Senate Dems Introduce Bill To Ban Ex-Gay Torture

From the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, a companion bill to HR 2450, introduced in the House of Representatives by Ted Lieu in 2015.

The bill would define the provision of conversion therapy for profit as consumer fraud and, additionally, take Rep. Lieu’s bill one step farther by empowering states to take their own action against these dangerous and discredited practices.

The senators’ move comes just two months after the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), along with partner organizations Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Southern Poverty Law Center, filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission encouraging the federal government to investigate conversion therapy as a violation of existing consumer fraud laws.

NCLR Youth Policy Counsel Carolyn Reyes said: “We are grateful for the courageous leadership of Senators Murray and Booker in the fight to end conversion therapy nationwide. This historic bill will protect the most vulnerable among us from exploitation by those fraudulently claiming to be able to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, save countless lives, and send a clear message to every child across this land that they were born perfect.”

NCLR has been at the forefront of efforts to protect youth and their families from conversion therapy for more than two decades. In 2014, it launched its #BornPerfect campaign to stop conversion therapy across the country by 2019 by passing laws, fighting in courtrooms, and raising awareness about the serious harms caused by attempts to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

NCLR, alongside HRC and state equality groups, has helped pass legislation in California, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington D.C.

The House version of the bill has only 68 co-sponsors, all of them Democrats. There are 188 Democrats in the House.

  • oikos

    It won’t pass but hammer the republicans on all fronts for this election.

  • Rebecca Gardner

    I love the name, “Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act.” Unlike the GOP we name things that are not the antithesis of its goal.

    • BobSF_94117

      Is it “therapeutic fraud” prevention or therapeutic “fraud prevention”? With only 68 sponsors, more the latter I would think. On the other hand, ya gotta start somewhere…

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    • David Walker

      Yeah. What a concept! It’s like they feel the need to hide the intention. “So are they all, all honourable men…” Picked that up somewhere.

    • Glen

      How can anything that employs the almighty ruler and creator of the universe (invisible and unevidenced as he may be), be called ‘fraud’ ?


  • Jeffrey

    Cory Booker is a tremendous ally. That is why it has been so discouraging to see all the hate he has taken in the past few months. His FB page has been full of some pretty disagreeable stuff just because of his presidential endorsement. He gives us his support and he deserves ours.

    • Rebecca Gardner

      I agree. I love Cory Booker. I think he is a huge asset to us as well as the country.

      • Todd20036

        Oh dear. I read: He has a huge ass.

        • Jeffrey

          He may. And I might like to find out.

    • Ninja0980

      Elizabeth Warren has gotten some heat as well for not endorsing Sanders.
      I’m sorry but if these folks think they are helping the progressive movement, they are very, very much mistaken.

    • MB

      I’d like to see Hillary choose him as her running mate.

      • Treant

        Booker would be an AMAZING choice…except for the name.

        I can already see the Trumpeter signs: Hillary? Book her!

      • teeveedub

        Booker for Prez 2024.

        (Am I getting out ahead of my skis?)

    • Blake Jordan

      It is hard to distinguish certain chunk of berners from the average trumpeter…

    • Bernie Keefe

      Hopefully the next African American President! New Jersey will become the next Kenya.

    • hiker_sf

      Yeah but it is torture that he isn’t gay.

  • oikos
    • David Walker

      Everything’s spelled correctly. Must be one o’ them libruls.

      • JCF

        But “Ex Gay” should always be written w/ quotation marks (“____”).

        • GC

          Their few “successes” are bisexuals repressing themselves for Jeezus.

    • GC

      The American Academy of Pediatrics is not to be confused with the tiny anti-LGBTQ* ideological splinter group, the “American College of Pediatricians”, formed in reaction to the AAP’s position that same-sex parents are just fine.

      There are other right-wing groups with similarly deceptive names, such as the ACLJ (“American Center for Law and Justice”) whose goals are diametrically opposed to those of the justifiably better-known ACLU.

  • Ninja0980

    Nice gesture but that’s all it is since it will be DOA once the Republicans get ahold of it.
    But both parties are the same right?

    • Butch

      I was going to say – but RELIGIOUS LIBERTY and FREEDUMB and blah blah blah….GOP won’t let it get a first reading.

    • Then our side needs to reintroduce it next session, and the session after, and the session after. . . .

      Sort of like the Republicans chipping away at the rights of “those people” (“those” being not old, white, straight, cisgendered evangelical men, except we’re actually trying to protect people.

