Skip to comments.Gay debate coming to WPB
Posted on 09/19/2009 9:20:26 AM PDT by Maelstorm
WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- Gay used to be a four letter word in America. It's become a more acceptable lifestyle, but it's by no means an easy path.
"Why would you choose something like that? That would put so much discrimination on you,?" says Nicole Leidesdorf, with Compass of Lake Worth.
Leidesdorf has helped many teens navigate the troubled road of being gay.
She's concerned about a group called NARTH, or the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. The group is holding a convention in West Palm Beach for therapists teaching homosexuality is not genetic, but a choice.
"I just think it's so harmful. I'm going to say this because we're both blonde," says Leidesdorf. "We're not going to a conference to say stop being blonde!"
Dr. Julie Harren Hamilton, the president of NARTH, says the group is not anti-homosexual or a pro-Christian organization looking to condemn the lifestyle.
Instead Dr. Hamilton says there are some who do not wish to be gay and they as therapists are there to help.
"There are some people who find themselves with homosexual attractions, yet don't want to be so, so those clients have the right to pursue treatment for that," says Hamilton.
Still, NARTH's mission has been skewed. Now a group called Soulforce out of Austin, Texas is holding a counter convention for what they're calling an anti-heterosexual conference.
For Dr. Hamilton that's disappointing because she feels the only discrimination going on here is against her group.
"Gay activists believe that it's important to promote that people are born gay and can't change. The problem is it's discriminatory not to offer treatment to clients who want to pursue change," she says.
NARTH's conference is at the West Palm Beach Marriot on November 20-22. Soulforce's convention is the same weekend at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Belvedere Road.
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