By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com November 12 2013 2:03 PM ET
U.S. senator Marco Rubio of Florida is set to deliver the keynote address at an annual fund-raiser for the Florida Family Policy Council, an antigay group that counts a veritable who's who of right-wing, homophobic activists and pundits among its honorees.
Mother Jones reports that Rubio will be one of the featured speakers at the annual fund-raiser for the conservative group, which supports "ex-gay" or "reparative" therapy, aimed at turning gay people straight.
The fund-raiser, taking place Saturday, will honor of Mat Staver, the rabid anti-LGBT activist, dean of the right-wing Liberty University's law school, and founder of Liberty Counsel, which recently filed a lawsuit aimed at striking down New Jersey's recently passed ban on "ex-gay" therapy. A federal district court in Newark rejected that suit and upheld the law in a ruling issued Friday, declaring that the ban on licensed therapists practicing the scientifically discredited "therapy" "restricts neither speech nor religious expression." After California passed similar legislation late last year, New Jersey became the second state to outlaw use of the harmful practice on minors.
"Ex-gay" therapy, sometimes called reparative therapy by its proponents, has been condemned by every major medical and psychological organization in the country as ineffective and dangerous. "There has been no scientifically adequate research that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation (sometimes called reparative or conversion therapy) is safe or effective," notes the American Psychological Association.