“This 60-year-old relic was not some gay-baiting prelude to the McCarthy era. It came, rather, in response to public outcry over sex crimes in California, specifically the molestation-murder of a 6-year-old Los Angeles girl,” writes Bonnie Lowenthal. “The murderer was not a gay man. There was no connection between the crime and homosexuality at all. Even so, before the dust had settled, well-meaning California legislators passed a law that not only required health officials to seek ‘the causes and cures of homosexuality’ but likened people who are gay to child molesters. Amazingly, it’s still on the books.” As lawmakers were pressured to act among public outrage against an abducted little girl, “gay people — simply because they vexed the psychiatric profession — were swept up in the net.” This is not to be confused with the Catholic Church’s reaction to child molestation scandals, which it firmly blames on homosexuals.