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  • Ken Blackwell, Ohio's former secretary of state, speaks with the media after meeting U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York City, Nov. 17, 2016.

    Ken Blackwell, Ohio's former secretary of state, speaks with the media after meeting U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York City, Nov. 17, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 19 November 2016
Opinion

Apparently he thinks gays can, and need to be, cured.

Ken Blackwell, the man that Donald Trump tapped to head domestic policy, believes that gays can stop being gay through "conversion therapy" and has, unsurprisingly, a checkered past around his views on LGBT people's human rights. 

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Trump's transition team has been disclosing this week the names that will fill his cabinet, and his choices are all ultraconservative people like Blackwell, an Ohio politician appointed last week who has long endorsed the controversial mental health practice intended to make gay people straight. 

Some states have banned the "conversion therapy," however religious and conservative groups continue promoting it, believing that they cure a person of his or her homosexuality, and in the case of transgender people, reaffirms the gender into which they were born and not the one they identify with. 

Although there is no valid scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed, Blackwell, who served as Ohio secretary of state, said back in 2006 that being gay was a “choice” that could be “changed.”

Of course he is also opposed to other issues such as adoption and same-sex marriage. 

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The election of Trump to the presidency has been considered a catastrophe by many LGBTQ rights defenders in the United States, although some openly gay conservatives supported his political campaign.

The real estate mogul has shown a little personal animosity toward LGBTQ people, but the same can't be said for the rest of his political team. For instance, Vice President-elect Mike Pence is an opponent of nondiscrimination laws and open military service. Pence has also supported public funding for conversion therapy.

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