Conversion Therapy Event At BYU-Idaho Canceled.

I am not elated that the Mormon Church seems to be spiraling downward recently, but someone needs to get their act together both at their churches and their schools / universities.

Here an article from The Daily Beast informs us of another example of how the church is quickly pushing itself away from sanity.

You’d be hard pressed to find a venture drenched in more snake oil than conversion therapy. Attempts to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity are opposed by virtually every leading medical association and are illegal in four states.

So why was a congregation at a Mormon-owned university planning an event promising that “people can and do overcome same-gender attraction” and encouraging attendees to “bring [their] friends” along?

On Sunday night, a flyer surfaced on Reddit for an event planned for Nov. 22 at Brigham Young University-Idaho (BYU-I), which is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). The original poster noted that his friend had received the flyer in a sacrament meeting program, a leaflet distributed to Mormon congregants before weekly worship services.

“Confused about the confusion about same-gender attraction?” the header said. Same-gender attraction is a popular Mormon euphemism for homosexuality.

“People can and do overcome same-gender attraction and enjoy rich, full lives with marriage partners of the opposite-sex without regrets,” the flyer went on to promise.

The advertised event was supposed to be “an evening of discussion with a professional counselor who has helped many overcome same-gender attraction.”

Michael D. Williams, the Rexburg, Idaho-based counselor in question, told The Daily Beast “that I do not act on behalf of the [LDS Church], but as a member of the congregation who has taken a good look at much of the research regarding same-sex attraction [SSA], and who has assisted a number of young adults—male and female—to overcome unwanted SSA both here and in California.”

Williams did not immediately respond to further questions about the event, nor did he provide evidence of the supposed efficacy of his treatments. But a few hours later, he emailed to say, “Due to negative publicity the presentation has been called off.”

“I regret that the fears of some who’ve experienced repression and bigotry have resulted in others not being allowed to learn alternative viewpoints and options,” he said.

No media outlets had reported on the event at the time of cancelation but The Daily Beast had made press inquiries to BYU-I and the Mormon Church. A BYU-I spokesperson later told The Daily Beast that the event was planned and subsequently canceled by a local student congregation, not the university itself.

BYU-Idaho provided the following statement to The Daily Beast: “While this event was originally planned to use a campus classroom, it was not initiated by BYU-Idaho. For the Church’s position regarding this subject, visit mormonsandgays.org.”  – thedailybeast.com

It kind of makes you wonder what they are actually teaching these kids.  Apparently, this was not a school sponsored event, but it was to occur on school grounds.  It was supposedly only canceled after it received some bad press?  How about checking what the students want to have the hall for in the first place? 

We're happy the event was canceled, but who's to say it won't be on for next week.  It's time President Obama to ban conversion therapy nationwide.

To learn more about this canceled event and William's views, head on over to thedailybeast.com.

Here is the flier that was circulated.

3 thoughts on “Conversion Therapy Event At BYU-Idaho Canceled.”

  1. Conversion therapy (also

    Conversion therapy (also called reparative therapy) is any treatment that aims to change sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Such treatments have been criticized as pseudoscience[1][2][3][4] and have been a source of controversy in the United States and other countries.[5] Medical, scientific, and government organizations in the United States and Britain have expressed concern over conversion therapy and consider it potentially harmful.[6][7][8][9][10][11] United States Surgeon General David Satcher in 2001 issued a report stating that "there is no valid scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed".[12]

  2. I’m a student here at BYU-I,

    I'm a student here at BYU-I, and I have taken a class from the teacher who was going to be doing this fireside (workshop). I don't understand why everyone is making such a big deal out of this. No one was going to force anyone else to go, it was a totally optional thing. Also, you said "It's time [for] President Obama to ban conversion therapy nationwide." Why? Why on earth should conversion or reparative therapy be banned? If a person is not happy with the way they feel, in almost any area of their life, they are encouraged to go to counseling. Whether it's depression, anxiety, PTSD, or even problems in marriage, counseling is one of the options to consider. If someone has homosexual feelings and they don't want them, they have every right to seek out options for trying to get rid of those feelings, just as someone with depression does. You might make the argument that someone was simply born with homosexual feelings. Well, everyone is born either a boy or a girl, but I don't see you sayign that transgender people (who are changing something they were born with) are wrong or that hormone therapies, etc. should be banned. 

    • How about because it’s sooooo

      How about because it's sooooo damaging? I know whereas I speak, I'm one of a ton of people who have experienced this self deception. I've seen lives ruined by the continual hope that they could change who they are fundamentally as a person. This sends the horrible message that God made a mistake and they are wonderfully and fearfully made by the same loving creator as everyone else. Instead, it is internalized by participants in such a program that they are loathsome dirty creatures in God's sight. And the self-denial and self-loathing from such an internalization leads to all sorts of bad outcomes, including the ultimate, suicide. What's the big deal? Seriously? I'm so sorry that you lack the perspective of age to see so many lives affected by this travesty. I was in a similar place as you 30 years ago and I wouldn't go back for any amount of money in the world. Free at last!

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