California Right to Ban 'Gay Cure' for Kids

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation which bans those under 18 from receiving "gay therapy."

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In this Nov. 5, 2008 file photo, California Attorney General Jerry Brown gestures during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. As former Gov. Jerry Brown eyes another bid for California's top job, his political opponents want voters to know one thing: Brown's old. History. A lava lamp candidate in the age of Twitter.

Like most sensible people, I am opposed to letter bombs, which—aside from being against the law—are destructive and even deadly.

I am, however, hoping for the development of a letter slap. It would be perfect for those occasions where you don't want to actually hurt someone, but might want to jar them enough to reconsider how stupid or insensitive they are being. The recipient would open the envelope, a hand would come out, and slap! Message sent.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 campaign.]

Every day, I identify a potential target. These days, those targets are frequently people who go after the spouses of presidential candidates—whether it's a U.S. congressman making fun of Michelle Obama's posterior (particularly odd, since the lawmaker in question is quite portly, and the athletic Mrs. Obama is sleek as a gazelle) or whether it's the current crop of TV political analysts ribbing Ann Romney for saying she was worried about Mitt Romney's mental state if he were to be elected president. Is it really not clear that she was just a woman concerned about what the stress of the presidency could do to the man she married? Apparently not—there are political talking heads who actually delved into the question of whether Mrs. Romney knows some deep, dark secret about her husband's mental health and fitness. Slap!

But the winner this week surely must be those challenging a California law that bans so-called "cures" for homosexuality. Yes, it is the 21st century, and people still think sexuality is something a person can choose (as if someone would choose to be in group of people targeted for harassment, discrimination, and violence). Something called the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, along with another group called the Pacific Justice Institute, said they will file lawsuits blocking the measure. California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed the legislation, which bans such "therapies" for people under 18. Such measures, Brown said, should be relegated to the "dustbin of quackery."

[See a collection of political cartoons on gay marriage.]

Opponents of the law insist it infringes on parental rights. The right to do what—to hate your children so much for who they are that you force them to endure absurd therapies to change them? Can't these parents be satisfied with needling their kids every Thanksgiving about going to business school instead of art school?

When it comes to sexual orientation, people can't change who they are. But the ignorant parents could change with a little book therapy. Or maybe just a very special letter.

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