What can you do if you're gay and 17 in Georgia but are being forced to go to Tennessee to be scared straight?
My friend is 17 years old and he resides in Georgia. He constantly fights with his parents and wants to leave home. He has a good job, keeps his own wages, and can support himself but his parents WILL NOT consent to him moving out. They recently found out he is gay. They have taken him to TN and put him in a radical Christian program to apparently get "scared straight" They have told him if he runs away he will be arrested. He is scared to death and basically being held there in TN against his will. I have been told that if I can get there and get to him and get him back to Georgia that his parents couldn't do anything to him. This program lasts for as long as 8 weeks. I am scared he could be enduring pain that could be causing lasting damage to his personality and who he is. Somebody please guide me as to the action that can be taken. Anything to do with his parents giving consent is not a option. They have pretty much told him if he chooses this lifestyle, as if it's a choice to be gay, that they hope he lives in misery for the rest of his life. That's not the kind of people I would want to live with either. Please write soon. Desperate. brandon Unfortunately the young man is still a minor and his parents can do almost anything which in their opinion benefits his well-being. Regretfully your options in aiding your friend are probably limited to simply "being there" when he needs you. You might wish to contact 1-800-843-4564 (Gay Legal Network Hotline) for possible assistance, however it's doubtful anyone can intervene unless it can be proven your friend is in physical danger. (email@example.com) but is it true that if i can get him back to Georgia without getting caught in Tennessee we will be in the clear? If "in the clear" means being free of parental custody/control, no, that is not true. The legal age of majority in Georgia is 18, the same as it is in Tennessee. Although the state of GA. does not have a specific emancipation status, he can petition the Juvenile or Superior Court for emancipation rights. If he can prove to the court he can suppport himself, continue his education (if applicable) and live his life w/o adult supervision he will likely be granted an emancipation decree. A petition for emancipation can be submitted by the minor requesting the action, contacting the clerk of the court in the county in which he resides will help to obtain more specific information. The problem with such action is in some cases the court allows emancipationw with the stipulation that the parents or legal guardian can revoke it if they show "just cause". The reality is, as upsetting as it may be to hear, your friend will probably have to "tough it out" until he turns eighteen.