Hypocrisy: Conversion Therapist By Day, ‘Hotnhairy72’ On Manhunt At Night

Conversion therapy practitioner discovered looking for sex on gay dating apps
(Image via Truth Wins Out)

A notorious “ex-gay” therapist who takes money from unsuspecting patients promising to ‘cure’ them of being gay while secretly trolling for sex with men on dating apps has been outed.

From Truth Wins Out:

Norman Goldwasser, by day, is an Orthodox Jewish therapist at Horizon Psychological Services who compares homosexuality to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and misleads clients by claiming that their sexual orientation can be changed with his special brand of quack therapy, which is rejected by every respected medical and mental health association.

By night, an undercover investigation by Truth Wins Out has found, he solicits sexual partners on Manhunt, a gay dating App, using the profile “Hotnhairy72.”

During our operation, Goldwasser, going by the pseudonym “Dave”, offered to meet for sex with our operative, “Brandon,” at a Fort Lauderdale motel room. Goldwasser also had a profile on Bear Nation by the same name.

Clearly, the hypocrisy is stunning.

Studies have shown that so-called “ex-gay therapy” can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide.

Also known as “reparative” or “conversion therapy,” the practice has been debunked and denounced by nearly every major medical organization including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Currently 15 states – Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii, New Hampshire and Delaware – plus the District of Columbia – all have laws or regulations protecting youth from the harmful practice.

Additionally, local municipalities including cities and counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, New York, Arizona, and Wisconsin have also passed similar legislation.

In reporting the story for Truth Wins Out, Executive Director Wayne Besen writes that Goldwasser’s “double life of unconscionable lies highlights the rank hypocrisy and predatory nature of the fraudulent ‘ex-gay’ industry.”

Besen, the author of Anything Bust Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth, says his organization doesn’t condone outing others unless “there is overwhelming hypocrisy, exchange of commerce, and the threat of harm to LGBT youth.”

Clearly, the Goldwasser situation ticks all three boxes.

Goldwasser has long ties to the “conversion therapy” community going back to Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH), an “ex-gay therapy” organization which was ordered dissolved by a New Jersey Superior Court in 2015 for violating consumer fraud laws.

Besen told JoeMyGod that he had been communicating with Goldwasser in advance of the Truth Wins Out article, and Goldwasser apparently begged Besen to consider his children and grandchildren in regard to exposing him.

Besen shared a text message from Goldwasser which read, in part, “If you want to prove a point, then please do so without destroying my ability to support my family.”

“I reminded Goldwasser that he was asking for sympathy he never afforded his victims, some teenagers, as he coldly collected their money and ruined their lives,” Besen told JoeMyGod.

“I also told him that only caring about his own predicament without apologizing for the harm he caused other people was narcissistic — something he could, unlike homosexuality — fix by visiting a real therapist.”

This scandal comes to light as the new film Boy Erased opens in theaters this week.

The movie, starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, and Russell Crowe, focuses on the true-life experience of Gerrard Connelly whose parents sent him to “ex-gay camp” when they discovered his sexuality when he was a teen.

Connecticut Lawmakers Approve Ban On “Ex-Gay” Therapy

Connecticut is set to ban so-called “ex-gay” therapy after the state Senate unanimously approved legislation today. Having passed by an overwhelming margin last week in the state House, the bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

Via press release from Connecticut Equality:

The Connecticut Senate voted unanimously today to pass HB 6695, AAC The Protection of Youth from Conversion Therapy 36-0, with bipartisan support. Sponsored by Senator Beth Bye and Representative Jeff Currey, the bill has 100 co-sponsors and was approved in the House by an overwhelming margin last week.

“We are delighted with today’s vote, and grateful that the Senate, with strong support on both sides of the aisle, moved so quickly to protect Connecticut youth from the devastating consequences of so-called conversion therapy,” said Jennifer L. Levi, Transgender Rights Project Director for GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). “This legislation will make Connecticut a safer and more welcoming place for LGBTQ youth.”

