A bill before congress to protect “pedophilia” as a sexual orientation?

[dropcap]P[/dropcap]lease file this under “More Reasons to be Careful of Internet ‘Reporting’.”

A few internet articles empowered by social media last week proclaimed California Democrat Jackie Speier

wants to federalize a state law to prohibit counseling to change a person’s sexual orientation.

Under the bill’s language, a mental health counselor could be sanctioned if there was an attempt to get a gay individual to change his or her behavior or speak negatively about their behavior as it relates to sexuality.

[pullquote]If you search for “Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) stated that all alternative sexual lifestyles should be protected under the law,” you get numerous identical returns.[/pullquote]The bill calls on states to prohibit efforts to change a minor’s sexual orientation, even if the minor requests it, saying that doing so is “dangerous and harmful.”

When I first saw the report on Rethink Society several thoughts came to mind.

First was the almost complete lack of citation. The Google cache version of the pre-corrected post notes a “quote” from Alcee Hastings (D-FL) with no reference:

Republicans attempted to add an amendment specifying that, “pedophilia is not covered as an orientation.” However, the Democrats defeated the amendment. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) stated that all alternative sexual lifestyles should be protected under the law, and accordingly decided that pedophilia is a sexual orientation that should be equally as embraced as homosexuality.

Was this at a news conference? Was this an interview on Meet the Press? The reader is not told. Neither is the reader told anything at all about

Jackie Speier bill protects pedophiles.

How I feel when I see another bad “news” story going viral.

Lisa A., author of the article.

If you search for “Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) stated that all alternative sexual lifestyles should be protected under the law,” you get numerous identical returns. (Click to see screenshot.) This happens when a single post is copied in its entirety with attribution or “scraped” and uploaded to another site.

Further, the use of the present tense “wants” in reference to Speier gave the impression protected pedophilia is at the door. This is simply not the case.

Last week I checked the House clerk website where the status of all bills is recorded. I found no bill introduced or co-sponsored by Speier in this congressional session that had anything to do with sexual orientation.

I called Representative Speier’s office and asked whether she had sponsored such a bill. Her office worker said, “She introduced a bill addressing attempts to change the sexual orientation of minors in the last congress. It was not picked up in this congress.” I asked, “Does that mean it’s in a committee or that it no longer exists?” He responded, “It wasn’t picked up so it will not be scheduled for action.” You can see Speier’s original bill, 112th Congress (2011-2012) H.CON.RES.141.IH.

[pullquote align=”right”]But, then again, the truth is much less sensational.[/pullquote]Speier’s doomed bill (which deservedly managed a sparce 16 co-sponsors) was introduced in November 2012. Rethink Society’s article was posted on February 7, 2013. If I can find out the facts in five minutes I would think Lisa A. could do the same. But, then again, the truth is much less sensational.

When I first saw the article there were 75,000 Facebook shares. As of Sunday night, April 7, there are more than 99,000. However, the article has been edited, corrected and the editors have issued an apology. The apology, though, is not without its own problems.

Author of Rethink Society’s apology, Randall James, writes,

A few days ago, an old article of ours from a few months back received a link from a large organization.

The article was (and remains) dated the first week of February 2013. This was not a five year old evergreen article on how to tune up a car. It was not a few “months back,” but a few weeks back. Further, James’ excuse that “we [are] a small grassroots website with an equally small, but very dedicated, readership. In other words, we were not expecting anywhere near the amount of attention that this piece received.” This is not an excuse. If you write because you love it and count only Great aunt Edna as a reader, accuracy is paramount. The speed at which error is spread can be exponential. The speed at which correction is spread is glacial. As testimony Rethink’s correction/apology post has a mere 100 or so shares.

As self-proclaimed truth seekers, followers of Christ should be more diligent than anyone else at finding it. We cannot continue to wantonly share in social media and email chains poorly researched, carelessly assembled and erroneously propagated “news.” The good news of Jesus should not be obscured by our penchant for spreading error riddled bad news.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

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  • Mark

    Shoehorning your pet issue into a context it doesn’t belong in … a complete lack of integrity — or judgment. Efforts to normalize the “other” paraphilias have been underway for 20+ years — unsuccessfully to this point, I believe. But the logic for that move has been accepted, and it probably is only a matter of time. That still doesn’t justify crying “Wolf!” Don’t pretend he’s in the living room; he’s “only” in the edge of the woods.

