‘Gay Cure’ Therapy Banned in California
California has become the first American state to ban ‘gay cure’ therapies. As the name implies, the purpose of these therapies is turn gay teens straight.
Senate Bill 1172 was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday. The bill bans children under 18 years of age from being subjected to “sexual orientation change efforts,” which involves forms of reparative or conversion therapies. The law becomes effective Jan. 1 and applies to all licensed therapists in California.
Gov. Brown states that the therapies “have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”
Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance also calls ‘gay cure’ therapy “quackery,” and he warns parents and therapists of the harmful side effects of such treatments.
“I am deeply honored Governor Brown signed SB 1172,” said Sen. Lieu. “The bill is necessary because children were being psychologically abused by reparative therapists who would try to change the child’s sexual orientation. An entire house of medicine has rejected gay conversion therapy. Not only does it not work but it is harmful. Patients who go through this have gone through guilt and shame, and some have committed suicide.”
Proponents for the bill voiced their admiration for Gov. Brown, and stated their sense of relief for teens of various sexual orientations.
“Governor Brown today reaffirmed what medical and mental health organizations have made clear: Efforts to change minors’ sexual orientation are not therapy, they are the relics of prejudice and abuse that have inflicted untold harm on young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians,” said Equality California’s president Clarissa Filgioun.
Supporters of SB 1172 also included the National Center for Lesbian Rights, various gay rights groups, and mental health organizations.
The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) opposes SB 117 and plans to take legal action against the ban.
“Sexual activities and sexual preference, especially in the case of children, can be modified and changed. It is ethically wrong to prohibit parents from seeking and receiving professional assistance to help their own children with serious problems like this,” said Dr. Paul Cameron from the Family Research Institute.
Other states are currently exploring this legislation. Assemblyman Tim Eustache has stated that he plans to introduce the same ‘gay cure’ ban to protect minors in the state of New Jersey.