Governor Jerry Brown on Saturday signed SB 1172, which prohibits mental health professionals from attempting to engage in efforts to alter the sexual orientation of LGBT youth 18 years and younger. The bill, authored by state Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), was championed by numerous LGBT organizations, including Gaylesta, an LGBT psychotherapy organization; the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Equality California.
California becomes the first state in the country to have such a law, which goes into effect January 1.
“Governor Brown has sent a powerful message of affirmation and support to LGBT youth and their families,” NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell said in a statement. “This law will ensure that state-licensed therapists can no longer abuse their power to harm LGBT youth and propagate the dangerous and deadly lie that sexual orientation is an illness or disorder that can be ‘cured.’ ”
In a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle, Brown said the bill bans “non-scientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”
The Bay Area Reporter will have more on this and other legislation that Brown signed in this week’s edition.