Inspired by a law recently enacted in California, Pennsylvania State Representative Babette Josephs (D- 182nd) has introduced a bill that would ban the practice of reparative or “conversion” therapy in the state of Pennsylvania.
Earlier this year, the Philadelphia-based Peace Advocacy Network investigated Courage, an ex-gay Catholic counseling group, and two West Conshohocken therapists who claim to be able to help patients with unwanted same-sex attraction. Calling in to a Courage “help line,” PAN director Ed Coffin reported the moderator told participants to “grab a crucifix and pray” and waxed on about the evils of masturbation.
Unfortunately, even if Rep. Joseph’s bill becomes law, it would only applies to licensed therapists—religious groups like Courage would still be able to tell minors and conflicted adults they could pray away the gay if they really wanted to be straight.
“This isn’t about religious freedom,” says Coffin. “Surely, we wouldn’t allow a religious group to conduct a human sacrifice. This is about the protection and safety of the general public and cracking down on this scientifically debunked and destructive activity.”