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April 6th, 2010
07:31 AM ET

California Law Seeks to “Cure” Homosexuality

California has a law that requires doctors to look into “the causes and cures of homosexuality.” The law was established in 1950, part of harsher laws to crack down on sex offenders. Today a California Public Assembly Committee will vote on whether to abolish it.

At 10:40 we’ll talk with the State Assemblywoman who’s heading up the repeal effort. We’ll also talke with a leading expert on sexual reorientation, who was gay but is now married to a woman and has 3 kids.

Our question for you: are you surprised a law like this exists in 2010?
Post your comments here. Kyra will read some of them after the guest segment in the 10am hour of Newsroom.

Filed under: Kyra Phillips
soundoff (278 Responses)
  1. TheParableofSecrets

    I'm surprised. Can Homosexuality it really be cured? This is interesting news and this is my first time hearing of such a law. I appreciate the way you guys shall balance this talk show at 10:40 today.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:50 am |
  2. michael armstrong sr.

    Yes I believe there's a law like this back in the 50's people believed in God and there wasnt rights activist trying to create a new Bible to fit the sins of homosexuals its past time that we bring God back into our class rooms and if the people thats here from outside our country dont like it then they should go back to where they came from this is America not Afganistan .

    April 6, 2010 at 8:02 am |
  3. Norman Russell

    Can't wait to see who you are going to patronise on this one.
    In the meantime, your attempt to whip up controversy over the mine disaster is disgusting. Mines are dangerous places, they can never be as safe as a comfy studio. Miners understand this, you don't.

    April 6, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  4. Dan

    Homosaexuality is S I N. Plain and simple. You can say what you want, but the bible says this wicked S I N will one day be judged by the almighty, and I am so glad I won't have to face this punishment.
    Eve, not Steve, was created for Adam!!

    April 6, 2010 at 8:38 am |
  5. dan bleckinger

    is being gay a sickness? seems like its natural for some, some women like it that way, why not some men...?asking q's should not be wrong, but to demonize is. that's it from here.

    April 6, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  6. Barbara Johnson

    "its past time that we bring God back into our class rooms and if the people thats here from outside our country dont like it then they should go back to where they came from this is America not Afganistan"

    Dear Michael and Dan,

    Ignorance is bliss!! What you don't know, you don't have to worry about. You just follow the biggoted crowd, quoting a book of history and tales of the minds of men. Just like the Hans Christian Anderson tales of old. Homosexuality is from the genes...not from the Bible of tales and stories. How does it feel to be so self righteous that you wish harm and exile to others because they are more intelligent and courageous than those of you who continually hurl the ones you present here. How disgusting...I hope you will get an education and inform yourselves so you won't look so silly!


    April 6, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  7. Richard A. Lawhern, Ph.D.

    ... I'm disappointed in human nature at times, but not surprised by such outdated blue laws.

    We now know that homosexuality and bisexuality are NORMAL variations within quite a wide range of normal human gender adaptation and sexuality. Likewise, gender identification is not fixed for life. There are many thousands of gay and lesbian people who do not discover their emerging changes of gender affinity until after they have been married one or more times and produced children.

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the APA no longer defines homosexuality as a psychological disorder. Thus it is not a disease to be "cured" I am mightily tempted to suggest that the bigotry of religious believers concerning so-called "sin", is much more of a mental disorder than the patterns of human behavior which they so often self-righteously judge and condemn in others.

    And just to set the record straight: Genesis is a morality fable, not a literal history. There was no Garden of Eden populated by an Adam or Eve. The creationist nut cases rather conveniently forget that if humankind were actually descended from a single breeding pair, then we'd all be the products of incest - an offense punishable by stoning to death, among the early tribes of Israel.

    The willful ignorance of the religious seems boundless. If we are to believe the record of human history, their capacity for violent persecution of difference based on wildly divergent readings of the so-called "Word of God" certainly is. Religion has been responsible for more human misery than any other human social institution.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  8. Norman Russell

    Well Dan, I'm an atheist, so I am also glad I won't have to face this punishment.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  9. Liron

    Geez, will this country ever move forward instead of backwards?

    April 6, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  10. Mayra Cruz

    Homosexuality is not a disease.
    Anyone that believes thsi is truly sick
    Homosexuality is a blessing.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  11. Phil H.

    For our childrens sake we need more of this to end homosexual conduct!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:21 am |
  12. Erica

    I, personally, have lived almost my entire life with people trying to "cure" my homosexuality. I don't think you can cure it. After all their efforts, I am still very much gay and very much in love with my partner of three years. It is astonishing to me that something like this would still exist.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:22 am |
  13. Richard W. Lewis, Sr.

    As a Gay American Citizen I find it quite insulting though simultaneously laughable that someone would want to 'cure' me.

    Perhaps we should put our efforts into curing the heterosexuals!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:23 am |
  14. Dane

    I believe it, it's an old "law" before homosexuality was understood.
    Unfortunately we still have a society were some people can't undertand that it's not a sickness. There are more important things in life than worrying about who people are attracted to.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  15. Harry Z

    I thought Californication was more up to date. Not so, evidently.Maybe instead of don't ask, don't tell we need wake up and get into the 21st century.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:27 am |
  16. Hc

    Last time i checked there's a difference between being gay and sex offenders...Unless of course your a catholic priest

    April 6, 2010 at 9:27 am |
  17. Robert B.

    After Prop 8 , it's no wonder laws like this have stayed on the books. It's refreshing to think that they are finally getting attention.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:28 am |
  18. diggindyk

    Yes! Many states have stupid laws still in force, this is from the 50's, now many people are aware the majority of sex-offenders are straight males. As for a cure for homosexuality my partner tried to "pray away the gay" for 15 years. Restoration therapy does not work, she sees all that time as wasted life, at best she was a celebate lesbian!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:28 am |
  19. Mark S

    I'm not suprised – but let's get these foolish laws removed and try to move on as a society. Please religious folks – think about it – what someone thought was right or wrong 2000 years ago is mostly out dated now. As a straight male – I'm ashamed that so many folks still think there is something wrong with being gay.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  20. Peter

    Having grown up in California I knew there were a lot of laws on the books about homosexuality: you could lose your driver's license, could not hold certain jobs, and had to submit to cures such as shock treatments. Thank God these are mostly things of the past. The American Psychiatric Assc took Homosexuality off the "sickness" list many years ago. The law just didn't keep pace.

    For those talking about the Bible; you need to read the rest of Leviticus before you trumpet about SIN. I bet you don't have a clue as to what else is listed in there....that you do!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  21. diggindyk

    Dan you've never heard of Adam and Steve Jane and Mabel?

    April 6, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  22. Patrick Shine

    Kyra this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! Being a gay male I can tell you that it is not a "choice". I would not have "chosen" to go through my school age years being taunted and teased. I am very proud of who I am and how dare anyone think that it is a disease to be cured.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  23. ian Jellico

    I am not surprised at all. This just continues to prove how difficult it is to live as a gay person in America. Our fellow Americans simple don't appreciate their neighbors diversity.
    It is going to take another 50 to 100 years for this to change.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  24. Lana

    Looking into the causes and for a possible cure for homesexuality is not a bad idea. If its knowledge that can help dr's make more informed decisons regarding their patients, then whats wrong with it? It is just knowledge and doesnt mean a single Dr. has to go out and cure someone or even believe it for that matter.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  25. No Guy in the Sky

    Things like this will always be until Christians become ashamed of their willful ignorance.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  26. Cindy Chisholm

    HOly Moly, some people do their religion a major disservice on here. Talk about spreading hate! Do I ever want to be a part of that group.. not really(that was sarcasam). Whatever happened to forgiveness and acceptance. I thought Christianity was "suppose" to be about love, acceptance, and inclusion. Not being a big Meany head!
    What a silly law, goodluck repealing it.
    I will be off to a "Gay wedding" , this weekend, and could not be happier for the fellas about to tie the knot.
    Move on people, Live by the bible if you choose, but don't force your religion down others throats.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  27. Elliott Matthews

    I find laws such as this to be frustrating!!! As a homosexual, I am happy with my life and find it insulting that California would even consider making it a law to try and find a cure. I am aware of the stereotypes that come with being gay and I think that as a society, we should try and learn from these stereotypes. Have we not learned, as a society, that we should seek the truth behind stereotypes?

    April 6, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  28. Mary Jaques

    More and more evidence is supporting the position that homosexuality is not a disease, and like any spectrum of variation is one that is genetic. So unless this so called expert has massive denial or taking gene therapy to change his DNA , I would say that this isn't the first or last so called cured that has been propagated. Current data supports that people recognizing a difference in their sexual orientation is getting younger. I believe that a Time magazine article said that 14 yrs of age is now the average. If you doubt that look at bullying and suicide cases that are out there. In fact your network has covered such stories. I would submit that those individual who married and then came out were either in denial or the social mores of the time were such that they could not reveal their sexual orientation. California should strike those laws off the books. If you're scientifically oriented the fact that we are not the only species that has genetic variation in orientation. I am a Christian with a gay son who believes EACH of us is a God intended to made.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  29. Jessi P.

    I think this is ridiculous. When will people be allowed to just live their lives and be who they are? It is not sinful or unlawful to love someone, who cares what the preference is! Lawmakers need to stop using "religion" to dictate our lives and learn to think for themselves.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:38 am |
  30. Kate

    What surprises me is that it should be so archaic, as though we have long discovered the scientific truth of homosexuality by now. All we have discovered is a lot of insistent talking. All references and opinions aside, if it were natural, children could result from it. The ways of this world prove to be heterosexual for the purpose of carrying on life. This idea doesn't keep me from feeling love and friendship with those who consider themselves homosexual but no amount of belief is proof of a call of nature.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:41 am |
  31. Patrick Shine

    We are not lab rats!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  32. Kim

    What I don't believe is that CNN is presenting this quack as an 'expert' on homosexuality. Shame on you!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:48 am |
  33. Jay

    REALLY!!?? I'm glad I live in Canada

    April 6, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  34. Lindsay

    I am confused about why the discussion about sex offenders is included in the discussion about whether homosexuality can be "cured". To equate homosexuals with sex offenders reveals a profound misunderstanding of what it means to be gay, and this law reflects that misunderstanding.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  35. matt

    the psychotherapist you had on is going completely against all current APA guidance and studies on this topic. He should have his license pulled if he is engaging in this kind of "treatment". he may have treated thousands, but what is his actual lifetime "cure" rate. this is absurd, and should only be allowed for patients who actively seek such "therapy".

    April 6, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  36. Kevin J

    Kyra, I can believe there are still laws like this on the books. We're Americans and we're always going to be divided on the issue. However, as a gay man, it disturbs me to hear people say that there is a "cure." Answer this for me: why would I choose to be hated? I don't. I choose not to lie to anyone, including myself. I believe what the wonderful Congresswoman is doing is commendable and courageous. Thanks!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  37. Peter

    Always bring up the pedophile issue.....disgusting, because there is no link!

    NARTH and it's work has been completely debunked by responsible physicians and psychiatrist. NARTH relies on outdated studies and frequently confuses stereotypes with science. Another disturbing aspect of these organizations is that they seek to “prevent” toddlers from becoming gay. If a child shows signs of atypical gender behavior, NARTH suggests ex-gay therapy. Indeed, the group takes clients as young as three years old. In 2006, the American Psychological Association issued a statement that expressed concern that ex-gay or “conversion therapy” was potentially damaging and might create an intolerant and discriminatory political and social climate. According to the statement:

    April 6, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  38. matt

    Do you assume we know all there is to know about homosexuality?????

    How can you??

    How can research be bad??

    What if we discover somthing like. homosexuality is caused from immunizations. who knows?

    leave the law alone its not hurting anyone

    April 6, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  39. Matt Allen

    It is 2010, not 1950. Laws put into place back then were made with misinformed information. This law obviously needs to be repealed and taken off the books. Thank god for California legislature. They are always on the forefront of progressive ideas and cultures. As for the man that 'was' gay and is married to a woman and has 3 kids. Wake up. You are still gay. You are just living behind a facade. Being gay is not something you wake up and decide to be. It is who you are. Saying you are a former homosexual is like saying you were ONCE black.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  40. sifto77

    Why would anyone object to a law that allows people to get therapy for something they may want to change?–the Calif congresswoman on this show is being very close-minded.She represents all of Calif–not just the people who want to remain homosexual....

    April 6, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  41. Joseph O'Connell-Albany NY

    I noticed the gentleman speaking about "becoming straight", stated he wanted a wife and children, he NEVER said he wanted a woman, seems he is looking for the family unit, not a sexual life partner.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  42. J. Hamilton

    Richard Cohen is a known fraud. His licenses have been revoked by the American Psychological Association, and he was pinned to the wall last December by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. You think he would have learned his lesson by now, only to get made a fool of once again. I'm glad that you cover these types of stories because there are too many in the media that don't.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  43. Onize

    I find it highly disturbing that such a law is still in place. Let's leave people as they are and just accept them. What is this about trying to cure them? This is just another self-praising law that attempts to elevate heterosexuals above the rest and it's disgusting!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  44. Jim Coates

    Why would this law surprise anyone. Thanks to Tiger Woods and Jesse James the average married man may now cheat on his wife because it's an addiction that can be "cured" through therapy. So why wouldn't we think homesexuality couldn't be cured?