    • another_steve

      DOA, yes. For a variety of reasons.

      Animus is what drives “Conversion Therapy,” not science. Today’s Republican Party has lots of animus but little or no respect for science.

      • GC

        Maroons and ignorANIMUSes!

    • Joseph Miceli

      Yes, he’s been back lately. I’ve been enjoying…playing….with him. 🙂

  • Blake Jordan

    Why are roughly two-thirds of house democrats not supporting it?

    Do you like teen self-harm / suicide?

    • Joe in PA

      and why only 188 D in the house? 72M registered Democrats to 55M Republicans. Ugh.

      Between the gerrymandering and the lazy voters…sigh.

      • Harley

        Because 30M registered Democrats can’t be bothered to go vote.

        • KT

          Exactly – by sitting out the 2010 election and allowing the Tea Party idiots to take over a majority of State Houses, the Democrats have no one but themselves to blame for the gerrymandering and laws targeting voting rights. Elections have consequences and the 2010 election is still affecting us today.

    • They no doubt believe they should be able to go to their therapist and have their sexual orientation changed to homosexual. What other reason could there possibly be?

  • Rex

    Clinton/Booker 2016?

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      No, he’s considered a longshot because the governor of his state is a Republican (Christie), so if he left the Senate that would leave the Dems down one seat. Same thing for Elizabeth Warren in Mass.

      • Rex

        Wishful thinking then.

      • Reality Check

        New Jersey can vote out the Christie pick. Cory Booker VP!

    • OdieDenCO

      Clinton/Sims – our dream ticket, GOP panties in a twist nightmare

      • Rex

        Booker/Sims, my dream ticket, but I’m no longer talking politics.

        • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

          Based on your avatar, you would fit nicely in their administration (not sure I’m talking politics either). 😏

    • Bob Baker

      More Like Wall St./Wall St. 2016.

    • Jeffrey

      I love him, but it’s going to be Julian Castro, which is also a smart choice

      • Rex

        I like that pairing too, and I’m trying to keep my mind on politics and not, you know, other things.

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    Uh oh. Uncle Fester is gonna whine now.

  • Mark

    I hate to sound ungrateful but ENDA has been languishing on the back burner for how long?? And what’s the point of freeing the kids from the brainwashing when all they will find is second class status outside the crackpot’s office door? And for what? TO live in the shadows? To encounter laws that legislate where they can and can’t piss, and people who can refuse to serve them, and even some government workers who religiously spit on their marriage app? Abuse at the hand of a crackpot is not much different than abuse at the hands of several crackpots.

    • There’s no reason to be grateful for empty gestures.

    • Randy503

      Oh for cripes sake. Grow up. Really? We shouldn’t help protect kids because there is no ENDA? IT’s not a perfect world, and never will be, but it will NOT get perfect unless and until we actually start taking action to move there.

      You want to give up, go ahead and give up. People like you make the fight all the more difficult. And your over the top crying doesn’t help either.

      • Mark

        uh…dude…somehow you missed the fucking irony of the whole thing. We save kids from one evil mess – just to throw them in the next one. Get it?? From the pan – into the fire….

  • TheManicMechanic

    But both parties are the same, etc, etc.

    Love the in-your-face name of the bill too.

  • Skokieguy [Larry]

    As I read this, if the therapy is offered as non-profit it would not be affected by this proposed legislation.

    Since much of this fake therapy is offered by non-profit religious-affiliated groups, parents can still legally torture their kids.

    And is the timing of this totally coincidental or is Booker intentionally getting back in front of the cameras because he will be Hillary’s VP pick?

    • BobSF_94117

      I’m pretty sure they mean if there is a charge, regardless of whether the organization charging is a for-profit or a non-profit organization.

      • Mark

        You mean all them priests can still molest the kids – and then preach to them with fire and brimstone not to be gay?

        • BobSF_94117

          Well, you can’t ban people from giving bad advice for free, especially if the bad advice is called religion.

          • Skokieguy [Larry]

            What about paid doctors that are now legally required to give medically false information to women seeking abortion in certain states? We live in very scary times.

      • Skokieguy [Larry]

        I hope you’re right and its broader based protection. But given religious exemptions these days, I’m worried. Don’t call it therapy, call it ‘ministering’ to the needy and I fear it will be untouchable.

        • BobSF_94117

          Well, if it’s free, it is untouchable. They’re not going to ban people giving free counseling, no matter how bad it is.

