Legal Challenges to California’s Anti-“Gay Cure” Legislation/Oprah Recruits Homophobes for “Lifeclass”

By Daniel Borgen, PQ Monthly

Though it’s probably not much a surprise to anyone, here we are: anti-gay groups have been busy filing lawsuits challenging California’s recently passed legislation banning “cure the gay” therapies for minors. If you’ll recall, California’s legislature got it to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, and he uttered the words still ringing ’round the world: “This bill bans nonscientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine, and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.” Quackery, indeed. (New Jersey is presently exploring similar legislation.)

The latest challenge to the law, which goes into effect at the first of the year, is brought by The Liberty Counsel (oh, the sweet irony of that name). According to the Advocate, “The lawsuit names Encino psychologist Joseph Nicolosi and two Southern California boys undergoing such ‘therapy,’ aged 14 and 15, as plaintiffs in the suit. The Liberty Council claims the new law violates the teens’ freedom of speech and religion by denying them the chance to be cured of their same-sex attractions.” It’s the second such case–the first was filed by the Pacific Justice Institute. Because apparently “liberty” and “justice” involve tormenting queer kids.

In other WTF Monday news, it seems Oprah’s newest endeavor is making strange bedfellows. Her new show, “Lifeclass” (we know, we haven’t seen it either), offers “lessons we can all use to lead our best possible lives”–and some of those aforementioned lessons will be coming from big-time homophobes Rick Warren and Joel Osteen. Rick Warren is a staunch opponent of marriage equality–he campaigned for Proposition 8 and proudly supported Chick-fil-A during its very public smackdown with queer rights advocates. Osteen is a pastor of a megachurch in Houston–and, to be fair, he doesn’t “hate” gays or consider himself a homophobe, he just thinks we’re all sinners.

No word on what “life coaching” they were peddling to Oprah’s followers. Maybe they’re offering financial tips. Regardless, expect some clarification to come out of the O’s camp very, very soon–we doubt she wants rumors swirling on this front.