California Bill Would Classify Ex-Gay Torture As “Fraud”

Courthouse News reports:

Aiming to protect victims of “treatments” that promise a cure to homosexuality or gender identity issues, California lawmakers are pushing the state to declare conversion therapy a fraud. The proposal, sponsored by the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, would bring conversion therapy under the state’s consumer-protection laws and allow individuals to sue practitioners.

It’s already illegal in California to subject minors to the “therapy,” but Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Cupertino, says protections are also needed for adults. “Study after study has shown that conversion therapy is ineffective, damaging and counterproductive,” Low said in a statement. “It is our duty to protect Californians from such deceptive practices that will expose them to physical and emotional harm.”

See the text of the bill here.

RELATED: Low, now 33, became mayor of Campbell, California (population 40,000) in 2009 at the age of 26, making him the youngest openly gay Asian-American mayor in US history.

  • Silver Badger

    Works for me. Colorado should be next, but I won’t hold my breath.

    • Bambino

      Colorado is more concern about not baking cakes for the gays.

    • Todd20036

      DC could go that route.

  • JWC

    All states should insist on it

  • pj

    it is a harmful fraud and even worse when practiced on children.

  • David Walker

    Well, this should get base all riled up. Good.

  • another_steve

    Will be interesting to observe how the “conversion therapy” controversy plays out in the years and decades to come. How the courts will be handling it.

    Some self-hating and self-loathing queers will swear to a judge that the therapy changed her/his life for the better. And how can that be disproved?

    To my way of thinking, a bit like acupuncture – a voodoo pseudo-medical technique that involves the manipulation and moving around in the body of magical “life forces.” But some people swear by it. So many, in fact, that some medical insurance plans actually cover it.

    • Ninja0980

      My theory is if an adult wants to do it, go for it.
      But no child or teenager should be forced to ensure this crap.

      • another_steve

        The closet libertarian in me tends to agree with you. Adults – whatever you want to do with your life. Kids – a totally other situation.

        As far as there being harmful effects from the “therapy” (which I’m sure there are), well, we allow adults to smoke and drink – don’t we? Are there harmful effects associated with those choices?

        The key is for government to educate the public based on the current science.

        Then let adults decide for themselves.

      • Todd20036

        Along those lines, you may as well legalize every single drug under the sun, and every single dangerous behavior under the sun.

        Even as adults, you really think you’d only be hurting yourself by going through this shit?

        Imagine getting “cured”, declaring yourself heterosexual, marrying a woman, having children… then fucking guys on the side, then getting caught.

        See the problem?

      • I understand your point (and sort of agree) but do we say the same about other fake medical treatments known to cause harm and not to provide the promised outcome? Fraud shouldn’t be legal.

    • Do Something Nice

      Well, you are ignorant. Acupuncture isn’t voodoo. It actually situates brain activity in specific regions of the brain. It is very effective for pain management and in my case, it helped with allergy and ‘tennis elbow.’ Calling something that is used to treat billions of people effectively “voodoo” seems a bit racist.

      Here are some articles to backup what I wrote:

    • Dazzer

      Acupuncture is a perfectly legitimate medical procedure so long as it’s administered by a registered professional.

      When I – essentially – broke my back, I underwent physiotherapy and osteopathy. Both brought me up to a level of mobility but then plateau-ed out. I then undertook several months of acupuncture – and that brought my mobility up to another level of mobility.

      At that point, because I was more flexible and mobile, I was able to undertake stronger forms of therapy.

      I don’t have great mobility these days, but I can still walk a mile or two under my own steam.

      My acupuncturists were paid for by the NHS and had recognised qualifications in that form of therapy.

      Definitely not voodoo.

      • another_steve

        I’m glad it helped you. Seriously.

        This question though: Have you ever researched it and read about the underlying principles of acupuncture?

        • Todd20036

          I get dry needled for sore muscles. Basically the therapist takes a long sword, then stabs you with it, then wrenches it around forcing the muscles to fire as you cry out like a baby.

          Well that’s what it feels like.

          But it also works. And it’s partially covered by medical insurance.

          • another_steve

            Alternative medicine seems to work for some. That’s why some health insurance plans pay for it. If it provides the insured person with pain relief, the health-insurer is happy.

            Be it the Placebo Effect or not.

