Despite the recent successes for gay and lesbian rights 2016 promises to be one of the most difficult years that the LGBT community as a whole has ever faced. Groups opposing equality are mobilizing. Exploiting the deep-seated confusion about who trans people are and the animosity towards us, these opponents have developed a simple, scalable, and easily replicated strategy.
They wish to capitalize on the anger of opponents of LGBT rights who feel defeated following last year’s Supreme Court ruling making marriage equality the law across the country. The model from which to push their agenda could be seen in full display in the effort that defeated a nondiscrimination ordinance in Houston, Texas.
Matthew 8:23-27 (ESV) And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
A leading American Jewish group promoting therapy it said could turn gays to heterosexuals was ordered shut in December by a New Jersey court, amid growing efforts in the U.S. to curb the generally discredited practice. But therapists with ties to the shuttered group say they have found a haven for their work in Israel. Israel’s Health Ministry advises against so-called “gay conversion” or “reparative” therapy, calling it scientifically dubious and potentially dangerous, but no law limits it. In Israel, practitioners say their services are in demand, mostly by Orthodox Jewish men trying to reduce their same-sex attractions so they can marry women and raise a traditional family according to their conservative religious values.
Clients also include Jewish teenagers from the U.S. and other countries who attend post-high school study programs at Orthodox seminaries in Israel. Half of all such students attend seminaries that require youth who admit to having homosexual feelings to see reparative therapy practitioners, according to the Yeshiva Inclusion Project, a group that counsels gay prospective students. Proponents in Israel say therapy does not “convert” clients, but boosts self-esteem and masculinity, which they say can reduce homosexuality. In Israel, therapists say there is greater acceptance of their work than in the U.S.
“Previously, I wanted everything to go my way, but seeing that
nothing was done as I wanted, I began to wish that everything be done as
it is done; so it was that everything started to be done as I wanted.”