Doris Bersing, PhD
Blog

Time to Continue the Fight

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 2.03.02 PMWe know last night didn’t go as many of us planned. We’re upset.We’re disappointed. And we’re heartbroken. But we aren’t giving up. We’re going to keep fighting. President Obama reminded us this morning that the most important thing we can do is move forward. He told us that “we brush ourselves off, we get back in the arena, we go at it.”Kate Kendall from the National Commission For Lesbian Rights said: “… By a slim margin, this nation has elected a demagogue who trafficked in bigotry, stoked racist hatred and normalized misogyny. The election of Donald Trump as President threatens basic principles of human dignity and justice… Many of our most cherished values—inclusion, honoring difference, embracing equality, dismantling oppressive systems—are in jeopardy, but we will not be deterred.

Kendell continues stressing that “…This is the moment we are called to resist. We are about to be tested as never before, and speaking for myself, and NCLR, we will not stand down, sit idle or be silent in the face of oppression, bullying or threat…”  Read More


LGBT Youth and Conversion Therapy

Born PerfectConversion therapy or restorative therapies are, ethically and intrinsically, wrong when trying to change an individual’s sexual preference based on homophobia and extreme religious beliefs. These types of treatment have been a source of controversy in the United States and other countries. The American Psychiatric Association has condemned “psychiatric treatment, such as reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per-se is a mental disorder thus the need to revert the “disease” by changing your sexual preference.The issue is more serious when it comes to youth since they do no have the legal right to oppose their parents’ decisions. Well, for now a victory!

Samantha Ames, Esq. Staff Attorney & Born Perfect Campaign Coordinator for NCLR  just announced, moments ago, the District of Columbia Council unanimously approved a bill that will protect LGBT youth from conversion therapy.  When signed into law, Washington, D.C. will become the third jurisdiction—behind California and New Jersey—to pass legislation protecting LGBT youth from ineffective and harmful practices designed to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. Counsel Ames, explains “… today, the Council sent a powerful message to LGBT youth and their families that they are accepted, supported, and loved. It has used its power to protect the most vulnerable from a dangerous pseudoscience that tells them that who they are is wrong, and reaffirmed the consensus of every major medical and mental health organization in the country that all children are born perfect, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Earlier this year, NCLR launched the Born Perfect campaign to end conversion therapy across the country over the next five years by passing laws, fighting in courtrooms to ensure the safety of LGBT youth, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by these dangerous and discredited practices Their site explains that in the past” …In the past, some mental health professionals resorted to extreme measures such as institutionalization, castration, and electro-convulsive shock therapy to try to stop people from being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). Today, while some counselors still use physical treatments like aversive conditioning, the techniques most commonly used include a variety of behavioral, cognitive, psychoanalytic, and other practices that try to change or reduce same-sex attraction or alter a person’s gender identity…” Learn More about the Born Perfect Campaign.


And the Wins for Marriage Equality Keep Coming!

NCLR (The National Center for Lesbian Rights) announced that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 in favor of the freedom to marry—the tUtah Equality For Marriagehird federal court of appeals to issue such a ruling. Kate Kendall, NCLR Executive Director, says: “…That makes nearly 40 wins for marriage equality in the last year! Last week, we shared with you that we filed our brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the Utah case and end the patchwork of legal uncertainty that pervades the relationships of same-sex couples. We also told you of our exciting partnership with Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders Legal Director Gary Buseck and Civil Rights Project Director Mary Bonauto, who have joined our outstanding legal team.

Powerful briefs were filed yesterday with the Supreme Court urging the Court to decide this important constitutional question. The briefs represent the perspectives of families, businesses, and state governments, all urging the Court to strike down discriminatory state marriage laws and to end the untenable hodgepodge of laws which fail to give security and recognition to all couples. Kate thanks all involved and specially mentions the lawyers at NCLR, GLAD, Hogan Lovells, and NCLR lead counsel Peggy Tomisc of Magleby & Greenwood,  for standing with NCLR in their tireless effort to win the freedom to marry for all.  Read More


Victory for Same-Sex Marriage in Florida!

same-sex marriage in floridaNational Center for Lesbians Rights (NCLR) announced that moments ago, a state trial court in Miami just issued a decision striking down Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage and ordering Miami-Dade County to allow same-sex couples to marry.

