Today, the California State Senate approved SB 1172, which would prohibit mental-health professionals from providing so-called “reparative” or “ex-gay” therapy to minors, even with the approval of the patient’s parents. If approved by the Assembly and Governor Jerry Brown, the measure would make California the first state to block efforts at sexual-orientation conversion.
“Being lesbian or gay or bisexual is not a disease or mental disorder for the same reason that being a heterosexual is not a disease or a mental disorder,” said Senator Ted Lieu, who authored the bill. “The medical community is unanimous in stating that homosexuality is not a medical condition.”
The American Psychiatric Association has stood in opposition to reparative therapy since 2000.
“Too many young people have taken their own lives or suffered lifelong harm after being told, falsely, by a therapist or counselor that who they are is wrong, sick or the result of personal or moral failure,” said Clarissa Filgioun, board president of Equality California. “Legislative action is long overdue to end the abuse of sexual orientation change efforts and for the state to fulfill its duty to protect consumers—especially youth—from therapeutic misconduct.”
While SB 1172 would protect minors from being forced into therapy with licensed professionals, it doesn’t look like it would protect them from homophobic preachers hoping to show them how to “pray away the gay” in a non-therapeutic setting.
Can we get a bill for that?