Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

Sheldon Helms talk in San Francisco

Sheldon HelmsSheldon Helms, a BAS Board Member, was featured at a gathering of the Atheist Alliance of San Francisco. The presentation title:
Gay Conversion Therapy: You Make Me Sick.

As our country deals the issues of Marriage Equality, gays in the military, and other forms of inclusion of gays and lesbians into mainstream society, and as Russia and others institute draconian laws limiting the rights of their gay and lesbian citizens, fringe religious and therapeutic organizations have operated mostly in the shadows, attempting to “convert” their homosexual clients to heterosexuality through a mixture of prayer and pseudoscience.

Helms describes the history of attempts to define homosexuality as an illness and to make gays go straight. He details such aspects as: the goals and viewpoints of those involved in Gay Conversion Therapy; their pseudoscientific and sometimes dangerous practices; and a description of the results of over 100 years of attempts to alter sexual orientation.

Some forms of Gay Conversion Therapy have been outlawed in California and New Jersey, and one of the primary institutions that promoted it has announced its closure, but what are the real stories behind these announcements, and do they go far enough?

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