    April 6, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  45. Kelsey

    That law is absolutely ridiculous. For people to claim that homosexuality can be "cured", they are basically saying it is a mental disorder or illness. I strongly believe it is not a choice. I knew several people in high school that wished they were gay just to not be ridiculed and harassed. As for that "psychotherapist" they had, that picture of him with his family was straight-up Photoshopped. The proportions of his body to the hands on his children's shoulders were so off. I think that "doctor" is a quack.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  46. kade madison

    I am not surprised this law still exists. There are still many laws in this country that are still on the books today that do not reflect our way of living in this day and age. As for the person you had on that thinks doctors should look for a cure, etc. You are unable to speak my opinion on air. There is no nice way of telling him, that he is simply a moron. NOBODY, in today's day and age can tell me being gay is wrong, or that I need to seek a doctor's opinion as to what can cure homosexuality.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  47. Jake

    This man makes me sick! I am a 25 year old gay man and can honestly say I was born this way. My parents will tell you that from the time I was able to walk they had a "feeling". He says he is "living his dream" – he is "living in denial"; I have no doubt he has gay porn on his personal computer at home. Being homosexual is not a disease and it offends me that he implied that it is so. He should not be able to practice medicine – especially psychology. I am so heated over this whole issue.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  48. L. Johnson

    I just had one question for the 'cured' man. Is it then our duty to cure people with unwanted heterosexual feelings?

    April 6, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  49. jerry

    just watched your piece regarding this. the american college of pediatrics is identified by wikipedia as a right wing political group based in elk grove, ill. with an office on dc. the group is composed of conservative medical workers. right wing agenda!!! conservatives.... all they want to do is resist charge and deny progress.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  50. Andrew

    This is an out of control study. If someone is gay and question it, let them try things out. The last thing America needs is for the scientific world to take over. You can't make someone "straight." That person obviously has tendencies and for someone to try to change that is wrong. Let people life there lives and if they go to you, they are just confused inidividuals in general.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  51. Barry

    Do the organizations Mr. Cohen plugged during this segment also offer psychiatric services to reorient heterosexuals to homosexuals?

    April 6, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  52. Mr. Opinio

    I believe that homosexuality has many reasons/forms; mental sickness, physical sickness, life style, convenience, no family bonds or direction, lost in life or mixing with the wrong crowd. We do need these laws to allow help for those who may need them

    April 6, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  53. brandon

    Keep the law because were Losing this battle against gays they are killing american youth that is one of my single reasons for leaving california to just over in az where we dont give those kinda rights to gays.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  54. Joe Jervis

    It's SO disappointing and outrageous that CNN would give a platform to a certifiable WHACKJOB like Richard Cohen, who famously says you can "beat the gay away" with a tennis racket and a pillow. (SRSLY, it's on YouTube.) And then he quotes the HIGHLY discredited NARTH, whose founder was booted out of every psychiatric organization existing. Richard Cohen calls himself a "psychotherapist" even though he has ZERO credentials and in 2002 was expelled from the American Counseling Association for his crackpot theories that do REAL HARM to gay people. Unbelievable that CNN would give this guy airtime, just unbelievable.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  55. Ms. Cross

    I had a homosexual friend do his own research and he concluded that most homosexual adults had been exposed to unwanted homo-sexual behavior in their youth. I have heard myself numberous homosexual adults say that were introduced/exposed to the behavior prior to any genuine feelings/decision of their own.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  56. Angela Armocida

    I am very surprised a law like this still exists. I understand why it was initially established but I still think it is ridiculous to place homosexuals into the same category as sex offenders. It makes me sick to think that people are looking for a cure for homosexuality and I think if they did find one, whether it really worked or not, it would have many negative consequences. It is one thing for a grown man or woman to choose to 'cure' themselves, as ridiculous as that sounds, but if there was a cure for homosexuality, how many parents out there would force their children into these programs without giving them the choice on how they want to live their lives? If society itself was not so afraid of homosexuality, there would be no need for anyone, gay or straight, to be unhappy with their sexual orientation and therefore no reason for a law asking for research on how to cure homosexuality to exist.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  57. Danni K

    I just watched this report on CNN. I am apalled that this man spoke of being he had a disease or disorder. I think that the sooner we take religion out of the equation here the sooner the rights of ALL humans will recognized. Love is love between consenting adults. It doesnt matter what gender or orientation you are. I do NOT believe you can be cured of love. I think that this is 2010 and the sooner you realize that we have evolved and come out of the stone age the happier we will all be. I do believe there are more important things to focus our attention and government on other then loving another human being. How dare the governement have laws regarding who you can love or marry. What happenned to division of church and state?!?

    April 6, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  58. Meredith

    I think that law is ridiculous! there is NOTHING wrong with being homosexual. If you feel that you "want help" with your own homosexuality then you should be free to look for that "help".

    April 6, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  59. Kevin

    States conduct research all the times on social issues and this should be no different. The reson why some people are gay is not the result of genetics (true selves), but because of sexual abuse. Dr. Cohen was a prime example of it.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  60. JayneKeatts

    I sincerely hope in my lifetime(I'm 65) I no longer will have to be ashamed of who I love. I tried marriage and I could not fake it forever.
    To be true to myself and my feelings, Let me be proud of my love.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  61. Dan

    The law should be kept for the benefit of the homosexuals who may decide to try to make a change to heterosexual. Just because it offends some people does not mean it does not offend others. Leave it alone.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  62. Jeff

    These laws should not be on the books. Also, I will be disgusted with California if they legalize the use of marijuanna after they outlawed gay marriage.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  63. David McWhirter

    Perhaps the law should be changed to include promotion of and funding for research to "cure" heterosexuals who want to become gay (I imagine there are many more in this position than in the reverse!). What nonsese! This so-called psychotherapist just repeats the same old same old line, now universally and firmly rejected bu real scientists: that straight is "normal," gay is not. Repeal the antiquated law.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  64. Iesha Castro-Soliz

    this is beyond the last thing the gov should be worried about.i dont see this as a problem at long as what thier doing isnt hurting anybody in any kind of way,they are happy and if you think about it less then 50% of straight marriages dont last anyways. and as far as curing?,really,thats ridicilous..its a choice to be happy not an addiction

    April 6, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  65. Bryan

    I'm a gay college student here in California studying to become a Psychologist. Homosexuality was taken out of the DSM in the mid-70s. It is NOT A CHOICE. You CAN NOT "CURE" it there is no cure. There IS no leaving it.

    First off: NARTH is not a legitimate organization. Any Psychologist associated with them is not in line with the APA or other major Psychological Associations. SECOND: The official stance on these orgs is that "Reparative Therapy" will fail at best, cause suicidal tendancies at worst.

    If you were "cured" you are either lying to yourself, bisexual, or you were never truly gay to start with. No cure. NARTH is an abuse organization and should be outlawed.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  66. Cait

    The fact that there's laws like this doesn't surprise me at all. It's annoying and frustrating, but not surprising. If you look it up, you can find crazy laws like this all over the place. In some states it's illegal for more than 4 women to live in the same house because it's considered a brothel.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  67. Jake

    p.s. what about other mammals that mate with the same sex – are they diseased and need a cure as well??? ((humans aren't the only mammal that have intercourse with the same sex))

    April 6, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  68. Richard Harrold

    There are more laws like this than you may be aware of. In Michigan, there is still the felony Gross Indecency Between Males. This law goes all the way back to Oscar Wilde's days. But in the 1970s or 80s, Michigan revamped its criminal sexual conduct laws in a very comprehensive manner. These new laws completely removed the need for the Gross Indecency statute, yet the legislature continues to refuse to strike it from the books. The other statutes cover sexual conduct with children. However, despite the age of consent in Michigan being 16, the Gross Indecency law allows a prosecutor to charge an 18yo male for having sex with a 16yo male, whereas it's legal for a 45yo male to have sex with a 16yo female. Utterly stupid in my opinion.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  69. Chris

    Homosexuality is perversion. It is a mental issue. It's not worth paying anyone to research it. Homosexuals simply need to seek Jesus.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  70. Kim

    Public opinion about issues like homosexuality changes over different eras and is likely to change again in another 30 years. It is scary to think they are still on the books and they should not be but 30 years from now, people will be looking at laws on the books that we think are okay now and shake their heads. To me, this is proof positive why government should not be involved in these types of issues. If someone wishes to seek "treatment" for their homosexuality, that is a personal choice and the government should not play a role. People that suffer from depression may wish to seek treatment to help them... does the government need a law on the books forcing healthcare providers to search for a cure for that person to seek treatment? Of course not.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  71. Gerald Kenna

    I am a gay man that was married to a oman for 23 years with 2 children. It took me years to come to grips with my sexuality. I do not know who thia gentleman is kidding. He may be living his dream, but its time for him to wake up. The law in California should be re pealed.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  72. Tim

    Wh cant we just be we? If one wants help to change, get it by all means. But we do not need laws to tell us if we want to get treatment. I am happy with who I am and intend to stay that way! I do not understand everyones desire to know and comment on others sexuality anyway.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  73. Aaron- WI

    I think it is great that this man has "found his place", however like religion I feel very strongly that he nor his organization have any right to push off their rediculous ideology onto the rest of California, or the United States. It is crazy to think that Homosexuality can be cured! So for that matter, can Heterosexuality be cured as well? I can't think of a single straight person that wants to be gay, but I also don't know a single gay person that wants to be straight. Religion pressure is the biggest factor in this who debacle.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  74. frank

    stupid .... there is nothing wrong to be homosexual . is personal and we as individuals must be treated with 'respect, compassion, and sensitivity.

    i think is wrong and offensive.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  75. brandon

    Yes gays are killing are youth and poising thier minds im from cali and will never move back untill they change thier laws and ban gay everything

    April 6, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  76. Andrew

    I don't believe that every person that has ever engaged in homosexual behavior is gay for life. The controversy over homosexuality is inextricably linked to sexual behavior. Over time a lifestyle has been created around that sexual behavior. If it is a persons perogative to opt-out of the homosexual gang that seems to have a "blood in/blood out" mentality, I think that a person that is able to convert and remain converted is not perverted or necessarily denying their "true" selves. I have come to believe that there are people that are naturally inclined to behave in a homosexual manner, but not most that claim to be are intrinsically inclined. I support those who would want to turn their backs on the lifestyle if it is truly sincere.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  77. Amanda

    Im not surprised at this law. There are many like this in many of the states. Not just for being gay, but racial ones as well. It maybe 2010 on the outside but underneath its the 1700's.

    That would be an interesting story for CNN to do, expose those states that still have stupid/out dated laws on their slate.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  78. Ryan

    If sexual orientation is a choice, why don't those heterosexuals who are against gay people try being gay for a few weeks, then report back? Now that's a CNN report I'd like to see!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  79. David H

    Perhaps there should be a law stating that heterosexual people should be researched so they can be "fixed". Let the state try and regulate their bedrooms. See how far that gets. What other segment of the population is next?? Religious people? After all, they choose that....

    April 6, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  80. Erinn

    This guy kind of makes me sick, he is very obviously a complete and total poser (aka faker). I wish people would get over the gay thing. There have been gay men and women throughout history! Many of our famous artists, historians and figures throughout history have been gay! And lets face it, the truth is that all this repression of homosexuality stems from the churches and repression has obviously worked out so well for many little boys are they into now? PS- don't kid yourself into thinking the molestation thing is limited to the catholic church just because they're the only ones who have been caught recently. Did any of those sicko's get tossed in jail???

    April 6, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  81. Tommy

    After hearing the arguments from the two folks on the issue, I can understand both their point of views:

    From the Assemblywoman – Of course homosexuality is not a disease; it would be cruel to assume so. We should not be hindering those who experience homosexual feelings and should allow them to express their desires freely.

    From the man who speaks he is a "former homosexual" – I also understand his plight of being a homosexual who felt heterosexual feelings as well and desired to have a opposite-sex partner but was not able to do so. If these people exist, like he states, then this law in place could help those who desire psychological treatment. The only question I would pose to this man before I am satisfied with his argument is: if you felt heterosexual thoughts while you were a practicing-homosexual, what would "qualify", if you will, you as a homosexual? What was specific concerning your situation that would label you as a "homosexual feeling heterosexual thoughts", instead of just a "heterosexual who was practicing differently than other heterosexuals". I understand you were in a homosexual relationship, but if you felt heterosexual thoughts why did you require therapy to act upon those thoughts?

    Otherwise, solid arguments from both sides and I look forward to seeing what happens to this law.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  82. Al

    We need more research, I am a gay man, but I hate being gay, I would love to be straight, it is very similar at being obese and not being able to stop eating, even though one wanted to be thin. What is the fear of research? I would love to find out if there is a way to stop being gay.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  83. Tony Blanco

    The thought occured to me. If homosexuals can be changed and become heterosexual then can the reverse must also be possible. That is making an unhappy heterosexual into a productive, positive thinking and well centered homosexual.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  84. Drew

    A a gay man I have never met anyone in the gay community that has chosen to be gay, it would be as if someone chose to have blue eyes.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  85. Chris Bellezza

    In today's society we strive for equality for everyone, and I have to say when I first heard about the law I was very much against it. But after hearing both sides of the argument a moment ago I have changed my opinion. Everyone deserves the right to live how they would like, and when talking about homosexuality I guess it's very easy to only look at protecting the fact that people want to live there life that way. I never thought that there were people who wanted to change. If there are people who want to change back to heterosexuality they deserve the chance to do so,and stopping the research to help those people is not fair as well. I believe a rewording of the law is what's most in order. Something that protects the research for people who want to change with out offending those who choose to live there life in another way. In the end everyone deserves equality.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  86. Bob

    Stupid law. Repeal it.

