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Will the Supreme Court read the most horrific children’s book of all time?

By MIRANDA BLUE| Right Wing Watch
Friday, February 1, 2013

Earlier this week, we looked at the slightly conflicted amicus briefs that the Family Research Council submitted to the Supreme Court ahead of its consideration of two major marriage equality cases.

Today, Warren Throckmorton alerts us that the “ex-gay” group Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays (PFOX) has submitted its own brief to the Court.

The PFOX amicus brief [pdf], unsurprisingly, argues that gays and lesbians should not be a “protected class” under the law because homosexuality “is not an immutable characteristic.” As evidence, it presents the stories of four self-proclaimed “ex-gays” whose lives purportedly show that “sexual orientation can shift over time and does so for a significant number of people.”

One of the stories the brief presents is that of “Richard Cohen, M.A…an ex-gay who is now married with 3 children. He struggled for much of his life with unwanted same-sex attraction. Richard is the founder of the International Healing Foundation (IHF) and the author of Coming Out Straight, Gay Children Straight Parents, Let’s Talk About Sex, and Alfie’s Home.”

As it happens, Cohen is one of the most prominent purveyors of reparative therapy, the harmful process of trying to “cure” homosexuality that was recently banned for minors in California.

And his book Alfie’s Home, cited in PFOX’s Supreme Court brief, is the most horrifically disturbing children’s book we have ever seen. We know, because we are unlucky enough to have a copy in our research library. Here is some of what the Justices have in store if they check out Cohen’s work:

Alfie’s Home was published in 1993 by Cohen’s International Healing Foundation. It starts out with a picture of the protagonist on a boat with his dad.

But it goes bad fast, going right for the right-wing myth that homosexuality is caused by childhood sexual abuse…

Click image to enlarge.

…and by insufficiently attentive parents:

Click image to enlarge.

Eventually, Alfie seeks help and takes part in the “touch therapy” advocated by Cohen…

Click image to enlarge.

…which leads him to “realize that I’m not gay” and start dating a woman:

Click image to enlarge.

You can see Cohen’s “touch therapy” in practice in this 2006 CNN interview:

Cohen also made a cameo on the Daily Show.

For their own sakes, I hope the Justices don’t look too far into Cohen’s story. But if they do, they’ll get a revealing glimpse of the world that is trying to sink gay rights laws across the country.

© Right Wing Watch. An LGBTQ Nation media partner.

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40 more reader comments:

  1. It’s probably Scalia’s favourite.

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:15pm
  2. omg im soo outraged right now how the fuck can that shit get published

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:16pm
  3. That is a disgusting piece of work

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:16pm
  4. This is ridiculous, retarded and over the top … if I were a justice and these clowns present this brief and told me to read the story I would throw them out of the court…

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:17pm
  5. Iran has a far more progressive view on homosexuality than what is advocated in these books.

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:20pm
  6. There is no such thing as being ex-gay. That’s like me being ex-hetro. And ‘touch therapy’..please.

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:21pm
  7. O…M…G… PLEEASSSE!

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:21pm
  8. It is so disturbing to me that with all that is known about how harmful reparative therapy is, that this continues to have any followers at all. The Family Research Council and many other organizations have done irreparable damage and continue to do so. Hope the Supreme Court does take the time to see what a horrendous agenda these groups have. Scheduled to share tomorrow 2pm.

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:22pm
  9. Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:22pm
  10. That was way weirder than it needed to be…

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:23pm
  11. and homophobes want to call US the ones with psychological sexual issues? they want to call US the deviants? the perverts? the irony is stunning

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:28pm
  12. Again with the pedophilia. Does anyone else ever notice when these accusations for “why people are gay” are always male driven?

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:29pm
  13. As a survivor, this offends me and makes me sick. As a pansexual trans* identified LGTBQ+ supporter, this just pisses me the f*ck off. I want to pity this man, but I don’t think I can.

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:34pm
  14. This book is nothing but garbage

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:35pm
  15. This book…
    Why.

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:39pm
  16. Lord help us all.

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:42pm
  17. Reading those pages felt like I was reading animated child porn.

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:46pm
  18. This book is absolutely horrible and it should have never seen the light of day.

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:52pm
  19. What a horrible, twisted book. Sickening.

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 7:53pm
  20. This makes me want to cry. Hell, I am crying. This is just wrong on so many levels. HOW could this man be led so astray?

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 8:04pm
  21. Ugh!

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 8:24pm
  22. THIS IS CRAP!!!

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 8:29pm
  23. Reparative therapy is crap

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 8:38pm
  24. What sickens me more than anything is its likely this myth came from the fact that so many gays try to be straight. Living in this lie can’t help but warp your sense of sexuality. When every avinue for a healthy sexual relationship whit your prefered sex partner is off limits what else is left?

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 8:59pm
  25. That was fucking sick!

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 9:00pm
  26. that is beyond disgusting! :-(

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 9:31pm
  27. That’s just disgusting. How can they even think what they’re doing is right?

    Posted on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 10:36pm
  28. Oh My Gods!! How can this kind of stuff get published??!! I would love to know what publishing company thought this atrocity was a good idea. This is so dangerous and damaging to kids in general. Makes me so sick to my stomach!!!! ~Nadine

    Posted on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 1:19am
  29. Sick & scary!

    Posted on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 8:47am
  30. Is this going to be part of the Christian Rights defense to the US Supreme Court this Spring? I almost hope it is… this kind of shit is going to fuck them over almost instantly.

    Posted on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 8:57am
  31. no they won’t.

    Posted on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 10:17am
  32. from all these comments i assume this is complete bull crap .. Why the hell do people make these books?… living in the past..? wtf

    Posted on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 10:18am
  33. Depends on how much Justices Thomas and Scalia are offered??

    Posted on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 10:20am
  34. People are still doing this kind of therapy, which is horrible. ONe reason I wrote my novel, OUT, is to show how insane this practice is. I did some research and watched a documentary called CHASING THE DEVIL that went inside some of the reconditioning camps (although they did not show specifically “reparative therapy”. I used this in my book OUT quite a bit to illustrate the inhumanity of it.

    Posted on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 10:26am
  35. I know people in San Diego who still practice this type of therapy, too, which is insane and should be criminal, in my opinion.

    Posted on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 10:26am
  36. Seeems vile and manipulative to me

    Posted on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 10:32am
  37. Doubt they will. Not an important enough issue 4 them.

    Posted on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 11:06am
  38. Ridiculous! “To thine own self be true”…

    Posted on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 11:25am
  39. What a crackpot.

    Posted on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 12:18pm
  40. Gross.. So the kid is gay because his uncle molested him?!! These people are crazy.

    Posted on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 1:20pm