State and national medical, mental health, and child welfare organizations all oppose the practice of conversion therapy, a practice which seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Extensive professional literature shows the practice to be both ineffective in changing sexual orientation or gender identity and harmful to youth. Young people who have been subjected to conversion therapy are at increased risk of depression, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, and illegal drug use.

Under the bill’s provisions, any licensed health professional who practices conversion therapy would be subject to discipline by the Department of Public Health up to and including the loss of their professional license.

Connecticut joins California, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont and Washington DC in banning the torturous practice.

White House Announces President Obama Will Support Banning “Ex-Gay” Therapy For Minors

In a response to a petition begun in the aftermath of 17 year-old transgender Leelah Alcorn’s suicide, the White House has announced tonight that President Obama supports efforts to ban the use of so-called “conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy” for minors. Leelah left behind a suicide note describing how her parents forced her into what has become known as “conversion” torture.

This sad incident brought national attention to the practice of “conversion” or “reparative” therapy, which can do intense damage to LGBT folks.

In a statement that was to be posted on Wednesday evening alongside a WhiteHouse.gov petition begun in honor of Ms. Alcorn, Mr. Obama condemned the psychiatric practice, sometimes called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy, which is supported by some socially conservative organizations and religious doctors. The petition has received more than 120,000 signatures in three months.

“We share your concern about its potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer youth,” the statement, written by Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to Mr. Obama, says, according to a copy obtained by The New York Times. “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.”

In an interview on Wednesday, Ms. Jarrett said Mr. Obama was moved by the story of Ms. Alcorn’s suicide. But she said the problem went far beyond her.

“It was tragic, but I will tell you, unfortunately she has a lot of company,” Ms. Jarrett said. “It’s not the story of one young person. It is the story of countless young people who have been subjected to this.”

Bolding is mine.

The article goes on to say that while President Obama isn’t prepared to call for a federal law against “ex-gay” therapy (although he’s open to the idea), he will support banning the practice at state levels as has been done in California, New Jersey and the District of Columbia.

Dallas Billboard Promotes “Ex-Gay” Therapy, Billboard Company Promises To Remove Ad

A Dallas billboard recently went up promoting the use of “ex-gay” or “reparative” therapy.

As many know today, these techniques are used to try and “convert” gays and lesbians from homosexual to straight. Organizations like the American Psychological Association consider the practices harmful and damaging.

From ThinkProgress:

ThinkProgress spoke with Terry Kafka, president of Impact Outdoor Advertising, the small Dallas billboard company that is hosting the ad. Kafka explained that they had been convinced the ad was for couples therapy, having never heard the term “reparative therapy” before.

He described the true content of the ad as “repulsive to me personally,” promising that the ad would be coming down by next week at the latest. “If we had known, we wouldn’t have put it up in the first place.”

The practitioner who placed the ad, David Pickup,  says his techniques are not meant to “suppress” homosexuality but “resolving issues that cause homosexuality.” He tells ThinkProgress that he believes no one is born gay but instead come about due to childhood “gender identity inferiority” and “unmet male emotional needs.”

The Texas Republican Party endorsed ex-gay therapy in its platform last year.

Truth Of The Day: Dan Savage

“Look at Marcus Bachmann, Michele Bachmann’s husband. Anybody who has gaydar—anybody who has eyes—looks at him and sees a tormented closet case who has externalized his internal conflict and is abusing other people, doing his reparative-therapy bullshit. It’s so sad and pathetic.

“A lot of the self-destructive behaviors gay people are prone to drifting into are directed inward, and then you have these shitbags like Marcus Bachmann for whom it’s all directed outward.

“Marcus Bachmann is the photo negative of the guy on the last bar stool in the gay bar, drinking and smoking himself to death, except instead of destroying himself, he’s destroying other vulnerable queer people in an effort to destroy the queer inside himself.”

Savage Love columnist Dan Savage speaking to Playboy

Former “Ex-Gay” Poster Boy Speaks Out Against Harmful Reparative Therapy

After years of being used as an “ex-gay” poster boy, Christian Schizzel has come out publicly against the techniques and practices used to try and change his sexuality.  Says Schizzel of the “ex-gay” movement, “I won’t be a weapon anymore.”

