Since news broke of the death of Robin Williams, a gallery of usual suspects couldn’t help themselves from saying deafeningly stupid things about the comedian’s suicide. For instance, Rush Limbaugh—the legendary conservative radio host who thought the latest Batman movie was part of an anti-Mitt Romney conspiracy—used Williams’s passing as a springboard for ranting about how liberals are unhappy fools.
That was bad. This is worse.
On Monday, Peter Sprigg, a senior fellow at the anti-LGBT Christian group the Family Research Council, blogged that Williams’s mental health issues, as well as his struggles with alcohol and drugs, conclusively prove that gay conversion therapy is a good thing.
If that syllogism doesn’t seem to follow, allow Sprigg to explain:
In the wake of Williams’ suicide, many TV commentators and friends of the late star talked about the challenges of mental illness (Williams suffered from depression), addictions — and rehab…In light of this history, I have only one question for socially liberal political activists — why aren’t you trying to outlaw rehab?
I ask the question because such activists are trying to ban a form of mental health treatment — not drug and alcohol rehabilitation, but “sexual orientation change efforts” (“SOCE”), also known as “sexual reorientation therapy.” Such therapy involves assisting people with unwanted same-sex attractions to overcome them…Whatever the motivation, there are those who have simply made a choice to walk away from the homosexual lifestyle, without clinical help — much like how Robin Williams simply stopped using drugs and alcohol in the 1980’s. Others have sought professional help, perhaps at the urging of family members, in the form of “sexual reorientation therapy” — much like when Williams entered a formal alcohol rehab program in 2006.
This argument makes about as much sense as saying that the recent death of actress Lauren Bacall means you should buy a Prius.
But to be serious for a moment, gay conversion therapy (also known as reparative therapy) is a disgusting practice—one often inflicted on children—that can itself cause severe depression and suicidal thoughts in its victims. The pseudoscientific therapy can involve administering vomit-inducing drugs and electro-shock treatment aimed at somehow obliterating non-heterosexual impulse and desire.
If you need more convincing that Sprigg’s argument isn’t worth entertaining, Sprigg also wants to straight-up outlaw gay sex. If Sprigg had his way, the United States government would expel homosexuals from our borders.
Anyway, to make yourself feel better, click here to read about how Robin Williams, in far more hostile times than today, became an American LGBT hero.