          • Sporkfighter

            It’s illegal to take your child into the church so the pastor can give him a Godly ass-kicking. This is no different.

          • BobSF_94117

            Of course it’s different. It’s speech.

  • Excuse me for not being impressed that someone introduced a bill that will never get out of committee. I like Cory Booker but this seems more like election year bullshit than actually doing something.

    • Randy503

      So better to do nothing? I don’t understand your logic.

      • This is nothing. That’s my point. There is no something here. I guess it scores the cosigners some points with constituents but a bill that doesn’t ever get up for a vote is not a something. It helps no one. This is no different than Republicans putting up the ACA repeal for a vote multiple times a year knowing Obama will veto it anyway. It’s pandering. Surely there is something that could be accomplished this year that they could be working on.

        • Sporkfighter

          That it earns points from constituents is a very big deal. Ut reminds them what’s at stake.

          • Really? Because for me it just reminds me of the wasted opportunity of 2009-2010 when we might have been able to get something like this passed.

          • Sporkfighter

            Compare today with 2008. In November, CALIFORNIA passed Prop 8. Can you imagine that happening today? Not a snowball’s chance in hell!

            In 2010, there weren’t the millions of people who had never thought about the issue who have since come down on the equality side. It’s the fact that today, politicians earn points from constituents for supporting equality when back then they didn’t that makes today different.

          • Given the ability of gay rights groups to trip over themselves, yeah it could happen again. Not in California but look what just happened in NC. Yes, not a blue state but Obama did carry it in 2008. We have a lot of work to do and I don’t think it’s wise to take anything for granted. Assuming the decency of liberal voters is how we lost Prop 8.

        • Kara Connor

          But is is better than the Republicans who have put forward a shotgun-blast of 196 anti-LGBT bills so far this year.

  • It’s a nice symbolic gesture, but that’s all it is.

    Years ago, when I was less cynical, I might’ve been impressed. But those days are long gone.

    • Randy503

      Not symbolic at all. These types of bills take years to gather momentum. Congress people wait to see who else will stick their neck out before putting their name on it. This is just politics, and that’s the reality we deal with. Over time, it gains signatures, until finally the dam breaks.

      At the least, we can beat up on the GOP for opposing it, and that’s to the mix.

  • RainbowPhoenix

    Another reason to vote democratic this year. Clinton and Sanders would both gladly sign something like this, while Trump, Cruz, and Kasich would all want to sign something affirming the “right” of parents to psychologically torture their gay children.

    • Also another reason to vote for all of the down-ticket Democrats, because without Dem control of Congress, all of these nice but ultimately empty gesture bills will never even be passed out of committee.

      A President can’t sign a bill that never passes Congress in the first place.

  • Octavio

    This is great news. I’m hopeful, but then I realize things like Joe Heck, Jason Chaffetz, Mike Lee and the ancient Borin’ Orrin Hatch in the House and Senate. So, I won’t be surprised when the bill fails.

  • democrats continue to work to make life easier for the LGBT children of republicans.

  • KT

    They might as well have filed it in the trash can – with the GOP in charge of the Senate and even the House Dems not giving a shit, this bill is going nowhere fast.

    • Randy503

      Perhaps. But bills like this take years to gain traction. We need to start this at some point, so why not now?

  • Prepare for the religious freedom fighters to storm the gates of the Taco Supreme Court over this.

  • easygoingmister

    Locate original bill (HR 2450) – check
    Make sure my Rep is a cosponsor (and send support email) – check
    Discovered new ally in Patty Murray (didn’t know her & she’s been around since ’93) – check
    Like on Booker some more (I really like this guy) – check

    Whew my tracker list is getting rather long!

  • Robert Conner

    Search your heart! Could THIS possibly be the face of psychological malpractice and fraud?

  • JCF

    And then a bunch of Rethuglicans undoubtedly mumbled “…but Booker’s exactly who NEEDS it!”.


  • Phillip in L.A.

    Where’s ENDA? Why are they messing around with this (admittedly not unimportant) issue?

  • ExGayTherapyKills

    Today I have some new heros, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ). Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, a companion bill to HR 2450, introduced in the House of Representatives by Ted Lieu in 2015, Ted was already my hero. Stop Ex Gay Therapy for all LGBT people before they kill another person.

  • Halloween_Jack

    Does anyone else automatically think “hey, it’s Keegan-Michael Key!” when they see Booker?