children’s future?
This is a very difficult question to answer, because the answer is different for different people. For those who believe that homosexuality and gender identity issues are unacceptable, then the answer will obviously be that they should be free to decide what is right for their children. This often includes conversion therapy, which is frequently administered through a church or faith based organization.
However, for children who are wrestling with gender identity or who identify as gay, they would may tell you that they want to be free to be themselves and not be pressured to conform to someone else’s idea of who they should be. But who is correct? Should the decision be made by minors, or by their parents?
The difficulty in answering that question is that there isn’t a clear right or wrong. Most people will seek out the answer that already aligns with what they believe is correct. The World Health Organization, the American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association have all made statements to the effect that conversion therapy is dangerous for a child’s well being and should be considered to be abusive. That however, is one side of the story.
As Brother’s Road explains on their website, “The idea that these efforts are always ineffective or dangerous comes from the philosophical position statements, or official beliefs or opinions, adopted by at least 13 large, left-leaning U.S. professional counseling associations. These position statements are opinion, not science. In many respects, they are not unlike a political party’s official platform. Yet countless media, bloggers, gay activists and others constantly point to them as if these statements represented ‘settled science.’ They don’t.”
So if there isn’t a clear answer regarding whether or not conversion therapy is right or wrong, what should a parent do when faced with this decision? Join us next time, when we will be looking at what the law has to say about what constitutes child abuse, and specifically how the issue is dealt with under Michigan law.
Until then, if you have been accused of abusing a child, please contact us immediately and talk to one of our experienced child abuse and neglect defense attorneys. We can be reached around the clock at 800-576-6035 in case your situation is an emergency, or you need help immediately. Don’t wait. Child abuse allegations are taken very seriously by police and prosecutors.