In Trenton, NJ today, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s ruling and New Jersey’s ban on gay-to-straight conversion therapy for minors.
The law prevents a licensed therapist, psychologist, social worker or counselor from using sexual orientation change efforts on children younger than 18.
According to the three-judge panel, the law does not violate freedom of speech or religion and the state has substantial interest in regulating the speech of professionals dealing with mental health to protect the public.
Days after Governor Chris Christie signed the ban into law, opponents filed suit. They claimed the law violated their responsibility to their clients who wanted the treatment (you know, the minors that were unable to consent and typically forced into therapy by their parents).
Supporters, on the other hand, cited scientific reports by the American Psychological Association and other professional organizations that question the efficacy of the treatment and criticize the practice as emotionally demoralizing and damaging.
“And Tango Makes Three” is a children’s book based on the adorable true story of two chinstrap penguins named Roy and Silo who live in the Central Park Zoo. Roy and Silo are both male penguins, and they adopted and raised a chick named Tango. The story is touching and the book helps parents teach children about same-sex couples.
My personal favorite is the final line of the book:
And like all the other penguins in the penguin house, and all the other animals in the zoo, and all the families in the big city around them, they went to sleep.
Adorable, right? Well, not according to the American Library Association. The book once again topped the list of most frequently challenged books. (It was also number one in 2007, 2008, and 2009.) According to the American Library Association:
A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness.
How tragic is it that this book that helps children to understand a topic most parents do not know how to even approach is being attacked and taken off of shelves for being controversial? When are we going to start teaching our kids about inclusion? Why not tell kids about different people? We need to tell our children that is is okay to be gay. Because, if we don’t…we could lose them before they learn that it gets better…
Keep that in mind.
A Harps store in Arkansas placed this shield over the US Weekly cover of Elton John, his partner, and their newly adopted son.
This makes Harps look terrible! Thankfully, after Internet outrage spread, Harps has removed the shields.
Heaven forbid we subject out children to alternative viewpoints…