    • martyduren

      You keep spreading rumors. I’ll keep correcting them. The way it is, I guess.

  • Cheryl Lewis

    Thanks, Marty. Just this past week, two or three friends posted the old Pepsi is producing cans with a modified Pledge of Allegiance on them, leaving out “in God we trust.” Not only is it over 10 years old, it wasn’t even the Pepsi Corp! Bad “facts” just won’t go away.

  • Stuart

    For every so many shares on Facebook, someone clicks a link. For every so many clinks on the link, someone clicks “About Us.” For every so many clicks on “About Us,” someone clicks “Donate Now.” They’ve discovered a much cheaper form of direct mail fundraising. But instead if immediately throwing it in File 13, many people “share” it and “like” it because, “If I saw it on the Internet it must be true.”

    • martyduren

      Sad, but it seems to be true.

  • Thanks you, thank you, thank you! The muckraking, yellow journalism of the turn of the century has found a 21st century home called Facebook. Come on, America. We are better than this.

  • Pingback: Social Media Discretion Advised for Kingdom People | joel a. barkerjoel a. barker()

  • I am not at all sure if the author realizes that pedophelia [sic] (in the title) is spelled “pedophilia.” More importantly, I am uncertain if the author realizes that pedophilia is not a sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is clearly and unambiguously defined as the attraction to males, females, both or neither.

    • martyduren

      David-
      Thx for the spelling correction. I think my misspelling stems from my tendency to say “pe-doe-fee-lee-uh” rather than “pe-doe-fill-ee-uh.” I’ve made changes. Unfortunately the URL is just wrong.

      To your second point I’m making no argument as to the definition. My writing is not to explore pedophilia itself, but to provide a critique of an article that made such a claim related to legislation, not medicine.

  • Phelim McIntyre

    Have spoken with people who live and work in California, and guess what – they state that such a bill WAS being put forward as part of the effort to ban therapy for minors who want to overcome unwanted homosexual feelings and that it was “postponed” because it was too controversial. This issue is one that is being watched, and is in line with psychologists in the Netherlands who want to treat paedophila with “virtual porn”, the statement in the Canadian parliament during the debate on same-sex marriage from a member of a mainstream party that paedophila is a normal sexual orientation, and even the online version of the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases version 10 (ICD 10) which, under sexual identity dysmorphia (SID), list prepubescent sexual attraction as one of the sexual orientations that people can suffer SID over if the sexual feelings cause them immense stress.

    • martyduren

      Phelim-
      Thx for your comment. If you will note, I did not say there was no bill in CA. The article dealt with whether that bill was about to be federalized. It was not.

    • By Faith

      WHAT WENT WRONG WITH THE WORLD? How did we arrive at this place where we even discuss these disgusting practices – yes, disgusting abominations! Let me answer my own question; Human Rights and Democratic Governments is to blame! Oh, it seems so right and noble! Guess what – neither of these concepts are Biblical. If ONLY we (who claim to be of Christian faith) would go back to the roots. That is the laws of the Creator Yahuwah! Yes, His commandments on these issues (Leviticus 18) and other moral issues is NO DEMOCRACY where people can claim their “human rights” and want do as they PLEASE (their perverted, demonic inspired sexual lusts). But I assume that most of the world have abolished the Biblical principles given to us, because somehow they came to believe the utter lie that the existence of God (Yahuwah) is a myth.

  • Phelim McIntyre

    Pedophilia can also be spelt paedophila and appears as such on my documents here in the UK. As for pedophilia not being a sexual orientation, as David claims, the World Health Organisation actually defines pedophilia as such, as does the American Psychiatrist Association where a large body – mainly led by gay activists – attempted to have all sexual behaviour classified in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual as deviant changed to a normal sexual attraction/orientation including the use of objects, bestiality and paedophila.

    As to there not being a bill currently being discussed on this issue – there are ongoing attempts by groups such as NARTH to overturn the current ban on therapy with minors not only in California but across the USA. Speaking with those who are involved with these efforts they have informed me that some who want the ban to continue are using the action to argue that the ban should extend not only to adults with unwanted homosexual feelings but also to those who identify as transgender AND pedophiles – so watch this space.