Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Proposed ban on anti-gay therapy goes to governor

Governor Jerry Brown (Photo: Rick Gerharter)

A bill that would ban therapists from trying to change children’s sexual orientation has made it to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown.

Senate Bill 1172, authored by Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), was sent to Brown after the Senate voted 23-13 on Thursday, August 30 to approve an amended version. No vote was recorded for four senators. The Assembly passed the bill earlier this week.

Brown has until September 30 to sign or veto the bill, or allow its protections to take effect without his signature on January 1, 2013. If enacted, the measure would be the first of its kind in the nation. A spokeswoman for the governor has declined to comment on the likelihood of him signing the bill.

“Few things are more offensive than child abuse and, frankly, that’s what these types of psychological treatments are,” Lieu said in a news release. “These attempts are quackery, and this kind of psychological abuse of children must stop.”

Specifically, SB 1172 would prohibit children under 18 from undergoing sexual orientation-change efforts. In some cases, patients who’ve gone through the therapy have later committed suicide or suffered severe mental and physical anguish.

One of the measure’s sponsors is Equality California. In an email blast Thursday, August 29, EQCA board President Clarissa Filgioun urged people to call on Brown to support the bill.

“Tell the governor that LGBT youth do not need to be ‘cured,’ and that SB 1172 will stop quacks from abusing children,” Filgioun said. “Tell the governor that SB 1172 will save lives.”

According to a statement from EQCA and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, another supporter of the bill, Ryan Kendall, 29, told the California Legislature of his experiences with the therapy as a child.

“I am lucky that I survived, but I will never be able to recover the years I lost to feeling worthless and suicidal because a state-licensed therapist convinced my family that being gay is a mental illness and that who I am is shameful and wrong,” Kendall said. “These practices are child abuse, pure and simple, and I look forward to seeing Governor Brown sign this bill into law.”

More information is available at EQCA’s website.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, August 31, 2012 @ 4:16 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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