          • Todd20036

            True, but I’m not sure if it’s a placebo or not. To be honest, I was very skeptical about it.

            But it provides some relief, and unlike steroids, I can do this treatment long term with no ill effects.

          • another_steve

            My husband has tried various alternative medical approaches too. He’s currently on a low-gluten diet that his (shall we say, “less than traditional”) personal care physician believes is the cure for almost anything that ails you. My husband thinks it’s helping him, and I’m delighted for him.

            Placebo Effect or not, I’m delighted for him.

          • ‘Til Tuesday

            I’ve also done dry needling numerous times and although it wasn’t pleasant to do, it was so helpful. I was sore (tender) for a day afterwords, but it made a big difference in my mobility. I was skeptical at first and I h-a-t-e needles, but I became a believer in it. Just make sure the person is well-trained. More and more physical therapists are offering it.

        • Dazzer

          Yes. Of course I have. You don’t seriously think I’d just let people stick needles in me willy-nilly do you?

          I understand the Confuscian philosophy behind the practise of most Chinese medicine (and I believe in that philosophy’s concept of a medical practitioner being a mediator/ambassador between various parts of the body rather than being a god dictating how a specific part of the body should work).

          And I can see those principles being intensely useful the usage of Western medicine, too.

          I’m not a doctor and I won’t pretend to know exactly why acupuncture works – but I do understand enough about the nervous and lymphatic systems of the body enough to know that I don’t know it all.

          In at least three medical schools in the UK they now offer Chinese medicine as a part of an overall medical degree. The students study the practical effects of medicine rather than just the mystical underpinning of it.

          • another_steve

            Oh lordy lordy – the older I get, Dazzer, the more I appreciate “practical effects.” The more I adhere to a “all’s well that ends well” philosophy.

            Results. Results at the end of the day.

            How we arrive at those results is often secondary. 😉

      • There is no evidence that acupuncture is anything but a placebo, but it didn’t do you any harm. Ex-gay therapy on the other hand does a great deal of harm.

    • stevenj

      Linking “conversion therapy” cooked up by a self hating homosexual (Reikers or whatever his name was) to acupuncture, which the Chinese have been practicing for over 5000 years, is comparing apples to oranges. The reason (some) insurance companies cover it is because it does provide relief to many for pain, substance abuse, stress, all kinds of disorders etc etc. The fact that western medicine cannot x ray, photograph chi does not mean it doesn’t exist. Those of us that have been successfully treated (me for chronic allergies) either have used acupuncture as an adjunct to western medicine or relied in it solely would disagree with it being called voodoo. Most westerners do not understand the concept of acupuncture, therefore it is “ineffective and pseudo”.

      • another_steve

        I’m Philosophically Daoist and well-read on traditional Chinese medicine.

        Believing in “chi” is the equivalent of believing in any other religious energy or mysterious thing/being “out there.” There’s no difference whatsoever.

        At mass, Catholics believe the communion host is magically / spiritually turned into the body of Christ. That’s perfectly fine imo, and if it brings relief and comfort to their sufferings, I applaud it. Chi is no different. It’s predicated on the belief that there’s a vital energy in our bodies that animates us. And that this energy can be manipulated and redirected.

        Bottom line imo: If it works for the practitioner, I say “go for it.”

        • stevenj

          I took nearly 700 hours of acupressure classes (hands, fingers without the needles) and various other massage modalities in the 80’s and 90’s and had a successful 24 year practice. So I understand the practical realities of the 5 elements, chi flow, the hundreds of acupuncture points used and how they can be influenced by acupuncture needles.

          For me, an atheist, believing that your chi being manipulated by a knowledgeable practitioner and actually getting effective results is not the same as believing in a god that seems to ignore life’s tragedies, employs hucksters in his name and tells people to send them money, taking a wafer during a ritual as the actual body and blood of another person etc etc – that really sounds like voodoo. Acupuncture is not for everyone. Western medicine cannot cure everything. Religion (to me) is a hoax. Having been on both the giving and receiving ends of acupuncture/acupressure – I’ve gone for it.

          • another_steve

            Faith in things unknown is a hallmark of the human experience.

            Love to you, my friend.

          • stevenj

            It is.

