Fired Lawyer Blames ‘Gay Conversion’ Therapy

     SACRAMENTO (CN) – A Sacramento psychiatrist who practices gay conversion therapy defamed a gay attorney-prison guard to his employer after confining him with “a large dog under compelled coercion,” the lawyer claims in court.
     Calvin Chang says he was referred to Dr. Benjamin Kaufman after filing a discrimination complaint against his employer, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
     Chang, who’d complained that he was denied promotion because of his sexual orientation, claims there were “no facts or lawful basis whatsoever” to justify his referral to Kaufman. Chang says he is a licensed attorney with more than 20 years of law enforcement experience.
     In his April 15 complaint in Superior Court, Chang says Kaufman told him that he (the doctor) “was a ‘conservative Republican,’ and thus he knows discrimination (implying that conservative Republicans are the real victims of discrimination-not gay men).” (Parentheses in complaint.)
     Chang says in the lawsuit that Kaufman is “a nationally recognized and outspoken critic of gay men, whom he views as having a mental disorder[;] he describes as ‘the homosexual condition’ as a ‘self-destructive behavior,’ a ‘sexual deviation,’ deeply disturbing and a threat.”
     Kaufman co-founded the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) in 1992, a group identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an extremist organization, and believes that “behind every homosexual person or gay person is a heterosexual person that has not emerged,'” according to the complaint.
     Chang claims Kaufman disclosed private information to the prisons department, including false allegations that Chang was a threat to specific law enforcement officials, and that these lies cost him his job.
     He claims that the prisons department fired him just after his fourth and last session with Kaufman, three years before he became eligible for a public safety pension. Chang now practices law in Sacramento.
     Chang says Kaufman subjected him to “reparative therapy” without his consent and threatened to have him fired if he didn’t accept the prisons department’s offer of demotion.
     He says Kaufman subjected him to discriminatory and threatening behavior because of his sexual orientation. Among other things, he says, he “was subjected to confinement in a room with a large dog under compelled coercion and behind numerous locked doors.”
     NARTH states on its website that it is “committed to protecting the rights of clients with unwanted same-sex attractions to pursue change as well as the rights of clinicians to provide such psychological care.”
     President Obama on April 8 called for an end nationwide to the use of “conversion therapy” on minors. California and New Jersey already prohibit the practice on minors.
     Chang says that during one therapy session he asked Kaufman what caused him to conclude that Chang was unable to perform the essential functions of his job, and that Kaufman replied: “the idea that you’re being discriminated against on the basis of lifestyle and basis of skin color or ethnicity and seeing everything through that lens.”
     Kaufman declined to comment on the lawsuit and referred Courthouse News to his attorney, who could not be reached for comment.
     Kaufman was involved in a similar lawsuit in 2013. A gay man sued the California Air Resources Board, alleging that it accepted Kaufman’s opinion that he was mentally unfit to perform his job as an air pollution specialist.
     Chang damages for civil rights violations, defamation, discrimination, aiding and abetting discrimination, privacy invasion, fraud and deceit, violation of medical privacy, retaliation, professional negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He is represented by Anthony Luti in Hollywood.

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