Late Friday, the ex-gay group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) submitted an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case seeking the restoration of California's Proposition 8.  The brief, viewable here, presents the stories of four "ex-gays" as proof that homosexuality is a choice, and therefore gays shouldn't be a protected class.

One of those stories is that of Richard A. Cohen (no relation to the columnist), who is now director of the International Healing Foundation, one of the more notorious "reparative therapy" outfits.  Cohen is a major proponent of "touch therapy," which centers on the idea that gay attractions are caused by a lack of fatherly attention.  For more on this quackery, read this 2011 piece in Salon.

As part of his story, Cohen mentions one of his books, a children's book called Alfie's Home.  People for the American Way has a copy of the book in its research library, and describes it as "the most horrifically disturbing children's book we have ever seen."  Reading samples that PFAW provided at Right Wing Watch, it's hard not to agree.

The book depicts a boy who claimed his gay attractions were the result of being molested by his uncle, as well as inattention from his parents.  However, after undergoing Cohen's "touch therapy," the boy realizes he isn't gay after all.  If that sounds familiar, it's pretty much the standard line from the ex-gay movement.

This piece of trash has 2.5 stars on Amazon, and 1.47 stars at Goodreads.  It generated a scathing review from the School Library Journal, which said that "everything about this book screams fake."

You really have to wonder--how many kids have been given this book to read as part of the effort to "cure" them of being gay over the last 20 years?

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