NH citizens weigh in on gay conversion therapy – 257 citizens, 908 responses

May 18, 2015

Gay conversion therapy is aimed at changing sexual orientation by treating it as a mental disorder or problem with spiritual wellness. Following opposition by the American Psychiatric Association, several states have passed legislation banning the practice for those under the age of 18. In response to this issue, on May 18, the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) asked over 62,000 Facebook members to weigh in on the question, “Should New Hampshire ban gay conversion therapy for minors?”

A total of 73% of respondents answered the question either directly or with a concurrence, and of these a 58% majority supported a ban with 42% against. Of the remaining respondents, 20% opted to discuss the subject in broader terms and 7% commented on unrelated issues. In sum, 257 citizens participated in this discussion with a total of 908 responses.

Those in favor of a ban argued that “conversion therapy is child abuse,” listing ways in which the practice has been deemed harmful to youth. “It is an unethical practice that isn't sanctioned by the American Counselors Association,” one respondent added. “It’s harmful to the mental development of children,” another said. 

Opponents of a ban countered that gay conversion therapy should remain a parental prerogative. “Decisions like this should be made by the family, and the State should butt out,” one NH state representative wrote. “Less government is better government....almost always and especially in matters surrounding sexuality,” another poster commented. “Give it no state sanction but do not ban it either,” a third suggested. 

Those who opted not to give a yes or no response, instead addressing the question in broader terms, discussed wider issues related to human sexuality, religion, and the role of government. “Everyone deserves to love and be loved,” one commenter wrote. “So if I was born gay, didn't want to be, and got help for it, that's bad?” another respondent challenged. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

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