    That said, with everything that's happening in the world right now, I'm not sure why CNN is devoting so much airtime to these types of stories. We're fighting two wars, hunting Osama bin Laden, reforming health care, dealing with national disasters, dealing with various international crises, looking for jobs, and on and on - but CNN always seems to find time to air stories about stupid archaic homosexuality laws, transgenderism, etc.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  87. Ralph

    I think the the leading expert on sexual reorientation was, and i bet still is a switch hitter. People are born heterosexual, or homosexual with a few who claim they can go either way.


    April 6, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  88. Steven naples, fl

    Do we really need to hear from a demented person like Richard Cohen? All he is doing is giving ammunition to homophobes and trying to re-repress healthy, happy, normal human beings.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  89. Elmer S.

    I think homeosexuality is a sin againest God , The Bible says it is.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  90. Jeff Moore

    I do not approve of homosexuality, but do believe it's also anyones right to think other wise, but I can never figure out why gays insist that everyone should say it's ok. Why is it so important for them to want me to be denied my right to say I think it's wrong?

    April 6, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  91. Tru

    KEEP THE LAW! Homosexuality is NOT a biological disposition and certainly not natural! It's due to uncorrected behavior learned as a result or environmental issues. Just look at the way the human body was contructed. If is was right, God would have to apologize for Sodom and Gomorrah!!!! The majority of the American people are NOT gay!!!!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  92. Rob in MD

    It saddens me as a former EXODUS "patient," someone who attempted to cure my homosexuality that in this day and age CNN would still give clout to Mr. Cohen. These programs have proven to cause depression even to the point of suicide. Believe me I know and I have struggled thanks to "repairative therapy." All facets of out sexuality are a gift from God and should be celibrated and protected gay and straight alike.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  93. Christy Rose

    Of course I'm not surprised a law like this still exists. There are many laws which remain on the books that are never repealed. I'm glad this one appears it will be.

    @ Norman Russell – Mr. Russell, I am from Hinton, WV. I loved on New River Road which is across the river from Hinton and is actually in Raleigh County. My niece's boyfriend is a foreman at Upper Big Branch mine and he's also on one of the emergency rescue teams. He was there last night, and knows the men who died. Normally I would agree with you as I despise shock news. However, this time I find myself wondering if the news coverage may help even a little. You and I know the reality of coal mining that the rest of the country can never know. Maybe I am naive, but at this point with no union at Massey and not enough change since Sago to do any good, if this media frenzy can pressure what hasn't been done before let them all come. As long as they respect the families, let them whip up the frenzy.

    As I said, I am probably naive. 🙁

    April 6, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  94. Tessa

    A law like this should not exist in 2010. Homosexuality is not something that can be cured, this law is trying to find cures, what we really should be doing is encouraging and supporting those who are homosexual.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  95. Tara

    Changing sexual orientation has not been supported by research. The so-called expert needs to expand his knowledge beyond religious journals. What he didn't mention is the disastrous outcome for those who attempt to change their orientation but fail. What surprises me is that at some point California somehow associated being gay with sexual crimes. Someone who commits a sexual offense is very different than someone who has consensual sex whether it be with the same sex or not. Good for California that it is attempting to purge the outdated.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  96. Nancy

    In the future, it will be discovered that like everything else that affects our behavior, we'll find that homosexuality is the result of genetics. If some WANT to be cured of their homosexuality its because they don't want to be one in a society that demonizes them. I mean, really, who would want to live a lifestyle where you have to be afraid all the time? Thank heaven its getting more tolerant in this country. One by one, we can strip away these horrible laws.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  97. paula

    i think this law is out of place. Personally I have never heard any gay or lesbian asking to stop being gay or lesbian. They've had to fight for the rights they do have. I am straight and married to a wonderful man and we have 4 kids, but I still beleive the gays and lesbians should have the right to be who they are without this ridiculous law floating around. I say "get rid of the Law", and stop spending money on something so silly.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  98. Caspian

    This guy is a kook who is trying very very hard to force a religious ideology on the American people. There are no substantiated cases of so-called cures. Sexual orientation is not a choice, it occurs in all species of animals, it is perfectly healthy and there is no need to change. Just ask these guys:

    American Academy of Pediatrics
    American Counseling Association
    American Federation of Teachers
    American Medical Association
    American Psychiatric Association
    American Psychological Association

    April 6, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  99. Corey

    I thinks it's great they have a law like that in CA.we need all the help we can get when it comes to sex offenders and homosexuals should have a chance to rehabilitate themselves.way to go Dr Cohen!!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  100. Brandi Jasmine

    Kate, it's clearly natural if you look into the sexual diversity in the animal kingdom. Homosexuality is not unique to humanity. If your position were credible then you'd have to suggest that any sex that doesn't result in children isn't "natural". God made sex enjoyable for a reason. It's not just about procreation.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  101. Gabriel Gonzalez

    Kyra, you never asked that so called changed homosexual that perhaps no doubt he is a bi-sexual no heterosexual would ever have the proclivity to bed down sexually with a man for 3 years and then say he is not homosexual. The diversity among the Gay community is as diverse as in the heterosexual community.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  102. london

    This is utterly riduculous!!
    We should be looking at repealing all the laws that discrminate against gays..we can't marry, serve our country openly, still have to worry in many states about being fired just because we are gay.
    For every study that says it's not genetic another says it is. I come from a father who has 4 daughter, 2 sons. @ of us were adopted, the four he kept were raised by two different women. In my mid 30 I seeked out my biological family and discover that out of 6 children 4 were gay, 3 daughters, 1 son. so that rules out anything to do with how we were raised or the nuture theory. Lets spend time getting our basic civil rights!!!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  103. Rick

    My question is why did CNN position a discredited, unlicensed self-described 'psychotherapist' as a legitimate authoritive representative in the debate on the aired segment?

    April 6, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  104. James

    Obviously religon is involved in his decision to try to change something that cannot be changed. He really wants to create a "cult" of brainwashed homosexuals that think they are "cured". He states he is happy for the gay people that "chose" this lifestyle, but offers hope to those who chose it but now want to reverse it. Believe me, no one would choose a life of discrimination and persecution,

    April 6, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  105. Sam

    Of course they should remove that law. Richard Cohen is giving people the wrong impression of homosexuality. It sounds like his sexual abuse is the problem. In his own words he admits secretly wanting to have a relationship with a women. Most gay people were secretly heterosexual. Not Gay and secretly straight. Poor Mr. Cohen never really was gay just abused and confused. I hope he leaves these poor people alone

    April 6, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  106. Thomas Curzio

    How could you give is man any air time to stir the "gay is curable" pot.
    ALL men at one time or another have had homosexual thoughts, some act on it some don't. This does not make them gay!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  107. Clarisa

    I believe this is unrealistic and drastic considering the generation we live in today which is very open with their sexuality. There is no cure for homosexuality its who u are.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  108. Charlotte Uzcategui

    Homosexuality is not a choice, therefore it has no cure.
    Believing there could be a cure, is the most ignorant thought a human being could have.
    There is only one person you can't lie to, and that is yourself!

    April 6, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  109. Matthew Sklut

    The interview done between the State Assemblywoman and the 'Expert on Sexual Reorientation' got me thinking. This man claims that he was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. Now, my sympathies go out to him. No child should have to go through that. Having that been said, we have long seen that when children are subjected to such horrible treatment at an early age, it can cause serious personality issues later in life. What's to say that this man was never in fact homosexual but instead acting out the unfortunate side-effects of said trauma?

    April 6, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  110. Ben Smith

    The cured Homosexual (probably a bisexual) you had on your program was flat out lying and distorting facts. 1st of all the American college of pediatricians is a renegade group of about 15 people most of whom are associated with NARTH which specializes in taking research out of context and distorting facts or quoting research from a physician who was thrown out of the AMA for falsifying research data. I would think CNN would find someone normal to interview and not some one who is obviously in need of a good psychiatrist. I also wonder what his credentials are since he's associated with organizations that just make up names and titles randomly to meet their needs or justify their existence.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  111. Brent

    I think the law should stay on the books. Homosexuality is caused by sin. There is nothing more to say except that it's a abomination. And for those of you that say it's my right to be one and it's none of your business. It is my business. What made this country great was it's morals. Now that the US has become ungodly It will fall. It has already started. God has lifted his protection and is allowing our great country to fall..

    April 6, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  112. Michael

    I believe many staes have old laws that we don't know about. Example, the state of Texas still have a law that would allow them to leave the union.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  113. Lynne

    I feel that homosexuality is a choice for people. If they can have treatment and be as the guest you had on I think it is wonderful. I think people should realize they don't have to live this lifestyle but they could have a cure. Leave the law on the books.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  114. Jim Steranko

    We can cure the heterosexuals and we won't have any more babies..chuckle..chuckle..:/

    April 6, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  115. CELINA M.

    Im not surprised, that a law like this exist...what is so bad about it, its not like the research is going to abolish homosexuality,its just an option for certain people who choose to since Americans are SO big on PRO-CHOICE. Then lets not contradict ourselve,and try to take this option away from the one who wish to use it.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  116. OA

    I totally agree that homosexuality is a choice and often influenced by sexual experiences such as abuse. I think it is a reversible physiological disorder. What has happened to good reason and morales?

    April 6, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  117. Paul

    No, I'm not surprised that a law like this exists for the time period in which it was written, however, not having read the law, based on the comments of your guests, it should be amended to specifically address the type of research Dr. Cohen mentioned.

    It's amazing how the gay and lesbian agenda is to restrict and in essence discriminate against those who like Dr. Cohen have a different experience with homosexuality. Your question about Dr. Cohen "denying his true self" is part of the dogma that the gay and lesbian agenda promote to ostresize those who want to come out of that lifestyle. Its wrong...the pendelum must swing both ways.

    Kyra, how 'bout asking the stateswoman the question to amend the law to allow the type of research Dr. Cohen referred to to be done, instead of totally abolishing the law, or creating new legislation to aid this group?


    April 6, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  118. Lorna

    Kyra.. just watched your interview .. very disheartened to hear you say you were not bias and in the same breath say you felt sorry for this man who was in deniel ( according to you ) of who he was.. what right do you have to tell him any such thing.. He alone can say who is is and what happened in his life.. Kyra you were bias in this interview.. I said to my husband just before you spoke those words that you were bias.. it was evident by your demeanor .. this man deserves an apology from you.. you are there as a newperson to give an unbias interview.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  119. Gina

    As a gay woman who did get married, had children and lived the "straight" life for 18 years, I can tell you that there is no "cure" for homosexuality becuase it is not a disease. I find it very offensive that this law is still on the books. If homosexuality was curable, I feel that living with a man in a marriage for 18 years and doing everything I could think of to try to love him, including therapy, for that long would have cured me, but it didn't, becuase I am GAY, and God made me that way.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  120. willie harris

    Im not being funny whn i say i think most homosexuality is conditioned (molestation as a child ect.) and can be cured. i think homo men need to explore dating homo women for those born that way. if a gay man likes men maybe he SHOULD be looking for is a very manly woman... think about it.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  121. Gabriel

    Where to even start with this. Its a shame that no matter what happens we can never seem to move ahead. I was never abused as a child and I am a proud gay male. I would never understand why people would think that I would choose to be picked on or to be made fun of while I was growing up. Why would someone want to be hated and despised by his/her family. People do not ask for things like this to happen. Last time I checked it was stated that homosexuality is not a disease. This guy who calls himself a "former" homosexual is almost funny to me. There are some people who cant accept it and to each there own but why bring down the people who are actually able to accept who they are and are happy with it. Just because he wasn't happy in his 3 year relationship with another man doesn't mean that others have to deal with being called sick.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  122. Steve

    Yes I believe there are laws such as this on the books. Why not given the fact that many state legislatures have recently past anti-gay laws denying equal rights to homosexuals. How any law could be past to deny anyone the same rights as others is horrifying to say the least. How soon we forget women's sufferage and slavery. Those who promoted and past these hateful and discriminating laws will have their names engraved in history for all to remember. But time will tell as the homosexual movement for equal rights has a foothold in the minds and hearts of many. The up and coming generation will be the ones to bring about change.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  123. Ziggy

    Yes, there is a law in Minnesota that has been in effect since horse and buggy days. This law states that, when backing out of a driveway onto a road that has a cul-du-sac, you must back to the passenger's side and stay to the right of the road. That means, if you live on the side of the road that goes into the cul-du-sac, you must go around the cul-du-sac and then out of the road.

    It was put on the books because the buggies would back into eachother if in the same direction. There are no more buggies!!!

    April 6, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  124. John McAlsiter

    Kyra, Ethical Universe is a new secular ethical system based on the work of neo-Fruedian psychodynamics of renowned social philosopher merged with Aristotle's Golden Means doctrine. In the Ethical Universe we are able to show that homosexuality is ethically neurtal, therefore not an evil position at all therefore not a sin. In order to judge a gay person we must find other ethical factors attached to the individual that are not neutral. In other other words, we must judge all people as individuals which is what most homosexual want any why. This is not to say however, that there aren't problems associated with this orientation. And the guest on your show (formerly gay) said, there are gay people out there would prefer not to be this way. So, by all means we should continue to support applicable research into the causes etc. John W. McAlister
    Ethical Universe

    April 6, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  125. MeShaun

    No, I'm not surprised this law is still on the books. I am a conservative democrat and believe homosexuality is wrong. It was wrong in 1950 and it's still wrong today! The law needs to remain on the books!

    April 6, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  126. Eric Novins

    The guy on TV Richard Coen looks like a fraud just from his photo with that elderly ASIAN woman and rented kids. I was laughing the entire story after that photo was shown.

    Let me be me and I'll let you be you. No matter how much I like you, we both have the right to be free and happy in this country. The conflict and debate we have makes us stronger as a nation, so we should never walk away from that. This is why America is exciting! Stop the H8!

    April 6, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  127. Matthew Sklut

    I'm shocked that we are still tolerant enough to listen when people make bible-based anti-gay arguments. Those who like to cite the bible here should know that they are quoting from Leviticus; a book that also labels planting two crops in the same field a sin worthy of death. This old testament book is full of archaic laws that are punishable by being stoned to death. Homosexuality as a deadly sin is just one of many. It's time to step out of the times before the dark ages.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  128. Chris

    Oh my great State of California...

    You continue to fund such a project while (1) you face a seemingly insurmountable debt, (2) schools are failing, and (3) many important social services remain underfunded...why, why, why?

    Yes, I do believe it is possible to "turn" people with homosexual feelings into heterosexual individuals. However, in the 21st century, it is ridiculous for the State to fund such research – first, there are many other things that should take precedent and receive more funding in the State and second, people with homosexual feelings are increasingly becoming accepted as they should be (so there is no need to figure out how to "help" these people become heterosexuals).

    As was said, we have UNIVERSITIES to do this research – and they will. The State needs to get their priorities in line and cut unnecessary and out-of-date funding projects. Maybe then we won't have to talk so much about cutting school funding, police forces, or firefighter services...

    April 6, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  129. Camilo

    I am not surprised that it exists; and I wont be either if it doesn't gets overturned. If someone wants "not to be gay," and look for a "cure" go right ahead. Some of us will still live a fulfilling and proud life knowing who we are.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  130. Wes

    To your "reorientation expert", Richard A. Cohen.

    I was born Asian, but am so unhappy about that. I find it impossible to love and accept myself this way. I always felt inside that I was a black person.
    I look forward to any "therapies" you can develop to help me "reorient" myself to my correct, black ethnic identity. 😛

    April 6, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  131. Rhea

    If there are homosexuals who are unhappy with their homosexuality why should they be stripped of their rights to "cure" what they are unhappy with? All individuals should have the choice to live their lives the way they desire. If you are a homosexual and are happy, great, you do not have to seek therapy or a "cure". However, if you are an unhappy with your homosexuality, you should also have the FREEDOM to change.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  132. Alfred Laurence

    Gee, maybe this will be the first step to also curing people of their attraction to others of another race. After all, that can't be a genetic issue, my attraction to women of different races.
    Please California, don't stop, cure me of my problem... Oh, wait. I am multi racial, so who would I become attracted too?

    Does the above sound stupid? Of course it does, but it makes the point perfectly clear.

    What is this obsession of ours to dictate how other people live?

    April 6, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  133. Jacob Staven of Racine,WI

    We are a Democracy NOT A Theocracy! This law and any other law against Homosexuals should be overturned. Homosexualality is a scientificly proven fact. You are born Gay or Straight. Medical Associations have removed Homosexualality as a condition.

    Keep Religion and "God's Supposed Wishes" out of our laws. To trust the bible for the source of God's wishes is a joke, man made the bible, Divinely inspired or not, man put their own views and perspective into it. The bible says "many things", it says we should stone women and children for speaking out, should we bring that back?, I think not.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  134. chris

    Richard Cohen more than likely is on the DL, he shows classic signs
    of a man that's trying to have his cake and eat it too. The photo of his family says a lot, ( And this is going to sound bad but bare with me) Men trying to hide their sexuality will often hook up with Asian women
    because they more that likely wont question the males actions. Richard looks like a guy that found a way to drum up business by telling
    people what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear.
    The only people that have had success in changing their sexuality , are transgender people, and that's only because they changed their
    sex. anyone that claims they have changed without going through
    that process, is only lying to you. If you wont some proof of my theory
    check out craigslist men4men section, and see how many men are
    looking for sex because "my wife is out of town" DL DL DL !!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 6, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  135. Daniel

    So does that mean that hetrosexuality can be cured too?

    Daniel ........ Toronto, CANADA

    April 6, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  136. Linda Wadsworth

    I cannot believe that a law such as this still exists on the books in CA!

    As for your guest – I feel that he is in denial, and probably has always been straight. I take offense at the garbage he is spewing!

    All that does is confuse people who are trying to come to terms with their sexuality. He is entitled to his opinion, but I think it does more harm than help.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  137. Michelle

    What everyone here mostly is trying to say, is that homosexuality is not a disease. It isn't like drug addiction or alcoholism. It is a natural part of the genetic code. It isn't something that needs to be cured, because there is nothing that was chosen "incorrectly". Gay people deal with ridicule and harassment on a daily basis yet you don't see them going on a killing spree. They are simply trying to live their lives just like heterosexuals do. It is now the year 2010 and it's time to move past the religious arguments. Gays are already doing all the things "Christians" are so scared of. They live together, love together and have families together and it hasn't destroyed the world. Can't we focus on something more productive like eliminating drunk driving? How about finding the cure for Cancer or Aids? I think that would be a much better use of our time.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  138. Hollie Hinson

    You people want to say that this is a good idea because it would help get homosexuals out of our schools beacause every one of us are sex-offenders? This deeply offends me. For your information, a sex-offender doesn't have to be gay, look at the STRAIGHT MEN who kidnap little GIRLS and do terrible things to them. They're not gay. Also I don't hear any of you calling the priest who do terrible things to little boys in the house of God homosexuals. Perhaps everyone needs to get over this crazy homophobia that most of this country seems to be suffering from.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  139. Jane

    It might be more useful to broadcast a programme that examines the current scientific thinking about homosexuality, instead of (as usual) dealing only with the extremes of opinion. I, for one, do not think that gay is a choice, but rather a biological imperative. Who would choose persecution? I think that "gayness" (as well as "straightness") is every bit as fundamental a part of a person's make-up as shortness or tallness.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  140. london

    For all of you using the bible as your excuse to condem homosexuality, I bet every single one of you at this very moment are wearing clothing that is made of more than one fabric, according to the bible in the same section you are misquoting the homosexual context you should be stoned for wearing mixed fabric, have a daughter that has back talked to you, well according to that same bible you have a duty to take her out and stone her. You can't pick and choose what verses in the bible you want to follow. The bible is reffering to those men who would rape men and boys who would come into the city unescorted in sodom and gomorrah when it is condeming "a man lying with a man" not two consenting adults. Get your facts straight, better yet, educate yourself on the bible you love to quote so much.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  141. Annette

    Everybody missed an important point, this man claims he was a homosexual and was cured. He was abused as a child and went through psycho therapy to undue damage and confusion that this abuse left him with.
    He was not treated for being a homosexual, it is a sexual preference you are born with.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  142. Jim

    Homosexuality is a social problem. Internalized homosexuality is the individual's acceptance of sociey's norms that hate homosexuality causing some (as with everything, there is always a scale of issues) homosexuals to hate their internal self.
    Richard Cohen does not represent the majority of mental health practitioners–and though not brought up, and he may argue the point, but reparative therapy is not approved as evidence based therapy.

    Using the bible to argue homosexuality is ludicrous. The bible is not a historic or scientific text, but reflects the thought of the time. History is
    complete with stories of "in that day and age" when illegal acts were correct and appropriate: burning witches, owning slaves, harvesting slaves, selling humans (aka slaves), marrying children off at young ages...ignorance of science and humanity...and even the justification of hiding shameful secrets to promote one's own agenda–ala the catholic church's current scandelous behavior: there was a time when it was perfectly appropriate to hide offensive, and very illegal behavior.
    Leviticus no longer holds water as an argument against homosexuality, and using it voids the law that Christ came to abolish the old laws.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  143. gabriel

    i believe that homosexuality is wrong and for the most part people turn out that way because of some type of abuse that they went through, but with the economy in the state that it is in for the government to spend money on something like this is just ignorant.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:13 am |
  144. Arine Ward

    Its so sad to see all these Bible toting CHRISTIANS doing the exact opposite of what you've been called to do...You don't have to fight for God, you don't have to use His word toward're to let your light shine...I see nothing but RELIGION as to why we've the CHURCH have lost a generation..Let God Be God!

    April 6, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  145. Gina

    Some of you people are so dang ignorant. It blows my mind that this kind of thinking still exist. I was never sexually abused. I do know a few gay people that were, and even more straight people that were sexually abused. 1 in every 4 females at one time is sexually abused under the age of 18. That is just a fact. I am gay. I was born gay. I have known I was gay from a very very young age. I had a normal childhood. My parents are homophobic, so i lived a straight life for many years, but I am still gay, and much happier now living with my current partner than I have ever been. God loves me and tries to teach me constantly not to just homophobic ignorant people that judge me.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  146. Tru

    No one is trying to hate gays as human beings, it's the behavior that's the target. We all know that homosexuality is no different from a lifestyle of lying, stealing, committing adultry, etc. They are all behaviors that can be and should be corrected. There is help, but it is up to the individual to desire change and face personal issues that may have lead to the lifestyle! Sorry y'all but this one is reversible like all the others.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  147. Walter L Johnson

    Anything that reduces the volume of laws makes sense. How can people comply with laws that are so voluminous and out of date that no one has time to read them and few are actually enforced.

    If homosexuality is a disease it should be defined by doctors. If not, it is a bedroom behavior and not a public matter. In either case, it has no place in statutes.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  148. chase

    he is what you call a bi-sexual who finally chose which life style he wanted 2live in...its a choice. you cant turn a real gay person straight...just like you cant turn a real hetro gay. michael 2me im sure has gay tencencys married with 3kids or not. if your gay gour gay its 2010 you cant cure us we are who we are..and please understand we are multiplying area near you..dont be alarmed we are not contagious..we are all Gods it or not we give just as much devotion and prayer as heteros. you mean to tell me murders and child molesters is going to make it to the promise land before us gays. our lifestyle isnt what these reality shows make it. those are bisexual flirtatious and a disgrace to us real gays kind oh how jersey shore is to real old school italians. we do have lives of all sorts..this law needs 2go.its ignorant. not all of us like to be hiddin in the closet..

    April 6, 2010 at 10:16 am |
  149. Albert

    not surprised in this God FEARING Nation – It will stay that way until enough gays gather in a small state – then enact their own laws –
    like outlawing straight sex !! that will bring law suits by straights claiming discrimination !! How Ironic that would be !

    April 6, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  150. Joanne D

    I have a daughter who is lesbian and DO NOT believe this can be " cured". If you look down through the generations of family on both sides, it is definitely hereditary. Both her dad's and my side of the family have gays and lesbians. WHY do they need to be " cured" ?! Who are they hurting ? No one...they live their lives the why they like to and the way they feel comfortable. Isn't that what heterosexuals do ? Why all these issues of curing or changing people all the time. Can't people, especially " HOLY" people live by the bible, which says, love thy neighbor as thy self" ? There are more and bigger problems in this world with people being killed, abused, both mentally and physically and all the rest of the lying , cheating and stealing going on. Wake up people and try to find a cure to help the people that are doing HARM to our society !!! Cure ALL of those people first before you worry about Gays or Lesbians that are doing NO harm to anyone! Truly it is none of your business !

    April 6, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  151. Tommy


    This was a very interesting segment. I was fascinated to hear the Psychotherapist Richard's story about sexual reorientation. I have had multiple friends who were living a homosexual life in secret with other males but also very conflicted and wanted to stop. I felt bad for them as I would with someone struggling with an addiction or other similar issue. It was nice to hear a success story from Richard who was in a similar situation. Thank you for showing both sides of the story.

    I have not read this law but I know in my state of Texas there are many old archaic laws that are laughable to even consider in this day and age. Maybe instead of just removing it, they could update the law so that it is beneficial in a positive way to people who either want or need (predators) help to change through further research and understanding.

    I also believe in freedom of choice as long as you are not harming others whether it be through your sexual preferences, or use of substances/medicines you should be free to choose to live your life without government intervention and legislation

    Thank you.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  152. Tristan Alexander

    Being gay is a biological fact NOT a choice. There is no cure becuase there is no illness. The bible quotes that say it's wrong equaly condemn eating shell fish and wearing mixed fiber clothing!
    Society needs cured of Bigotry mostly from the Christian hatemongers who spread these lies!

    April 6, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  153. Fre

    It kind of does surprise me that a law like that exists. But, they're here. Is homosexuality a sin according to the Bible? Yes. But, it's no more a sin than judging others, pre-marital sex, lying on others, scoffers, being proud, a heart that plans wickedness, a person that kills an innocent person, or someone who starts something on someone else (Proverbs 6:16). The key to anything is loving homosexuals for who they are, not what they do. If you want change, be the example of what change should be.

    I love the Lord. I am a Christian. But, what the holier-than-thou, overly-religious, Tea Party-esque people fail to remember is that Jesus was friends with the outcasts of society: prostitutes, demon-possessed, proud, beggars. While He knew they were sinners, He saw something special in them. Instead of spending so much time judging people, put yourself in their shoes. You, too, are sinners. What did you do before Jesus saved your soul? What are you doing now since Jesus saved you? By preaching hate and condemnation, all you're doing is working against the progress of God's Word. Who knows? A person may be willing to be godly/Christian if you did not scare the love of Jesus out of them.

    If you want to "change" a homosexual, find out why they are the way they are. You can tell them why you believe what you believe, but, once you do, the best thing you can do for them is to just pray for them to be empowered in God. Judging does not make anyone want to become Christians. Remember: in order to get people to believe what you preach and/or say, live what you preach/say. You can say you're a Christian all day until you turn blue in the face. But, unless your life's work shows Jesus' life principles, you're just blowing a lot of hot air.

    Thank you.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  154. TJay

    It seems there are arguments to be made on both sides. Yet, nobody really knows for sure what the causes are of homosexuality. When I went to college and took classes, homosexuality was the province of Abnormal Psychology. Just because it is difficult to find a cure for those who desire it, it should not mean that the profession should give up on it. Yet, homosexuals should have their rights protected like other citizens. For those rights activists that are clergy who are trying to change the meaning of the Bible, they will find that their members will be voting with their feet. Richard Cohen won the debate as all the lady assemblywoman could say was this is not the province of government repeatedly which convinces nobody. I think everyone should ponder these questions and they should be studied for those who wish to change as Richard Cohen suggests.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  155. De-Bora

    While some of us are living in the "Dark Ages", and some of us are truly "Anal-retentive", I do believe that a good majority of us are living and in tune with the 21st century. We now know, due to the progress in medical research, that "homo" sexuality has more to due with sexual assignment in utero than it does with personal choice. Of course, we have always confused sexual desires with plutonic desires. Maybe one day we will all be comfortable enough with ourselves to accept the differences in others. Until then, "Your freedom ends where mine begins!"

    April 6, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  156. marquisa

    I also agree that homosexuality is a choice and often influenced by sexual experiences such as abuse. I think it is a reversible physiological disorder just like drugs and food and to all who are experiencing this should seek help . find a into a group just tiger woods adleast he admited it. that the first step powerless

    April 6, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  157. StefanoB

    I'm really amazed, and amused, just by the subject of all this wave of deranged tips of information. I totally respect everyone's believe, so whoever believe the Bible (or the Koran, or the Torah and/or whatever else you have faith in) is the correct teaching is totally entitled, since luckily we live in a free world. What I consider violence is the intolerance of the people who use religion as a disturbing weapon against other people freedom. I am Gay and I don't need anyone to tell me what is right or not in their believes, because I am responsible of my own life, which, by the way, makes me very happy and way far to be frustrated. And I am honest about that.

    I am really surprised people even can believe that homosexuality can be cured... Then, who stated, in the first place, what is so called "normal" and what is not? Can we find a cure for Heterosexuality? Or for Bible Beaters? Maybe already exists, but nobody told us...

    April 6, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  158. Fmyers

    I think, before people go putting there efforts into curing homosexuality, which is a laughable prospect, they should be accepting people for who they are, as I am sure that someone close to them friends or family is most likely homosexual.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  159. Robin W. Mayer

    I watch cnn religiously because I think that on most subjects rcnn eporters and broadcasters are very disciplined about maintaining objectivity. HOWEVER – on the topic of homosexuality the bias is evident through the assumptions underlying the questions: 'can you believe a law like this is still on the books?' I see this w/ virtually all my favorite cnn personalities (and make no mistake – you are my favorites). the man interviewed this morning (who identified himself as having changed from homosexual to heterosexual) was completely fair – he clearly stated that gay/lesbian persons who did not want to change should have their rights & freedom protected – only that he believed the research to find etiology should be continued to help those who DO want to change. the activist assumptions in our culture presume that a homosexual person who wants to change is always - just wrong. as human beings we have autonomy and choice. The Mental Health Association also recognizes this.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  160. Angie

    The law is not based on facts. People are just wired differently. People's DNA determines their physical, and psychological make up.

    So how can something embedded into an individuals DNA be taken out? How can that be cured?

    It just does not make any sense.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  161. Mark J

    The existence of that law neither forces nor precludes a mental health practioner from working with a person who wishes to change their sexual orientation. What constitutes "lookng into the causes of homosexuality" on the part of a doctor. If a patient approaches a doctor or psychotherapy practioner and specifically asks for assistance to seek a homosexuality lifestyle THAT is (or should be) the focus of thier work together. Convesely, if a homosexual individual approaches a mental health professional to obtain help with their current/chosen sexual identity then THAT should be the focus of their work together.

    The law itself may be outdated but whether or not is stays on the books seems somewhat irelevant.

    Mark J

    April 6, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  162. Jerry

    This quack is milking his cash bull, and defends an antiquated and ridiculous law that supports him.
    I worked in the mental health field for decades, and religious ideation is more commonly associated with mental illness than sexual orientation is. Go to any admissions ward, and all you hear is crazy religious talk from the patients.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  163. Jrhafelein

    First- I have gay friends, and they are as decent and well-meaning as anyone else. I don't feel as if they are amoral or bad in any way.

    However, considering the Category and Context of the common desires and behaviors of homosexuals- how can it Not be considered a treatable condition in some cases?

    When people are compelled to be Sexually Attracted to Animals or Children or their Family, society says they are 'Sick' or Mentally Ill. But when people are Sexually Attracted to their Same Gender- it is not sick at all?

    I am not suggesting that Gays are wrong. It is simply not for Me.... I just don't see where the logic is in the argument when every other attraction is clearly awkward and wrong. 40-60 years ago Homosexuality and Incest and Bestiality were all equally offensive. Where did the schism take place?

    I am not rebuking the fact that those others are nasty– just questioning the logic of When and Why homosexuality is not.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  164. Les Jones

    Bonnie Lowenthal comes across as a logical, level-headed, and modern advocate of Common Sense. Richard Cohen's reasoning is the opposite: he equates sexual predators with homosexuality. Unbelievably offensive in this day. Since when are all gay people sexual predators? Since when are all sexual predators gay? This is absurd, twisted, and illogical.

    Cohen's repeated reference to his work as a psychotherapist suggests this lends credibility to his perspective. This is disturbing to me. He doesn't seem to distinguish between sexual orientation and sexual behavior. He sees the no spectrum in identification with sexual identity.

    Archaic laws exist across the country and laws exist to reflect the ever evolving values, attitudes, and the evolution of thought. Why would we need a law in order to "study" the causes of being gay? Has Cohen never heard about studies at Cambridge University regarding formation of the hypothalamus in gay people?

    Perhaps therapists could help gay people overcome the internalized self-loathing that develops as they grow and encounter the cultural misunderstanding of human nature rather than perpetuating the notion of being gay as a disease.

    Has Cohen heard that the Earth is round and not flat?

    April 6, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  165. Zack Morocco

    This law should have been approved long time ago. I am not really surprised that Homosexuality can be cured and I guarantee that if they find the cure, all people that are saying NO now to this law will be the first user of the cure. Everyone wants to be normal. No offence to guy people!

    April 6, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  166. Eugene Summers

    I pray some one reads this. There are alot of people who hate the ideal that they find the same sex appealing. If you are a Christian such as myself there is a war going on inside of you. I have chosen not to practice this life style, yet in my soul i'm at war. It is a war between the flesh and the spirt. Do you realize that more teenager's are committing suicide because of it. More people such as myself are living isolated lives, because of societies homophobia/hatred, and for other's their Christian beliefs. Did you noticed I said Christian and not Religous belief, well the reason I said Christian is because many us understands how
    God feels about it, and when you know the truth from the Bible we can not just dismiss it. Religion is of man and humans will say conflicting things, and have conflicting thoughts. So I must trust the word of God, for one day I will have to stand before God and be Judged. To a human being who is also a Christian we live by the spirt and not by what the world excepts, aka.. the war between the spirt and the flesh. I would do almost anything to get read of this yoke i carry each day. Last: Can you give me the phone number to the therapist that you had on the show today. Many of us a desparate for any kind of help we can get. Thank you so very much.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  167. Arine Ward

    Dan it wold be my suggestion that you go on further in Apostle Paul's teachings and find out that he said and "Such things were some of you" stop trying to fight Gods battles, and you be a Good Servant proclaiming and living a well balanced life...and show Love...Stop making the church look like we're all bible crazies...

    Peace Be Still!!!

    April 6, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  168. Bruce

    Laws that protect moral and Godly rights must remain and be inspired more. Homosexuality, prostitution, incest, alcoholism and many other wrong acts by us need to be corrected. Marriage has always been man/woman we have no human right to change that which is healthy for all Man kind. We have the right to correct our transgressions

    April 6, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  169. Godlike

    To: Richard A. Lawhern, Ph.D.

    You are the kind of human being that we need in this country! Thank you for your elocuence and rationality.

    To: Others

    Read and learn!

    April 6, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  170. Kevyn Rose

    This is ridiculous; I can't believe people are saying this stems from abuse as a child. I am now a grown man who is a homosexual and I was never abused as a child, and my parents have been together for 40 years. How could such a law exist?

    April 6, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  171. Liberal Junkie

    Being gay is a chemical imbalance, so I think it needs to stay. And yes, the year is 2010. Why do people always state that, when we talk about homosexuals?

    April 6, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  172. john

    There is little proof anyone is "cured" from homosexuality. We have all seen young children that exhibit homosexual traits as young as 5 years old, long before sexuality is developed.

    Interview the participants of this mans seminars and see how they fared over the years. I would guess the long-term success rate is below 1%.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  173. megan harvey

    I have never,read or been so disgusted with the proposterous notion that Homosexuality is an "illness" that needs to be cured! Please,refrain your ill chosen efforts with this and put your time and efforts into something worthwhile,like famine!!!

    April 6, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  174. Luciene

    I am more saddened than surprised, actually, because I still perceive a great deal of homophobia roaming like the plague through the world. I would like to see all gay people, gay couples and gay families living their lives openly, everyday. No closets on daily life. Life and love are stronger than any Pride Parade.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  175. Kylie

    Are you serious right now? Wow, I wouldn't be surprised if homosexuality ended up being 'contagious'. People are crazy.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  176. Petter

    Homosexuality is natural and makes one person even more unique

    April 6, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  177. Roslyn

    Homesexuality is not something that can be cured, it's not an ailment. You can't cure being male, female, African-American, Asian-American, etc ... you can't cure being gay.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  178. Michelle

    This is a law on the books in the state of California. In the Constitution it states a very clear separation of church and state. Where is this seperation in the year 2010?

    This argument goes back and forth because of the fact that religion is allowed into government over and over. Many people on here are fighting for this law to stay on the books, then fine...there needs to be a complete revamp and renewal of the constitution back into laws. If you think about it, homosexual marriage would have been legalized a log time ago if true seperation of church and state existed.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  179. Seraph Giamatti

    Perhaps California could look into curing overzealous Christians of their zealotry and bigotry. After all, religion is a giant meme. For those not up on terminology, that means it's viral like viral videos and viral marketing. Homosexuality is not viral, nor bacterial.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  180. Tami Kennedy

    Based upon the date of the law it was written when there was far more stereotypes than knowledge. The fact that it is taking this long to be addressed (and hopefully repealed) shows that it is one of those old laws that sits around collecting dust without much real effect.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  181. Liz

    i think our time and resources would be better served trying to cure ignorance, bigotry, religious zealotry, and judgementalism.

    any organized group that admonishes its followers that anyone in the opposition is evil, fosters fear and hate by its very nature.

    god, if you believe in one, gave us minds with which to think, and question, and reason. look in your hearts and ask yourselves if one adult loving another adult is really any of your business.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  182. P Hitschmann

    I would just like to say that a lot of people are quick to judge others, before you spout off i suggest you look at your own lives first and ask the following questions... 1) am i a good person 2) am i happy, if the answers to these two questions are yes, then please explain why you find it necessary to refer to homosexuals as sinners? What is it to you if two men or two women decide to sleep together? who are you to say that they will be judged? Are you God? I am a heterosexual man, and have alot of gay friends, the fact that they are gay doesn't bother me in the slightest, it doesn't make them any different from me. What someone wants to do in their personal life is their business, it has nothing to do with anyone else... i suggest all you high and mighty "christians" think for a minute before jumping on your high horses... As for the law, i am very surprised to find out that such a discriminatory law is still in existence, what are we living in? the stone age or the 21st century?? hopefully it will soon be history...

    April 6, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  183. Melissa


    Um...except homosexuality has been around since long before immunizations were invented.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  184. Carlos

    The Law is the Law.
    It was put there for a reason.
    What is so good about being gay or a pedophiles ?
    Do you really get more respect for being different?
    What does being gay accomplish?
    Why do people become insecure about their sexuality that they were born to be.
    This world has a mental health issue and this research could answer some questions, keep the Law.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  185. JRC

    People need to MIND THIER OWN BUSINESS.....No GAWD cares if You like Hot DOGS or Hot dog rolls.......its America's SICK oBsession with Sex...(other peoples sex) ...its a wonder why America falls behind in education..with so many religious fruitcakes running rampant in this country.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  186. David in Houston

    Mr. Cohen is a quack, whose only claim to fame is forcing himself to live a lie as a heterosexual, all while still having sexual attractions to men. That in no way can be considered "changing your orientation". Pretending to be straight does not make it so. Otherwise straight people should be able to force themselves to be attracted to the same sex. We all know this is impossible, so the opposite must be true as well.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  187. N.T. Faith

    I'm not going to argue religious points of view here; although I find it hard to believe that God, in any form or under any system of belief, would support the hatred I see spewed.

    That said, this country was founded on, among other things, the concept of separation of church and state. We are discussing the laws of the state and religion has no place there.

    I read comments above about the Christian point of view and I have to ask: does this insistence on promoting "Christian" values in the law mean that Jews, Muslims, Hindus and other non-Christians in this country should be denied rights? I mean hey, they're not gonna go along with your King James version of life either.

    Additionally, homosexuality is not a disease to be cured. On the other hand, bigotry is and the vitriol spewed against homosexuals in this country is what needs a reorientation program. Unfortunately, stupidity cannot be cured.

    Homosexuality is not a choice. I'm a heterosexual woman and I have not chosen to be straight. I simply am. It is how I was born. Why do the haters insist that straight people are born that way, but jump ship on rationality when insisting gay people choose to be that way? How convenient for your hatred. Time to question your logic because your argument is fundamentally flawed.

    In these days of troubles, where wars are being fought in other countries, where people are starving around the world, where natural disasters take thousands of lives, and where children in our own country are neglected, starving, and without proper education, the idea that people would spend their time and money promoting hatred against the way people choose to LOVE each other is mind boggling.

    I'm sure God would be so proud.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  188. Kathy

    Shouldn't balance in this report include an expert on whether heterosexuality can be cured?

    April 6, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  189. David in Houston

    Carlos said, "What is so good about being gay or a pedophile?"

    You are comparing apples and oranges. You might as well say, "What is so good about being straight or a pedophile?" Like straight relationships, gay couples are CONSENTING ADULTS. Pedophiles are not in consenting relationships with children. This is common sense for most people.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  190. Gustavo Monteiro

    It looks like a joke, nowadays. The ignorance and the prejudice of some people need to be cured, not the homosexuality.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:30 am |
  191. brittney

    You know sadly this doesn't suprise ne in 2010. I hope for better in 2010 but clearly it won't change. People who were gay and now are married with thre kids either were confused about they're selves, their bi-sexual, or they are trying to disquise they're true feelings. Or it could be they never were Gay to begin with.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  192. Tyler

    I'm really mad at California. There should not be a law like this in America in 2010. As a gay teen in America, this hurts me personally and extremely saddens me. It is a disgrace.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  193. HR Mitchell

    I'm not surprised in the least that such a law would still be on the books, whether in California or any other state. There are thousands of outdated laws that should be reviewed and repealed; this is why I personally believe that all laws should include a "sundown" provision, regardless of the law's focus.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  194. Tyler

    I am just disgusted. And shocked. On addition to everything I said previous.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  195. Ken

    Religion doesn't have anything to do with law (or at least that's how it's supposed to be). Let's cure 'heterosexuals' of being ignorant, how about that?

    April 6, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  196. Dan

    People that say they find it hard to believe God hates this wickedness need to go back and read Genesis 19. He destroyed 2 wicked cities because of this act. As a Christian, I say that's enough proof that God hates homosexuality.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  197. Eugene Summers

    What did you mean, "your commit is awaiting moderation"? I would like to tell you why I hate my gayness, from the age of 4 to the age of nine I was raped and molested by a male family member. My mother was an alcoholic, child abuser. (I can not believe I am writing this), my mother slepted around before I was born and out of seven children there were six fathers. I was the youngest and by chance she fell in love with him, and he just used her for sex. Out of anger, she took out all her hate, frustration and bitterness out on me. So I was verbally, physically, mentally and emotionally abuse. In the end I was rejected when she sent me away to an orphanage. I don't want nor need the gay life. I have read all of what people wrote in today. I have noticed that the majority that were sent in by gays sounded angry, and closed minded. Dare I say predudice even. I also believe that this may even be an addiction for some. I am so glad that I am a Christian because I would not be able to handle this nightmare called life if I did not have Jesus to hold tightly too.. One thing I want to make clear, there are alot of people out there who claim to be Christians but are not. I think they need to look at the life of Jesus Christ. The way they treat people in their communities is shameful and appalling. They are going to totally be surprised on Judgement Day. Thank you.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  198. Michelle

    I agree with David. To many times we hear about homosexuals being compared to pedophiles. This is ignorance in it's purest form. 95% of pedophiles are white HETROSEXUAL males. Another small percentage is other males from different ethnic backgrounds and even further are a very small percentage of women. Please Please please I beg of people before you continue to spread hate, by making such lewd comments, do your research.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:48 am |
  199. ianmcdonald

    I am not surprised at all. This is the kind of ignorance is all too common in this country.

    Should the law be repealed? Absolutely. Religious nutjobs who support this type of discrimination need to realize that it's 2010 and the Bible is not meant to be taken literally.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:51 am |
  200. Michelle


    You're forgetting that God hate many MANY sins and that homosexuality isn't seperated from any of those sins as special or more wicked than the others. This has been pointed out in multiple posts above. Please try and see that judgement is also punishable by the same God in the same way.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  201. Jrhafelein

    I don't think anyone is comparing the ethics of Homosexuality with those of Pedophilia or Bestiality or Necrophilia or Incest... consenting or not...
    There are very fundamental differences for sure.
    What is being said is from a Psychological Perspective: How are all of the others considered mental illnesses and unnatural while homosexuality is not?

    I have no problem with homosexuality– I just have this thing called Intelligent Curiosity for Rational Logic.
    If each of these 'desires' or infatuations are regulated or identified in the same 'pleasure' or 'satisfaction' regions within the Brain– why not so-called "cure" them all? Maybe Therapy is not out of the question?

    + Or, Maybe Homosexuality is Fully a Natural Variation in Nature. Maybe the others (Pedophilia, Bestiality, Necrophilia or Incest), are all Twisted Variants away from Homosexuality- And, Upon Treatment and Therapy can be "cured" and realized to be simply Gay, and Not meaning to be those other things–
    - perhaps they are only Misdirected or Disturbed? Like channeling their energy and interests in a positive way?

    I am sure that homosexuality is not wrong. Just as how psychological differences and variations and disorders are not wrong– they are only Differences. Some need guidance, but many only need tolerance and compassion.

    Religion needs to keep clear of Medicine and Psychology. Otherwise we will be headed right back to Witch-Hunts, Exorcisms, and Inquisitions all over again.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  202. Dan

    Michelle, you are absolutely right; a sin is a sin is a sin to God; however, he hated this sin SO much he rained burning sulfer down on 2 cities and destroyed them. I would say he was/is pretty angry with homosexuality. Especially when he says in the very first book in the bible Man should not be alone, therefore, he created woman. He was very specific about unionship (Man and Woman).
    I am not judging, just pointing out what God says about homosexuality.

    April 6, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  203. JRC

    Dan is Proof positive Religion IS A MENTAL ILLNESS.......Hey Dan, so I take it you USE this 2000yr old book to steer your daily you follow it to the letter do ya>? WOW.....Please seek therapy.

    April 6, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  204. Dan

    Michelle, you are absolutely right; a sin is a sin is a sin to God; however, he hated this sin SO much he rained burning sulfer down on 2 cities and destroyed them. I would say he was/is pretty angry with homosexuality. Especially when he says in the very first book in the bible Man should not be alone, therefore, he created woman. He was very specific about unionship (Man and Woman).
    I am not judging, just pointing out what God says about homosexuality.
    He also said in Genesis 1:28 go and multiply (meaning reproduction). How can 2 men or 2 women reproduce? Physically impossible.

    April 6, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  205. Gustavo Monteiro

    As I said before. The ignorants need to be cured! And also those christians that believes only in what are convenient for themselves. God loves us all.

    April 6, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  206. CriticalThinker

    Perhaps HATE CAN BE CURED. Cohen is an unlicensed crackpot without academic credentials. There is not a shred of evidence published in a peer reviewed scientific journal that anyone has ever been "reoriented." That includes Mr. Cohen who has had sex with men since his sham marriage.

    Reparative "therapy" is utter nonsense that was manufactured by the Christian right to excuse their intolerance. The evangelical calculus considers a celibate to be a reparative success story.

    April 6, 2010 at 12:17 pm |
  207. Dan

    JRC, what happens to one after death? Do you beleive we are like a dog and just cease to exist?

    April 6, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  208. Liz

    Jrhafelein: um. wow. Pedophilia, and Incest are not pleasure driven acts. they are acts committed to exert power over another, and sex is the tool used to express that control.

    beauty is in the eye of the beholder. we all have very personalized, individual definitions of what is attractive in a mate. why on earth would any society need to criminalize or vilify whether one consenting adult is attracted to another? it used to be a crime for blacks to marry whites, too.

    if you're not homosexual, fine. go about your life. but please have the courtesy to allow others the same FREEDOM.

    April 6, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  209. Dan

    JRC, one other thing I forgot. Christianity is not a "religion". It is a "relationship". Have a God Blessed day.

    April 6, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  210. CriticalThinker

    Exactly why CNN would give a forum (and attendant credibility) to Mr. Cohen is inexplicable. You might as well have interviewed an exorcist or Sarah Palin's witch hunter friend.

    April 6, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  211. Christopher Allen

    Whether or not God actually lives is not a matter of perception; it is a matter of fact. If God in fact exists, than it is as much a fact as the existence of time and space. If you are an atheist, God still exists. Period. I wish You would get this truth. Take a look at this verse: Psalms 14:1 "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, their deeds are vile". Here is another: Romans 1:20 "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." You see: the existence of anything at all is proof of God. You are without excuse! God said it; He is truth. You cannot escape Him because God sees everything! Turn to Him! He will save you!

    April 6, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  212. chris

    For all those Christians who believe the Bible to be the absolute word of god, Leviticus chapter 11 verse 7: And the swine, though he divided the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.
    Verse 10: and all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing within the waters they shall be an abomination unto you.
    I would be more inclined to listen to you all when I see protest outside Golden Coral and Red Lobster and sending nasty hateful
    letters to Jimmy Dean!!!!

    April 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  213. Clarisa

    Didnt they already prove that homosexuality is not an illness? Why do u need to be cured for who u are? Its very contradictory. Being an open lesbian myself, I would like to state that it is NOT a CHOICE and I believe that this is just very ignorant.

    April 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  214. DavidinTexas

    Actually Dan, most theologians believe that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of rape, lack of respect for individual freedom of choice, and that the passages referring to homosexuality were only being condemned because the citizens wanted to rape the visitors... A huge percentage of Christians now realize that the passages condemning homosexuality have as much literal impact as the passages prohibiting women from speaking in church, or passages prohibiting men from cutting their hair, or commanding that we stone a woman who is found not to be a virgin on her wedding night, or stoning our children when they are disrespectful to their parents, or making any child born to an unwed mother an outcast never to be accepted into the church, or not eating pork or shellfish... all these things are "commanded" in the Bible... why pick and choose which verse you enforec? Isnt that also a sin worth of hell? The lame excuses of "thats the old law, so it doesnt apply to me" are tired and we all see them for what they are... people attempting to justify their own hatred of someone different than they are. Many of the "commandments" I listed earlier are mentioned in the new testament, by Paul, and some are only a few verses away from the verses quoted to "condemn" homosexuality... however they always conveniently are not mentioned, or "explained away" with some obtuse argument... bottom line is, cast the first stone if you are iwthout sin, that includes the bacon you ate for breakfast, the shrimp dinner you had last weekend, and if your wife has ever testified, spoken, or even sang in church... she is disobeying what Paul has told us in the new testament...

    April 6, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  215. Jesse

    So Dan, you are saying (since God created Adam and Eve) and told them to go forth and multiply, it is only logic that all of us (even you) are product of incest? Still trying to figure out how blacks, whites, asians, latinos, indians were all created from one man and one woman to start.....

    April 6, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  216. DavidinTexas

    The fact that this question is still being asked is ridiculous, the American Psychiatric Association, widely seen as the global authority on issues concerning mental health, has for quite a while now stated that homosexuality is not an illness... check their website if you dont believe me, they plainly state that attempts to "cure" homosexuality have historically proven exceptionally harmful to the people trying to be "cured".

    This reminds me of the arguments about a century and a half or so ago that minority races were "mentally and physically inferior" to the white race, and therefore the fact that they were treated as second class citizens was not only acceptable, but required...

    April 6, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  217. Frank

    You know what. This story has inspired me. I've decided to make a change of my own. I don't want to be black anymore. I am tired of being a minority. I'm tired of living the black lifestyle. Most of all, I'm tired of wearing this badge of shame that is dark skin. So I have decided to cure myself of my blackness and become white. I am going to bleach my skin, dye my hair blond, have plastic surgery to remove my ethnic features, and wear blue contacts everyday. And I then I will go on tv to show other blacks that change is possible. That you can come to know a white life if you really want to. Sure, this transition might be long and may even put my health in danger. Sure, it's only changing my outward appearance, but isn't what people perceive on the outside what's most important in life? And changing myself later in life to fit in with everyone else is what god intended when he made me black.

    April 6, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  218. Gustavo Monteiro

    Great comment, Frank!

    April 6, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  219. jim

    you spoke the truth about certain professing christians that condem those who have sinned. I sometimes think that these people's motto should be,'we love it when you sin so we can hate you"! Instead of "love the sinner and hate the sin"! I to rely on Jesus and kow he loves me! I understand some of you who feel threatened by religon, however you have a point that that are other sins, such a gossiping, that are an abomination to GOD. But, at same time many christrains whoare aware of this type wrong thinking in the past and though the act of homosexulity is a sin we are commanded by JESUS to love the sinner. Many would now pray for them and stan-up for their right to hold a job w/o discrimination and harrasment. Many of those others who have called themselves christains who condem will find that judge you not that you may judged also will apply to them Don't worry about them as they do not love CHRIST,but love being maoral and unforgiving. but i wish to make another point. Ther are people who will tell you that they are not christains and still hate homosexuals.Yes i believe the act is a sin.But would not be ugly or hateful toward somewon who is gay. I am glad that I came to the discesion to change and turn form my homosexulity and grfateful to my Lord for this redimption



    p.s. kyra I do believe you were a little one sided

    April 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  220. Michelle


    I don't think I could have said it better myself!!

    April 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  221. Eugene Summers

    This is meant for those of you who were not abused as children. Picture an innocent child in his or her formaltive years, the slate is clean, their growth is normal. Now picture a selfish adult useing that child for their own perversion, doing unspeakable things to a child of innocence. That child does not understand what is happening to him or her, these things which are being done to them is before their minds are even fully grown. Their mental and emotional growth is stunted, what would have been a natural and normal growth period has been literally closed off to them. What stages of growth the majority of you took for granted was stolen from us. They are now emotionally and mentally scarred for life. Now picture this child, lets say a male child getting older his identity is confused to say the least, he is raised by an alcohlic abusive mother who mentally, physically and verbally abuse him. What i am trying to write here is that many of us came into the gay life not wilingly. Being hurt by hetrosexals is a giving, but it makes it worse when we are put down by closed minded gay people. So when we say we are not happy in the gay life don't you dare put us down. Many of us were not meant to be gay. So if we can get the help to change, don't you dare knock us down for wanting it.

    April 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  222. Gustavo Monteiro

    Eugene, I just think you need a psycotherapy to solve this problem. The abuse you suffered in your childhood doesn't have any link with homosexuality.

    April 6, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
  223. DavidinTexas

    To Eugene Summers... if you were abused as a child I am truly sorry for you, that is a horrid act that is atrocious and should never happen.

    However these people who proclaim that homosexuality always comes from abuse, a distant father, or an overprotective mother, are only trying to tie homosexuality to a dark and sinister source, making it seem innately wrong.

    If the very vocal ill informed part of society would stop trying to prove that homosexuality is this horribly awful thing, suicides in gay teens would drop, drug abuse and risky sex among gay teens and adults would drop... if society would reinforce self worth, and stop the condemnation, more gay people would value themselves and their potential contributions to society. If a part of you is innately evil and unnatural, why would you care about your life? These lies have got to stop, they are the source of the problem, not the homosexuality.

    Homosexuals have proven that they are completely capable of forming lasting loving relationships, adopting children, raising them while working and paying taxes, contributing to the PTA, actively participating in their churches or other social organizations... they are simply not biologically capable of reproducing with their life partner... neither are many infertile heterosexual couples... and yet we don't denigrate them?

    The tide is turning, and people are realizing that hate is the only motivation behind these campaigns to villify homosexuality, unfortunately this is making the proponents of hate rachet up their rhetoric, which causes more pain and confusion to those who are still being persecuted and dont know that a great fulfilling life is waiting for them, just as they are. No repairs are needed...

    April 6, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
  224. chris

    Well Dan: One has nothing to do with the other. My reference has to do with how Christians pick and choose while reading the bible, If you believe the bible to be the absolute word, then you must take every word in the book literally. Lessons from the bible teach no one sin is greater than the other, A lie is a lie. So I would hope that those who wish to condemn gays would think about that while eating that Bacon and egg breakfast. Funny how none of the other "sins" in Leviticus ever make it into the Sunday sermon! And I would also remind you Dan: The bible was also used to fight against the Civil rights movement in the 50's and 60's......yeah how'd that work out!!!

    April 6, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  225. Robyn

    I'm looking forward to watch this segment. I'm 20 and my friends were able to come out in high school. Back then, coming out made you a walking target more than today. There is a lot of evidence to support that people are BORN GAY. It used to be a psychological disorder, and it's no longer in the DSM-IV.

    April 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  226. Michelle


    You seem to be echoing the very things I've been trying to articulate. Hopefully how you've stated it may make sense to a few more people.

    April 6, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  227. DavidinTexas

    The fact of the matter is that Homosexuality is NOT an "Issue" or a "Sin"... the APA says that homosexuality is not a disorder in ned of treatment, and that any "treatment" will most likely do much more harm than good. And many theologians consider verses condemning homosexuality to be non literal, not applicable to our culture, just as women being silent in church, the stoning of lepers, and taking slaves from surrounding countries are no longer applicable to us.

    Anyone stating is only justifying their own "correctness" or "saved-ness", or scared of anything or anyone different than themselves.

    Homosexuality is not a threat to anyone, to no marriage, to no child, to no culture, unless your culture is based on hate. Spewing Hate and preaching inferiority whether you are "hating the sin" or not... causes a tremendous amount of mental anguish for the people who are in "need" of the "cure" and to their loved ones thinking their family member is "sick" or innately inferior. The same thinking caused black people to feel they were "inferior" and long to be white, when in fact they were just as good, just as capable, and had just as much potential as anyone else on the planet.

    April 6, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  228. maze1gerald

    I agree on the reorientation effort we have to face the fact that being homosexual should not be normalized,But I do feel everyone should be respected.

    April 7, 2010 at 12:30 am |
  229. maria

    There are many people on here that have said that homosexuality is proven to be from genes, actually its not, scientists are trying to find a gene that links homosexuality to genetics but they haven't found one yet. Furthermore, I think it will interesting to hear both sides of this debate because everyone needs to hear both sides of the argument not just blindly believe what pop culture and the media feed us.

    April 7, 2010 at 1:27 am |
  230. Dale (WA)

    I'm not too surprised at a law from the time of Ward and June being ignorant and demeaning towards gay Americans. One thing that did surprise me from the piece was that nobody brought forth the fact that Mr Cohen has a financial interest in promoting the false idea that being gay is curable and promoting the lie that people aren't born into their sexual orientation.
    He's no expert, he's a used car salesman with a product that's on the verge of expiring.

    Homosexuality has been with mankind since recorded history began. It's way older than the religions that seek to eradicate its "evil".
    People, the "evil" is in your minds, your words and your hearts.

    Being gay is part of being human. Being homophobic by definition is more of a mental disorder!

    April 7, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  231. Emily C.

    I know i'm a day late but maybe you will see this anyhow. the thing that captured my attention was that the lady who represented gay & lesbien rights was denying this man's rights to not remain homosexual and to help others who wanted to do the same. I have attended several workshops thru the years led by homosexuals who had wanted to change their orientation – some successful & some not – and by psychiatrists who said that there was no concrete evidence that this was a genetic condition. It is, rather, a result of early damaged relationships. Also, sexual contact before sexual maturity does affect sexual orientation – like the psychiatrist on your show. I have been friends with a number of homosexual people thru the years and some are happy with who they are and more are not. I cannot even imagine anybody wanting to deny the rights of others. Altho you and your guests were civil on your show I believe the psychiatrist was terribly belittled & discriminated against . Is this world becoming too "heterophobic"?

    April 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  232. Steven Gams

    I think this is absolutely insane.....we focus on the trivial things....why don't we focus on curing cancer......and getting all these low lifes who pump out babies constantly off of welfafre....???????.....My partner and I moved back to his hometown population 6800 and we were actually stopped by a policeman for throwing a cigarette butt our of our car window....Where are our priorities.....wake up America!!!!!!!!!

    April 7, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
  233. Peter

    Really Classy comment today about you miscalculation and to use Cohen. You are the best. Thanks for the coverage!

    April 8, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  234. Dena

    Kyra, you are clearly on the side of human rights, and I, for one, appreciate how you handled this situation. And as you just said, anyone who watches you on a regular basis knows that you are compassionate and humane. Those who can't see that aren't paying attention. Keep up the good work!

    April 8, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  235. bill eddins


    just saw your response to the hate mail you've been receiving on this subject. Keep telling it like it is, please. I'm with you 100%.

    April 8, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  236. Fo

    Your personal note was WELL SAID Kyra. Thank you and Rock on!

    April 8, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  237. Shawn

    I just watched you interview and plea for civility claiming how fair you are. There is nothing fare about throwing softball question to a guy you stated that you agree with without an opposing view point there to be represented. Try telling the truth and that might minimize the hate.

    April 8, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  238. sally ellison

    You go Girl!!!! Loved your comment after this segment.
    If only everyone felt the same way. Have a great day.
    Thanks, Sally

    April 8, 2010 at 9:47 am |
  239. Steve

    I heard your commentary followup to this topic today. I only have to say "BRAVO KYRA". If only we could all respect each other, our views and personal choices, we would have such a better world! I am a happy and healthy gay man who has had to endure oppression from society and family. My father was a baptist minister who preach fear of God and little of his love. He actually asked me to forgive him after 20 years of being shunned. I forgave him. He died within a year and half later. Why some of us have to come close to death to realize we need to reconcil our lives. I have tried to live my life by treating others as I would want to be treated. If only we all could do the same.

    April 8, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  240. Bridgette Jeter

    Thanks Kyra for good journalism and evoking debate. I am a new fan

    April 8, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  241. Bill R

    Kyra I was so impressed with your support and your words regarding this subject. I am a gay man in Minneapolis, Mn, who can't believe that laws like this still sit on the books in 2010! We are all told we need to obey the law, well how about updating the laws [like this one] so it's not so hypocrytical especially for kids growing up today. We can't ever expect to have the society most of would like to live in if our government doesn't take laws like this off the books! As for homosexuality being a choice or not, give me a break, that's as outdated a question as this law is a law.

    April 8, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  242. jack hilley

    omg..kyra can i apologize for all my fellow gay americans who so misunderstood ur excellent reporting...ive watched cnn for a very long time..its my choice for news and info..and ur one of the top notch reporters there..i know u have won two emmys and ap reporter of the year..i know how smart and passionate AND compassionate u are..THANK YOU FOR UR EXCELLENT JOB REPORTING THIS this heated polictical enviornment ..people are quick to hear what they want to hear and be mad at it..I SEE THE WHOLE STORY HERE...richard cohens message is scarey..and dangerous...but we have to know hes out there..thats what your job is as a news station..thank you....I LOVE KYRA PHILLIPS and have already set many fellow gays "straight" on this matter..keep doing what ur doing...plz..we need you..jack hilley

    April 8, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  243. Erinn

    Go Kyra! That's right, we must seek passionate debate while holding a civil tongue, touche! I loved seeing your heart come through today, I'll admit I've had a hard time getting over Heidi's departure. I think I'm over it now. Please don't hesitate to let your heart shine through when you deliver the news, even if its nothing more than a shine in your eyes, it lets your beautiful spirit show. Sometimes we hear the news delivered in an almost monotone way (not necessarily CNN, I watch several news stations...). It's said that video games, t.v & movies have desensitized us as a people but I think seeing journalists/anchors report on REAL death, chaos and destruction without batting an eyelash is what will really numb us to others pain. Seeing fellow humans suffer should bring tears to your eyes, its o.k to care. You can give all the facts and still care....

    April 8, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  244. Tonya

    Kyra – given the enormous number of comments here, I doubt you get to this one...but I literally applauded your comment this morning when you addressed the threatening responses you received on this subject. People are so quick to judge and so intolerant of others' opinions. And like you say, so many times they lash out without even knowing the person. I love watching you on CNN. You're the greatest!

    April 8, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  245. Sandii

    I just heard your commentary on the vicious emails that you have received as a result of your story. YOU GO, KYRA!!! I am so proud of the things that you said this morning!

    April 8, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  246. Ant G

    Kyra, More journalists like you are needed!! Life is all about choices. We've been given the right to choose how we want to live and our human responsibility is to be respectful of others regardless of personal opinion. Hate starts locally [in one's mind] and breeds globally. Enough! Journalists should be willin to promote discussion, as you do, w/o interjecting personal opinion in a such a way as to demean another's. Supporting human rights is the responsibility of each of us. After all, we may find ourselves in need of such support someday.

    April 8, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  247. Dave

    Krya – I'm a gay male and watched the program the other day about the guy who converted. Having the guy as a guest was 100% appropriate even though I did not agree with him at all. Your commentary on the subject today was also dead on.
    The gay community, (to which I belong), needs to be more accepting of views that might not align with us, and allow these voices to be heard. When we don't agree then we debate the view, but always we should respect the others view even when we do not agree. Why – because we live in a free society where anyone is allowed to believe what ever they want. If we get angry at Krya for putting this other view on the air – then we are on acting towards censorship. Just think 20 years ago if the status quo of hiding the gay community from public debate was successful, we would never have become who we are today. Shame on those who sent threats to Kyra – she is doing more positive for the gay community than those who sent in those threats!

    April 8, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  248. Mauro Hernandez


    Just want to say "Thank You" for being a great person and letting others know that without civility we can not move forward as a nation or more importantly as people. I appreciate your support that you give to all of us whose voice is not always heard. Know that even though there are haters out there you have people that will uplift and support you for all you do for us, the unheard voices. Again, Thanks. Mauro

    April 8, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  249. Rick

    I missed your story, but heard your comment the following day to which I have the following comment. Respect is earned; civility is deserved.

    April 8, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  250. Rhonda Holle

    I have thought long and hard on this issue over the years and decided it was the same as the color of our eyes or the color of our hair or how tall we are. Being gay is the same, it 's how some people are made. How can someone be punished for that?

