Thursday, April 18, 2013

IA State Sen. Dennis Guth exploits suicide of gay NY therapist Bob Bergeron; urges gay kids to visit website touting therapy now banned in CA

On Wednesday, taking advantage of a point of personal privilege, GOP Iowa State Sen. Dennis Guth, of Klemme, delivered a diatribe exploiting the suicide of severely depressed New York gay therapist Bob Bergeron as a cautionary tale for gay Iowa kids, whom he urged to visit a web site set up by a virulently right-wing splinter group of pediatricians dissatisfied with their mainstream professional organization.

     That website acknowledges the contributions of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, (see videos below) whose practice of treating minors with sexual orientation "conversion therapy" is now banned in California, and of NARTH, whose now ex-board member George Rekers, was photographed at the Miami Airport in the company of a professional male escort whom he had taken to to Europe.
     ThinkProgress reported Guth's speech here, and the West Des Moines Patch reported the disgusted reaction to said speech here, which elicited criticism from five other Iowa lawmakers, including two fellow Republicans, as well as stern rebukes from from the Iowa Democratic Party Chairman, from the state's largest gay rights organization and from some of Guth's own furious constituents.
Listen to audio of Guth from Radio Iowa
Liston to response from Sen. Matt McCoy from Radio Iowa

Nicolosi seems to have learned a thing or two about anger management and not lying on camera since his 2007 CNN appearance, below.

Statement: One Iowa and District 4 Residents Strongly Condemn
Senator Guth’s Lies about the LGBT Community

April 17, 2013
Contact: Molly Tafoya

Statements from One Iowa and Senator Guth’s constituents
(Des Moines, IA)—Today, Senator Dennis Guth, a Republican from Senate District 4, took advantage of the “points of personal privilege,” where he made vitriolic and misleading comments about the LGBT community, describing how he feels he and his family have been hurt and how civilization has fallen by what he describes as the “homosexual lifestyle.” Not only did Sen. Guth dismiss the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as a “lifestyle,” he then went on to say that it was “a lie.”

One Iowa Executive Director Donna Red Wing responded:
“These disgusting and outrageous lies have no place in the Iowa Legislature. Senator Guth is nothing more than a puppet regurgitating the rhetoric of the well-funded anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family. Don’t we, as Iowans, deserve better than this?
Iowa has stood as a beacon of justice and equality, the third state in the nation to offer marriage equality. More than 6,000 loving and committed same-sex couples have made that lifelong commitment to marriage here in our state. We live here—we work, we pay our taxes, we vote, we raise our families, we go to church and we contribute a great deal to our neighborhoods and communities. Senator Guth, today you chose to infect the business of the legislature with your hurtful and homophobic rant. Shame on you, Senator Guth!”

Married couple Heather Yeoman and Rachel Olson, District 4 residents from Lake Mills responded:
“It is clear that Senator Guth, our so-called ‘representative’ does not value our family nor the love and commitment we have for one another. I am disgusted and ashamed of my Senator for spreading such ignorant and hurtful lies about our family and countless other Iowa families. Make no mistake, Senator—our marriage and our love is not a lie.”

Joy M. Newcom, District 4 resident from Forest City responded:
“As an Iowan, a former educator and a mother, I am ashamed of my Senator and his horrific comments about the LGBT community. LGBT people are a part of my extended family. They are my friends and have been my coworkers. They are students I have taught and continue to respect for the manner in which they live their lives today. These comments, parroted from erroneous ideology from anti-gay groups, are beyond outrageous. They are dangerous lies.
Senator Guth, we, the Newcom family, are your constituents and your fellow Iowans. You claim to be our public servant, but you are hurting our community by spreading lies posed as science. You are breeding a culture of injustice for people we live with and work alongside. Please stop. You were not elected to legislate your morality or to spread falsehoods.”

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