Sunday, September 30, 2012

Brown Signs Bill Banning Ex-Gay Therapy for Minors

As the window for taking action on pending legislation passed by the California legislature ends at midnight today, Governor Jerry Brown signed State Senator Ted Lieu's SB 1172 into law late last night. The new law is the first of its kind in the country; it bans the practice of "reparative therapy" to change the sexual orientation of people under 18 in the state of California.

San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Under the new law, which will take effect Jan. 1, no mental health provider will be able to provide therapy that seeks "to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex."

Mental health professionals who violate the law, which applies to therapy for patients younger than 18, will be subject to discipline by whatever group licenses them.

The therapy often starts from the premise that a person's childhood and parental upbringing has somehow left that person deficient and thus has led him or her to same-sex attractions. Practitioners often are religious, and gay rights groups have derisively characterized the therapy as an attempt to "pray away the gay."
Joe.My.God summarizes the reaction to the news that the ex-gay therapy ban has become law from various LGBT advocacy groups. No doubt the heterosexual supremacist groups and anti-gay theocracy promoters will be reacting with dismay and horror. Oh happy day!

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