From Religion News Service:

In an exclusive interview with RNS, Christian tells about his experience with the Janet Boynes Ministries and The Bachmann & Associates counseling centers, the latter operation owned by U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann and husband Marcus Bachmann. Both entities were associated with the now closed Exodus International but are currently still in business. (No response yet for comment. Will update post if that changes.)

At nine years of age, Christian was sexually and physically abused by his step father — a missionary who used Bible verses to silence Christian into submission. He even used scripture during the acts itself to justify the abuse. Years later at the age of 18, after coming out to friends and family, Christian was encouraged to seek help at the ministry. It was there that they used this horrific experience to pinpoint the “cause” of Christian’s sexuality, although Christian said he knew about his sexuality before the abuse.

“Coming out publicly and sharing is important to me because my sexuality has been exploited my whole life by the Christian community both knowingly and un-knowingly.”

Christian ends the Q&A by saying he considers his sexuality a natural gift from God, and urges those who support reparative therapy to rethink it’s harmful and excruciatingly painful practice.

(h/t JMG)

Anderson Cooper calls out Texas GOP lawmaker on “ex-gay” therapy lies

I recently reported on the latest plank added to the Texas Republican Party platform endorsing “ex-gay” therapy for gays and lesbians who are “seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle.” The same therapy has been denounced and called harmful by the American Psychological Association.

Anderson Cooper spoke to Texas state Rep. Bryan Hughes about the party’s decision to endorse the therapy, and the fact that all major medical organizations denounce the practice. Hughes tries to introduce the “there are opinions on both sides” argument and Cooper stops him in his tracks:

“It’s really just not accurate to say that doctors are evenly divided. I could give you a list: the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselors’ Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers. They represent half a million mental health professionals, they all say this is not a mental disorder. It’s not something that needs to be cured….Does it concern you, again, that your party is now backing a form of therapy which basically every major medical organization says doesn’t work, can be harmful, and which many of the people who have been through it say it doesn’t work and is bad for kids?”

Hughes tried to soften his rhetoric a bit:

“No one is saying that God doesn’t love people as they are. There’s nothiing in the platform about that. No one is trying to take that position. Every one of us makes mistakes, makes decisions we’re not proud of. God loves each one of us, and he offers us a way for us to deal with sin and bad choices. But I do strongly disagree with what he said about God not loving people.”

Anderson pushed back again:

“The fact that you view being gay, or you characterize it as a ‘mistake,’ or something that should be changed really kind of maybe says more about your position than what your words actually say.”

You can watch the interview below. Good for Anderson for having facts at hand and calling out the lies by Hughes.

(via Towleroad)

Texas state Republican Party endorses “ex-gay” therapy

Over the weekend, the Texas Republican Party voted to endorse controversial “ex-gay” therapy as a plank to the state GOP’s platform.

More than 10,000 attendees voted to add the following language to the party platform:

‘We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.’

According to CNN Cathie Adams, president of the Texas Eagle Forum, championed the inclusion of conversion therapy.

‘Nothing is mandatory,’ Adams said to CNN. ‘If a person chooses counseling, then it should be made available. California and New Jersey have passed bills outlawing it altogether, which is under litigation. It’s a freedom issue.’

The American Psychological Association has stated that “ex-gay” therapy, also known as “reparative therapy” is ‘unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm.’

(via Gay Star News)

More Scott Lively on Uganda: Gays should get reparative therapy or go to jail

In an interview with SiriusXM host Michelangelo Signorile, anti-gay crusader Scott Lively explains that his goal in advising Uganda on their recent Anti-Homosexuality Act was to have the government offer reparative or “ex-gay” therapy instead of punitive sanctions.

When asked what should happen if gays and lesbians in Uganda didn’t WANT such therapy (which has been shown to be very damaging to patients to the point of becoming torture), Lively says those people would have to “take whatever the other alternative is, which was probably going to jail.”

Listen below: