Monday, December 3, 2018

#2112: David Pickup

Conversion therapy is, as we’ve had the opportunity to emphasize numerous times before, dangerous pseudoscience. It is nevertheless of course forcefully championed by various anti-gay groups. David Pickup is currently one of the most vocal defenders – and practitioners – of conversion therapy. According to himself, he is “a poster child for the emotional and sexual abuse that leads to homosexuality,” with “extensive expertise in reparative therapy”, as well as a board member of NARTH and close associate of groups like Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays and Christopher Doyle’s NTFTE (which he co-founded). He is also a signatory to the “Dear Legislator 2018” letter urging lawmakers to oppose efforts to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy. As he tells his own story, Pickup used to be gay, but rid himself of his same-sex attractions after undergoing conversion therapy.

Pickup, who falsely claims that “there is no proof of harm” when it comes to conversion therapy on minors, has made numerous media appearances for instance opposing bills that would protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy. He was also involved in the film “Voices of the Silenced,” which compares those who advocate “ex-gay” therapy and their allies in other fields to enslaved Jewish people in the first century.

Diagnosis: Yes, he’s evil and dumb. But his actions have caused and do cause real harm to real people, and no matter how weary about this kind of trite nonsense we may be, we really shouldn’t forget that.

Hat-tip: Mediamatters

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