Anti-LGBT opponents have announced they will fight NCLR all the way to the Florida Supreme Court to overturn this victory. Their press release, says “…At NCLR, we have spent more than a decade fighting for the freedom to marry. We have had incredible victories over the last year alone in our cases in New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Tennessee, and now Florida. We are proud to stand beside Equality Florida Institute, the six plaintiff couples, and our co-counsel in the challenge to the State of Florida’s discriminatory marriage laws…” Well done, Kate Kendell and her team!  Read the Press Release


Because freedom can’t protect itself!

Our civil responsibility is to stay informed and support THOSE projects that represent our values. The ones that represent mine and they are not necessarily the ones to represent of all yours… but it shows one starting end to the fight and some common ground. For instance, the gossipLGBT Project works for an America free of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This means an America where LGBT people can live openly, where our identities, relationships and families are respected, and where there is fair treatment on the job, in schools, housing, public places, health care, and government programs. Read more

We have the tendency to forget the origins/ancient institutions that fought fr our rights…only to realize that those are still the same ones that continue fighting for the same inequalities. Thus the work of the he ACLU has a long history defending the LGBT community. We brought our first LGBT rights case in 1936 and founded the LGBT Project in 1986. The ACLU’s LGBT rights strategy is based on the belief that fighting for the society we want means not just persuading judges and government officials, but ultimately changing the way society thinks about LGBT people. To end discrimination, the ACLU seeks both to change the law and to convince Americans that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination is wrong. The ACLU carries out this work in five priority areas: Basic Rights and Liberties, Parenting, Relationships and Marriage, Youth and Schools, and Transgender Discrimination. Read More


A Victory for Therapists and LGBT: U.S. Supreme Court Says No To Conversion Therapy

NCLR June 30, 2014

NCLR June 30, 2014

I was so happy when earlier today, I received, like many of us, an email from Kate Kendell, Esq, the fabulous executive Director for The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) saying “…Earlier today, the United States Supreme Court declined to review a challenge to California’s law—which NCLR and Equality California helped draft, pass, and defend—that protects LGBT children from conversion therapists. The decision clears the way for enforcement of the first law in the nation that protects kids from unethical counselors and therapists who engage in these dangerous practices to try to change their sexual orientation or gender expression.

For therapists all around the globe these are GREAT NEWS, as NCLR picture shows “…you can not switch off who you are…” While as many as 1 in 3 LGBT people have been subjected to conversion therapy, whether by a licensed clinician, a religious leader, or another trusted adult, the trauma of these experiences can make it difficult to come forward. (Read some survivor stories)

It is really scaring to think that professionals who had studied the harmful effects of pushing a personal agenda into a psychotherapy client can be unethically oblivious of the devastating effects of conversion therapy (Read More About Conversion Therapy

What is next? Converting people of color into white or converting right brain people onto left-brain for the sake of somebody’s new agenda or bias? Give me a break. We therapists are supposed not to harm and be the catalyst for our clients’ process, it is not our place to change anybody but help them to explore their path and desires.

NCLR has launched the project NCLR has launched Born Perfect: The Campaign to End Conversion Therapyin the next five years by passing laws across the country to protect LGBT kids, fighting in courtrooms to ensure their safety, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by these dangerous practices.


Same-Sex Marriage, Next stop? The U.S. Supreme Court!

Lesbian Marriage

Copyright : Jack Young

On Wednesday,  On June 25th, 2014 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued a historic ruling affirming the December 2013 decision from U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby in Kitchen v. Herbert that the amendment to the Utah Constitution barring marriage for same-sex couples violates the U.S. Constitution.  NCLR and Human Rights  won a landmark victory in their Utah marriage equality case in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals–the FIRST federal appeals court to rule in favor of marriage equality since the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last June, and the FIRST EVER to hold that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry.

The 2-1 ruling by a panel of the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals marks the first time a federal appellate court has upheld same-sex marriage. One year ago, on June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, a landmark ruling that extended federal benefits to gays — though the high court stopped short of ruling that same-sex marriage was a constitutionally protected right. Read More


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