When I was eight years old, I was sexually abused every week for an entire year. This created a lot of sexual confusion for me. When I became a teenager, I struggled with unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA) as a result of that abuse.
At the age of twelve, my father took me to see our church pastor after he discovered I was experimenting sexually with some classmates. While my pastor was a good and decent man, he did not have the necessary skills to help me open up about my struggle with SSA. I left that meeting with a tremendous amount of shame and guilt, and vowed never to discuss my sexuality with another adult. After that counseling session, I didn't seek help again until I was in my early 20s.
Ten years passed. Ten years of sexual confusion. Ten years of sexual addiction. Ten years of unwanted homosexual feelings, desires, and behavior. Ten years of pre-marital sex. Ten years of compulsive pornography use. Ten years of smoking, drinking, and experimental drug use. Ten years of rejection from other guys. Ten years of bullying because of my perceived sexual orientation. Ten years of anger. Ten years of tears. Ten years of heartache. Ten years of pain.
If I had a competent, knowledgeable counselor to help me work through the sexual abuse, I might have avoided those ten years of pain and confusion! But in spite of those negative experiences, I healed from that abuse and resolved my unwanted SSA. I am married to a beautiful woman who is understanding and supportive, and together, we have two wonderful children (and one on the way)! Today, I am a professional counselor that helps young men struggling with their own sexuality.
Every week, I get calls from mothers and fathers who are concerned about their teenagers' homosexual feelings. I have worked with many of these teens in therapy (as young as 13) to help them understand and resolve their unwanted SSA. My hope is for these young people to work through their issues now so they don't have to deal with the pain and heartache when they are older, like I had to do.
However, as you read this, anti-ex-gay activists are trying to convince state and federal lawmakers to make it illegal for licensed mental health practitioners to help young people overcome unwanted homosexual feelings. Currently, two federal lawsuits are on the dockets in the state of California from clients and counselors whose rights have been taken away by SB1172, the bill in California signed into law by Governor Brown that has outlawed sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) for minors.
Additionally, a resolution has been introduced in the United States Congress to ban SOCE for minors, and two additional bills have been introduced in state legislatures (New Jersey and Pennsylvania) that are similar to the California legislation. The anti-ex-gay activist's plan is introduce similar legislation in every state for minors. After they succeed, they will attempt to outlaw SOCE for everyone, adults included.
If you are a ministry leader or a part of a faith-based organization that counsels men and women with unwanted SSA, do not think for one second that you will escape this persecution! Anti-ex-gay activists will not rest until all of our rights are taken away to give and receive counseling, and teenagers are left to deal with the pain and sexual confusion by themselves, much like I had to do in my youth.
To battle this injustice, I have initiated an online petition to deliver to U.S. Congress, New Jersey Assembly, and the Pennsylvania Legislature, asking them to oppose any legislation or resolution that would infringe upon our constitutional rights of self-determination.
Please click the web link below and sign the petition, share it on your Facebook page, e-mail your friends, and include a blurb of the petition on your ministry or church website so others may sign too. Don't procrastinate or think your voice doesn't matter! Together, we can reach tens of thousands of concerned citizens and send a clear message to Washington DC, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the anti-ex-gay activists, that we are united and ready to fight to protect our rights and our children!
To support the human right of self-determination for individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction to receive counseling and psychological treatment, click here and/or visit: http://www.comingoutloved.com/sign-the-petition
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