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Anderson Cooper Confronted A Homophobic Politician With Facts. He Responded Like A Politician.

Republicans in Texas want to pass a law encouraging "reparative therapy," a 100% unproven form of counseling intended to turn gay people straight — as if homosexuality is a disorder that needs to be cured. Seriously.Not only is it baseless, but it's also shown to be emotionally harmful. Anderson Cooper had a conversation with one of the supporters of the plan, state Rep. Bryan Hughes. Listen to their exchange below.

Anderson Cooper Confronted A Homophobic Politician With Facts. He Responded Like A Politician.

At 0:41, Hughes explains that this is a matter of rights and choice, which is ironic considering his party denies the rights of gay people to be who they are and to be with whomever they choose.

You'll catch a few minutes of fact dump by Cooper and fact dodge by Hughes. Then at 3:57, Cooper shares a clip that you'd think might have an impact on Hughes' view. But you'd be wrong.


At 6:13, Cooper gets to the heart of where Hughes is coming from: religion. And frankly, for an elected official to govern on that basis should be concerning not just to constituents who don't share his faith, but to anyone who believes we shouldn't use tax dollars to encourage something that could be harmful to people's emotional health.

FACT CHECK TIME!

Here's a report about the questionable science and potential harm of reparative therapy that has been endorsed by mental health professionals, pediatric physicians, social workers, and educators.

For more, see the American Psychological Association's detailed resolution on sexual orientation change therapy and the National Association of Social Workers' very strong position that reparative therapy "cannot and will not change sexual orientation."

It's also worth noting that one of the most well-known researchers who prompted support for reparative therapy in the 21st century, Dr. Robert Spitzer, abandoned his position in 2012 and issued a public apology for spreading unproven claims.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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