Conservatives are trying to rebrand gay conversion therapy as "Christian counseling"

AP

What's in a name? Well, as it turns out, a lot.

Protesting a Democratic-backed bill that would classify practitioners of gay conversion therapy as "fraudulent," online Christian group The Resurgent is claiming Democrats are trying to impinge on its religious freedom. Rather than calling the practice of trying to change someone's sexual orientation  "conversion therapy," they've relabeled it as "Christian counseling." 

"There's no medical condition known as being gay," representative Ted Lieu, a sponsor of the bill, told the Washington Post. "LGBTQ people were born perfect; there is nothing to treat them for. And by calling this what it should be, which is fraud, it would effectively shut down most of the organizations." 

LGBTQ pride at Miami Beach  Lynne Sladky/AP

In a video posted to The Resurgent's Facebook page, Peter Heck — a conservative commentator featured in the video — asserted the law is targeting Christians. 

"Make no mistake, these 'organizations' to which Lieu refers are Christian counseling services, located either in churches or in the marketplace," Heck said. "Contrary to the hyperbolic nonsense that is spewed out by the LGBTQ political lobby, there are no electroshock therapy joints zapping unsuspecting gays into paralysis." 

Heck claimed the real target of the bill is "Bible-based counseling" that is "desired by the patient, which helps them find either deliverance from their sinful desires in Christ or strength to resist those urges by obedience to His will and not their own."  

About 70 Democrats currently support the bill, according to the Post. In April, New Mexico became the seventh state to ban conversion therapy; earlier this year, Texas lawmakers introduced a bill that would allow conversion therapy practitioners to continue the so-called treatment under the guise of religious freedom