Central PA's LGBT News Source

Battle against conversion therapy continues


Conversion therapy is a hot button issue locally and around the nation.

Harrisburg City Council, under the leadership of Councilman Ben Allatt, himself a past participant in conversion therapy, first successfully had council pass a resolution against the scientifically discredited intervention. Next, Allatt tells The Central Voice, council will prepare a measure to reinforce the resolution with potential consequences for its practice within Harrisburg city limits.

Below is a entry to The New York Review of Books - Daily on Philadelphia’s Frank Kameny, a pioneer in LGBT civil rights.

On Jan. 10 “The Long War Against a Gay ‘Cure’,” was posted. It was the fourth piece by James Kirchick, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, a correspondent for The Daily Beast, columnist for Tablet magazine, and former writer and editor at The New Republic.

Kirchick's essay was inspired in part by a white paper recently drawn up by a D.C. law firm for the Mattachine Society of Washington, a gay rights advocacy group co-founded in 1961 by Franklin Kameny. The purpose of the legal brief is to expose so-called gay conversion therapy as a “pernicious fraud,” and Kirchick’s piece shows how this new initiative, which is winning congressional backers, draws upon Kameny’s successful battle to persuade the medical establishment to stop treating homosexuality as a disease.

“I was lucky enough to get to know Frank before he died,” Kirchick said. “I even attended the ceremony at the Office of Personnel Management where the US government formally apologized to him—over fifty years after firing him.” Kameny’s story forms part of the book Kirchick is currently working on - “a history of gay Washington, from World War II to the turn of the century, a time when homosexuality was illegal and a barrier to government service. It will be a book about sex, power, and secrets—secrets that had the ability to extort, blackmail, ruin careers, and cut lives tragically short.”