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16 Awful Things Done in the Name of Conversion Therapy

Updated 23 Apr 2019 85.5k views16 items

So called "gay conversion therapy," whereby people who have come out or are thought to be gay are subjected to therapy to get them to renounce their feelings, has always been extremely controversial. But a 2015 speech by President Obama calling for it to be banned brought it into the mainstream - and lifted the lid off a process that's dehumanizing, dangerous, and ineffective.

Since the late 1800s, medical and psychological ways to "cure" homosexuality have been sought out, with everything from aversion therapy to surgery tried. It's also been embraced by evangelical Protestants and Baptists, who often send their children to camps and unlicensed Christian therapists in order to rid them of homosexual feelings.

But none of these techniques have ever been proven to work, and many of the teens who've been coerced into undergoing them have struggled with depression and self-harm. A number of gay conversion proponents have later themselves been caught up in gay scandals, and more states are banning it in children.

Here are some of the worst abuses of the gay conversion movement, from quack psychiatry to beatings to rank hypocrisy.

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