CA Considers Bill Banning Ex-Gay Therapy

While right wingers continue to scream about the supposed negative effects of homosexuality and gay marriage on society, precious little is done to address the very real harm caused by so-called “ex-gay” therapy. But yesterday, a California Senate subcommittee approved a measure that would outlaw such therapy for minors in the Golden State.

Introduced by Sen. Ted Lieu, SB 1172 would prevent anyone under the age of 18 from receiving reparative treatments and require any adult seeing it out to sign the following disclaimer:

Having a lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientation is not a mental disorder. There is no scientific evidence that any types of therapies are effective in changing a person’s sexual orientation. Sexual orientation change efforts can be harmful. The risks include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior.

Medical and mental health associations that oppose the use of sexual orientation change efforts include the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

The goal—preventing parents, therapists or other adults from forcing children into such therapy at a time when they’re most vulnerable—is admirable. But if this bill is affirming that reparative therapy is harmful junk science, shouldn’t it be banned altogether? We can’t go on TV and make false claims about curing health problems and weight gain, so why should some quack get away with it when it comes to sexual orientation?

Source: Think Progress. Photo: Truth Wins Out