GOOD

US Supreme Court Just Made A Crucial Decision On LGBTQ Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court is helping end a very dangerous practice

It appears the United States government is finally doing right by its citizens. On Monday, The U.S. Supreme Court left intact California's 2012 law banning "gay conversion" therapy.

The measure, which will remain in place, bans licensed doctors, psychologists, family therapists, and social workers from administering any therapy that attempts to change a person's sexual orientation or identity.


The ban was challenged by three people, according to Bloomberg, led by licensed therapist and minister Donald Welch, a man who says he successfully underwent conversion therapy. Welch challenged the ban saying it interferes with therapist’s rights to practice their religious beliefs.

Gay conversion therapy methods, Reuters reported, can range across the extremes, from counseling and hypnosis to electric shocks in response to same-sex erotic images.

Such treatments stem from a belief that homosexuality is a mental illness, a view that has been discredited for decades, the state said in court papers.

However, this will not be the last you hear about conversion therapy in the coming months. On April 25, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017 to ban the practice nationwide.

“There’s no medical condition known as being gay,” Lieu told The Washington Post. “LGBTQ people were born perfect; there is nothing to treat them for. And by calling this what it should be, which is fraud, it would effectively shut down most of the organizations.”

Conversion therapy can be extremely harmful—both physically and mentally—to children.

As a 2009 San Francisco State University study found, being valued by family is paramount to childhood well-being. The researchers found that gay and transgender youth who were rejected by their families are more than than eight times as likely to have attempted suicide, nearly six times as likely to report high levels of depression, three times as likely to use illegal drugs, and more than three times as likely to be at high risk for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.

“Conversion therapy causes serious harm,” Shannon Minter, legal director for The National Center for Lesbian Rights, told HuffPost. “In the short-term, queer youth who go through conversion therapy are being cheated of the opportunity to gain self-confidence and self-esteem, to get support from family members and other adults, and to have normal adolescent developmental experiences around friendship, dating, and other social experiences.”

Articles
AFP News Agency / Twitter

A study out of Belgium found that smart people are much less likely to be bigoted. The same study also found that people who are bigoted are more likely to overestimate their own intelligence.

A horrifying story out of Germany is a perfect example of this truth on full display: an anti-Semite was so dumb the was unable to open a door at the temple he tried to attack.

On Wednesday, October 9, congregants gathered at a synagogue in Humboldtstrasse, Germany for a Yom Kippur service, and an anti-Semite armed with explosives and carrying a rifle attempted to barge in through the door.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
via Andi-Graf / Pixabay

The old saying goes something like, "Possessions don't make you happy." A more dire version is, "What you own, ends up owning you."

Are these old adages true or just the empty words of ancient party-poopers challenging you not to buy an iPhone 11? According to a new study of 968 young adults by the University of Arizona, being materialistic only brings us misery.

The study examined how engaging in pro-environmental behaviors affects the well-being of millenials. The study found two ways in which they modify their behaviors to help the environment: they either reduce what they consume or purchase green items.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

One of the biggest obstacles to getting assault weapons banned in the United States is the amount of money they generate.

There were around 10 million guns manufactured in the U.S. in 2016 of which around 2 million were semiautomatic, assault-style weapons. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry's trade association, the U.S. industry's total economic impact in 2016 alone was $51 billion.

In 2016, the NRA gave over $50 million to buy support from lawmakers. When one considers the tens of millions of dollars spent on commerce and corruption, it's no wonder gun control advocates have an uphill battle.

That, of course, assumes that money can control just about anyone in the equation. However, there are a few brave souls who actually value human life over profit.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Reddit and NASA / Wikimedia Commons

Trees give us a unique glimpse into our past. An examination of tree rings can show us what the climate was like in a given year. Was it a wet winter? Were there hurricanes in the summer? Did a forest fire ravage the area?

An ancient tree in New Zealand is the first to provide evidence of the near reversal of the Earth's magnetic field over 41,000 years ago.

Over the past 83 million years there have been 183 magnetic pole reversals, a process that takes about 7,000 years to complete.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Pixabay

The final episode of "The Sopranos" made a lot of people angry because it ends with mob boss Tony Soprano and his family eating at an ice cream parlor while "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey plays in the background … and then, suddenly, the screen turns black.

Some thought the ending was a dirty trick, while others saw it as a stroke of brilliance. A popular theory is that Tony gets shot, but doesn't know it because, as his brother-in-law Bobby Baccala said, "You probably don't even hear it when it happens, right?"

So the show gives us all an idea of what it's like to die. We're here and then we're not.

Keep Reading Show less
Health