Friday, February 20, 2009

“Pray Away the Gay” “Groups that proclaim to ‘cure’ gay people of their sexual orientation lack any legitimate medical backing, cause harm ..."

Posted February 20th, 2009

Friday, Feb. 20, 2009

Contact: Wayne Besen
Phone: 917-691-5118

New Landmark Publication By Truth Wins Out and Lambda Legal Offers Legal Options To Those Hurt By Ex-Gay Programs

If You Have Been Harmed By ‘Ex-Gay’ Programs, ‘Ex-Gay & The Law’ Is For You

CHARLOTTE – Truth Wins Out and Lambda Legal released a landmark publication today, “Ex-Gay & The Law“, that aims to educate victims of “ex-gay” programs of their legal options. This work was inspired by the many people who have had their lives damaged by programs that seek to “pray away the gay” or use questionable counseling techniques.

“Ex-Gay & the Law helps survivors of ex-gay programs explore their legal rights if they believe they have been harmed,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. “This groundbreaking publication offers practical legal advice so important questions can be answered.”

“We are pleased to help support this publication and to be a part of this effort,” said Hayley Gorenberg, Deputy Legal Director of Lambda Legal. “Groups that proclaim to ‘cure’ gay people of their sexual orientation lack any legitimate medical backing, cause harm, and sometimes operate unlawfully and unethically. If you have experienced any of the scenarios outlined in the last pages of ‘Ex-Gay & the Law‘, we welcome you to contact or Legal Help Desk.”

Each year, thousands of men and women enter “ex-gay” programs. Adolescents are even forced into these boot camps by their parents. While their stories differ, nearly all of these individuals have one thing in common: They are harmed by the traumatizing experience.

The American Psychiatric Association says, “The potential risks of ‘reparative therapy’ are great, including depression, anxiety and self destructive behavior.”

To read more:

‘Ex-Gay & The Law’ Released by Truth Wins Out and Lambda Legal

The pdf can be downloaded at


If you or someone you know has been harmed by so-called “ex-gay” programs (information on your legal rights, from Lambda Legal):

Lambda Legal has been working for decades to expand and enforce the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. We know firsthand that pursing action through the courts can succeed against anti-LGBT discrimination and protect and empower our communities.

Anyone who may have been harmed by any sort of counselor or therapist should contact Lambda Legal or a local lawyer as soon as possible. All states have a “statute of limitations” which limits the length of time for filing a lawsuit. These periods vary greatly, and may have exceptions if the patient is a minor. To best protect your legal rights, it is very important to consult an attorney sooner rather than later.

Whether or not someone can take legal action against an “ex-gay” counselor or facility will depend on factors including the law of the state where you met with the practitioner and the specific facts.

There are many reasons “ex-gay” programs or practitioners may be liable for harm.

*If representatives of an “ex-gay” program make false claims, they may have committed fraud, breach of contract, or violated state laws against unfair business practices.

*If a practitioner does not adequately describe the potential harms of an “ex-gay” program, he or she may be liable for violating the duty to get consent from a person seeking care.

*If a practitioner is not qualified to provide therapy for a specific mental health condition and fails to refer to a qualified doctor or psychologist, he or she may be liable for negligence or violating rules governing professional licenses.

*If a counselor threatens to “out” you to your community if you decide you do not want to continue therapy, he or she may be liable under state law.

*If a practitioner tells third parties about details of your life or your same-sex attractions, that could violate your right to privacy.

It is impossible to list all of the factors that might be important in evaluating whether or not someone harmed by an “ex- gay” program or practitioner may be able to sue in court or take other legal actions, so it is important to consult an attorney. Minors as well as adults have legal rights, including the right to consult with an attorney.

If you think you have been harmed by an “ex- gay” program or any other form of anti-lgbt discrimination, please call one of Lambda Legal’s regional help desk.

toll-free: 866-542-8336.
national headquarters: 212-809-8585

Western Regional Office
for Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming

Midwest Regional Office
for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin

Southern Regional Office
for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia

South Central Office
for Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas

To read more:

Therapies Focused on Attempts to Change Sexual Orientation
(Reparative or Conversion Therapies) POSITION STATEMENT

aversion therapy

conversion therapy



Lambda Legal

Love Won Out

Pray Away the Gay


Truth Wins Out

Wayne Besen

Other related documentations:

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