    April 8, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  251. Don Alfera

    Kyra, please don't change a thing. Presenting as many aspects of any question is the only way an intelligent person can make an informed decision. If people want just one thing, let them go to FOX..... We alll know that is pretty limiting, you are presenting a full picture of a very complex situation and question. I do count on someone to bring in experts and leaders in the field to present "Quality information" for me as a viewer to better understand. Agree, disagree it is all the same, an opion hopefully based on the best information possible.

    Nope, don't change a thing.

    April 8, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  252. Pangel

    Kyra, great closing on the homosexuality can be cured.,inspiring and inteligent. I wish there were more people like you and the rest of the CNN team in this world. I love all of you and great job!

    April 8, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  253. Jacki Moss

    Thanks so much for your suppoprt of civil rights for ALL people. The people who hide behind the same hateful rhetoric that kept African Americans and Women in a state of oppression for centuries will spew their hate-filled venom to anyone who does not agree with them.

    Thanks for your bravery.

    April 8, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  254. Hugh Jenney

    You are to be congratulated on your well-balanced and informative coverage of this human tragedy.

    I have a theory that blames testosterone for causing this change in the foetus. Too much testosterone is caused by the mother being under too much stress. German women during WW 11 produced twice as many homosexuals as normal. Normal being about 10%.

    So let's all be kind and supportive of pregnant women. HJ

    April 8, 2010 at 10:03 am |
  255. Jennifer

    I just wanted to say Thank you Kyra, I really like how you handled the show and expressed your own opinion. Thank you again.

    April 8, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  256. Robert Negron

    Heard your commentary on the issue today.
    Thank you for your clear and balanced take on an issue that has provoked anger and bigotry against the gay/lesbian and transgendered communities.
    Equating one's Gay sexuality with codewords such as pedophile, predator is a step backward 60+ years ago and dangerous to all.
    Thank you for your intelligent and compassionate response and i"I'm sorry for the Hate mail you have been getting.
    Standing strong for all human rights will help silence all the haters out there and stem the current tide of ignorance pervading our culture these days.

    April 8, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  257. Jennifer Morgan

    I heard you say that you took flack on this story from my community (LGBT).. I'd like to apologize. As I'm sure you've seen, the emotional strain of being homosexual in this country leads to a lot of anger. It's counterproductive for sure, and those that are often in anger's crosshairs, are there to be supportive.
    What has happened in this country, probably since those bullets hit MLK, is that we have shut down all methods of communication; using instead -on both sides- key words that are utilized to both propagate rage and quell any further conversation. On the opposition, words like evil, unnatural, abomination rip our families away from us upon exiting the closet, tearing us apart from biological family and God. My community does no better, using words like intolerant, backwards, inhumane to align themselves across the mystical line that we now all stand toe to toe on.
    It is people like you, who work tirelessly to reopen the conversation up, that do us the most good in our fight, in any fight really. For Jesus walked the Earth, never meeting a stranger or unwilling to strike up a conversation with even the most oppressive or downtrodden of people. MLK walked across that Alabama bridge and shook hands with the white sheriff because he new conversation is alway the best starting pt.
    These words that divide us; this demanding of tolerance ( which is itself is an oxymoron)- this will get us no where but open and honest conversation that takes in to account both sides, will lead us straight to victory. Which won't be the "GAY AGENDA TAKING OVER AMERICA." But instead greater understanding of humanity, which is a beautiful thing.
    Thanks for taking on the story, and have a blessed day.

    April 8, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  258. Tim


    I heard your comments regarding the California plan to cure gay people. Kyra, You had me in tears. Your remarks were so genuine and from your heart. I am a gay man and never came out of the closet for fear of hate and disdain for me. The result is a man with no love in his life. Your praise of ALL lifetyles was a breath of air. I have no desire to change or go to have myself "cured". I am sorry that religious zealots sent you hate mail. You are indeed a Loving and Caring person and should be Praised for your open mind. I
    Krya Phillips......YOU ROCK! Thank you!

    April 8, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  259. Les Jones from Los Angeles

    Following today's re-visit of the Tuesday segment:

    As a gay person, I applaud Kyra's attention to this topic. It takes exposure of these topics to inform people of any on-going issues that still affect thousands of people, especially when the personal growth and self-esteem of young gay people is at stake. Would anyone object to racial segregation laws still being on the books in rural towns across the South? I suspect so.

    As for the mixing of religion and sexuality: while the inability of some to distinguish these ideas is a further indictment of our educational system, one is a belief system people, the other is a biological fact. While one cannot change his or her biology, it is your right to believe as you choose. Just as it is Mr. Cohen's right to free speech. And please continue, this is your right. But be measured in your responses to topics that challenge your world view. It's known as being educated, something that is still sadly lacking in a shocking percentage of the baby-boom generation of which I'm a part.

    I do have belief and comfort in the current and future generations that this topic will be viewed in hindsight with head-shaking bewilderment of good intentions (?) gone terribly awry....

    April 8, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  260. Carol

    I appreciated Kyra's impassioned response regarding the venomous comments she has received, and am sickened that she even had to make it. Sadly,many in the religious community fail to adhere to the teachings of the one they follow, such as "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" or "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." or "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." These are the words of Jesus Christ, but not often the reality demonstrated by those who follow him. As a devoted follower of Jesus, I would like to apologize to anyone who has been hurt by the loveless zeal of the religious community. Christ himself reserved his strongest remarks for the religious people of his day while spending most of his time loving the marginal and disenfranchised in his midst. We would do well to follow his example.

    April 8, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  261. William Terrell

    Hi Kyra,

    I watch your show regularly. I APOLOGIZE

    April 8, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  262. Shannon

    Thanks for you thoughts and comments this morning. Incredible words and actions.

    April 8, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  263. Aaron Hutchings, Louisville KY

    Dear Kyra,

    I have been watching you on CNN for many years (back with Miles) and find you to be one of the "very best" on-air voices for reason and understanding. Yes, I see things different than you, at times. I also find myself enlightened by your comments. Your close today is the answer. That mindset is what America needs.

    I was upset by the man that wanted to fix gays and said he had changed. But I also know from family and friends that this out dated ignorance is like watching a freak show or a car accident. You are uncomfortable while watching it, but you can't look away. Not everyone in our community has been able to evolve and open their hearts and minds to a real understanding of this world community.

    I watch you because it is clear that your really sharing information with us and not talking down to us. I would like to help by apologizing for the slice of our society that has no room for you and I to have a different point of view. Most of these people have never gone more than 300 miles from home. No real connection with other cultures. Their world is very small and defined. I feel very sad for them.

    Thanks for the info, I depend on you to be real…


    April 8, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  264. William Terrell

    Dear Kyra,

    I apologize for the nasty e-mails regarding the 'gay therapy' story. Please understand that many of us have been treated very cruelly by our families, friends, communities, and churches. This is not an excuse for rude behavior but is a reality for many of us. The pain is deep.

    CNN has done stories on minorities such as "Black in America" and "Latino in America." I would suggest that CNN do a story "Gay in America" to portray us from OUR perspective. My desire is for people to stop talking about us and start talking to us.

    Thank you,

    William Terrell
    Los Angeles
    47 year-old still Recovering Southerner

    April 8, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  265. James Stone

    Dear Kyra-
    I am sorry you got nasty e-mails on this subject. I watch you every morning and I know you are not homophobic.
    My only beef with about that segment is that I wish you would have told the truth about this man's past. He has been kicked out of many organizations. He uses "hugging of boys" as therapy to cure homosexuality. He also believes "anger towards the mother" is a cause for homosexuality and believes getting a tennis racquet and hitting a pillow (pillow being Mom) will help get the demon of homosexuality out of the soul!!!
    I am a gay man. My partner and I have been together for 20 years now and we have no rights..not here in Ohio. I know that being gay is just a part of the way I was created-certainly not a choice. But when you put these crazies on your show and do not challenge them about their past the mainstream could think...hmm..maybe being gay is a choice? These people are the one's at the ballot box that vote against us.
    Keep up the good work and don't worry-I will continue to watch you!

    April 8, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  266. John from Orange County, Ca

    The "hate" comments have got to go...but it seems that when it comes to gay is perfectly alright to allow the "hateful" among us (as critics on the opposing side) to voice their intolerance and quotes from the bible to support their views. Does balance mean we can have pro nazi, pro racist "experts" to appear and give their version of intolerance? I watch CNN a lot, and don't remember the last time we had the KKK on for a chat....did I miss that segment? Or do we really need to hear all that again....I see where Virginia is going to have its Confederate history month, along with other southern states....I'm guessing so we won't forget how great the Confederacy was ....I'm sure blacks in Virgina must be waiting for that...Will Germany be having a "Nazi" history month as well...

    April 8, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  267. Adam Barrera Garcia

    Will you cure me of my GAY WAYS! My LORD has never failed me.....the sinner in me is the same as the sinner in you! I walk the line...and you are behind! I think this is so funny......don't try to fix something that isn't on enhancing it, not trying to destroy it or diminish it. Love the soul and feed the heart.........Muah!

    April 8, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
  268. Chad wick wicky

    Okay......... There is no cure for being gay!!! People that are against homosexuality should get over it. I am a church goer it doesn't say anywhere in the bible that you will go to hell for being gay. God doesn't judge us like that. Churches need to stop adding words to the bible and making there own version.

    April 8, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  269. janelle gonzalez,brownsville TX

    Since when was homosexuality a disease they shouldn't have a law about being gay or whatever and since when could they decide whether we could be straight or gay what kind of person would even establish a law like that, that is sick and it disgusts me in so many ways like seriously because i am gay and im 14 yrs old and sure i may not be a parent so i wouldn't know whatever because i don't have kids, but either way there is going to be sick people out there trying to get there hands on kids and there is nothing that could stop it but you can prevent it, not making a "cure" for homosexuality because there is no cure and there shouldn't be.

    April 8, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  270. InlandEmpire

    I respect Kyra Phillips and believe she is a fair journalist. She did a followup report on Richard Cohen's segment. She admitted that Richard Cohen was not the best guest and had an appropriate guest in the follow-up segment.

    April 8, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  271. Ron

    Kyra, you rock! You are incredibly supportive of all civil rights issues and I'm so sorry some prople misunderstood your original dialogue. You have a huge fan base of like-minded individuals. Thank you for the continued fair and balanced information!

    April 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  272. Mark J. Billet

    CNN was terribly wrong in presenting this report. First of all, the idea of "curing" gay people is not only absurd but dangerous.
    Secondly, if CNN decided to bring up the subject, there should have been other voices in on the discussion, not just one radical who has no background in the field of human sexuality or psychiatry.
    I would be curious to know who's idea this was?

    April 9, 2010 at 6:04 am |
  273. Jon

    With all of the atrocities in this world it never ceases to amaze that society is so enthralled with this. Why can't the time and energies be placed elsewhere?

    April 11, 2010 at 7:15 am |
  274. Joshua Johanson

    If people with same-sex attractions want to stop having gay sex they should be able to get help. Don't call it a "gay cure" but give the people the help they want. Refusing to help people because you think gay people should have gay sex is really pathetic.

    April 13, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  275. rwise1

    Wow, it's amazing what legislators can pass. This thing needs to be flat out repealed.

    Here at Citizens Commission on Human Rights we have seen the buildup of psychiatric funding on just such worthless, demeaning and destructive "programs". It's time to pull the plug on this one as well as hundreds of other such programs they have managed to pass. It's all about the $$ – not helping anybody.

    April 14, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  276. Eugene Summers

    I am 57 years old, so I remember the 50's and 60's. I think that I am getting a clear picture of the conservative movement called, " the tea party," this movement is for whites who feel that they have lost the power and controll of this country. This reminds me of what happened after the cilvil war, when the white southerns felt that they also lost control of their own world. and over their lives, so the ku klux klan came into being. in those days after the cilvil war the whites of the south endured carpetbaggers and blacks whom they felt were being upperty. They also reacted againts the changes that was happening to their world. It is now the 21st century, and again many whites are feeling those same feelings of being threatin which causes fear, pressures, anger, frustration and a sense of lost control. Think about it, The corporate world took their sense of security away from them. In their minds this was not soposed to happened to them, this is meant to happen to the minorities. In their minds they are the superior race, It would be nice if they would look at the real source of their problem, " The corporate world. Many whites hate with their every fiber that a black man is president of their country. They hate so much that they have lost controll, that they are useing the conservative attitude to hide behind it. They are wolves in sheeps clothing, Many of them have the same attitude, anger and hate that their southern fore fathers had after the civil war. I expect something kin to the jim crow to emerge. Last many of them are useing the president to fuel their hate.

    April 15, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  277. Joan

    PS93X Albert Oliver school located at 1535 Story Avenue, Bronx, NY. 10473. This school uses CORPORAL punishment, having the kids stand against the wall if they mis-be-have. This is done by lunch room staff, some teachers. The Principal has threaten the children to put them against the wall as well. Children are shouted at as well. What world are we living in. This is illegal. I often wonder if any of the adults donot have any children in their lives. And how would they feel if this was done to their children if they have any.
    I just donot like to see children mis-treated.
    Thanking you in advance for your thoughts on this matter.

    April 16, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  278. sam

    I wonder if heterosexuality can be cured–I sure hope so seeing as how hets are the ones who have turned this world into a bloodbath. Look around; it sure isn't gays who run things.

    May 11, 2010 at 11:06 am |