            But there is a reason ex gay conversion “therapy” is deceptive and being legislated against.
            “Study after study has shown that conversion therapy is ineffective, damaging and counterproductive,”
            I have never read claims after study after study that acupuncture is voodoo or harmful and ineffective to people. Do Something Nice left some interesting links below that show just the opposite.

          • another_steve

            My understanding is that no generally-recognized Western medical organization has declared acupuncture to be a “real thing.”

            Please understand: I totally embrace all people who say they’ve benefited from it. Totally. 100 percent.

            If they’ve benefited from it, that’s a beautiful thing and I applaud it.

          • Dazzer

            This might be useful to you. It’s from the British Medical Journal – a serious publication – and deals with Western Medical Acupuncture.


            It’s probably because of articles like this that acupuncture is accepted as an viable form of therapy (non-placebo) by the NHS.

            Please note Steve that I’m not trying to change your point of view. I’m merely offering this up as an article that might prove useful in distinguishing the difference between acupuncture in traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture in Western medicine.

          • another_steve

            “Its practitioners no longer adhere to concepts such as Yin/Yang and circulation of qi, and regard acupuncture as part of conventional medicine rather than a complete “alternative medical system.”

            It acts mainly by stimulating the nervous system, and its known modes of action include local antidromic axon reflexes, segmental and extrasegmental neuromodulation, and other central nervous system effects.”

            Whatever, my friend.

            Know that I love you and wish for you only the best.

          • stevenj

            During my acupressure classes years ago this came up now and then (“how come the AMA or western medicine doesn’t recognize acupuncture?”). The answer always was….they cannot take a picture of chi or the bodies natural energy. There are not enough studies, etc etc etc. Besides the World Health Organization (WHO) there are thousands of western medical organizations worldwide made up of western practitioners that recognize acupuncture as a real thing.

          • another_steve

            I strive always, steven, for internal consistency. For inner-being consistency. I don’t always succeed at it, but still I strive.

            If you cannot take a picture of chi – cannot document it – then it’s on the same level, the same par, as belief in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

            Do you grok there?

            Possibly true, but on the same par.

          • Do Something Nice

            I was a skeptic about acupuncture until I tried it. It is incredibly powerful.

          • Dazzer

            Same here.

      • What’s there to understand. It can be proven to work in any way other than as a placebo.

    • Nychta

      Thanks for starting this discussion of acupuncture – though I think you didn’t intend it to be about that. I want to add something about voodoo.

      In the dominant U.S. culture “voodoo” is used as a synonym for evil sorcery. But voodoo isn’t any of these. It’s based on an African religion that survived being dragged to the Americas and made to take cover within Christian iconography (e.g., St. Barbara becoming a stand-in for Shango). This article explains it a little more:

      I’m not a religious person, but I like mythology. (For example, I’m fascinated that the Celtic deity Brigid morphed into the Christian St. Brigid/Bridget, and later became associated with Maman Brigitte of voodoo.)

      Regarding acupuncture, from what I’ve read the scientific jury is still out. Based on personal experience, I’d say it’s effective.

      • another_steve

        Yes, of course. Thanks for that clarification.

        We westerners use “voodoo” as a descriptor for the “false and odd,” but to its practitioners, “voodoo” is much more than that.

        • Nychta

          It took me a while to understand. I have a friend who was an African Studies major in college (masters degree in African American art), who lived in Africa as a child, and who helped me see this.

          In case you’re interested, or haven’t seen it before, the book “Flash of the Spirit” is a good introduction to the survival of African spirituality in the Americas.

    • Sporkfighter

      “Will be interesting to observe how the “conversion therapy” controversy plays out in the years and decades to come. How the courts will be handling it.”

      At best, the courts will handle gay torture therapy used on children like they’ve handled the Catholic Church child-rape crimes. The victims will die of old age (if they’re lucky) before justice is done.

      • another_steve

        I’m more optimistic in the long run, Sporkfighter.

        The biological optimal will ultimately prevail. It will be a long and terrible trek, but it will prevail.

        What is optimal for the continuance and thriving of our species will ultimately prevail.

  • BearEyes

    I read through the bill. Glad it’s under the state consumer protection laws without a carve out for “religious” excuses.

  • Steverino

    It is a fraud, and in the current parlance (ironically) of Trumpanzees, any and all claims of “success” are a hoax.

  • Ninja0980

    It’s not just fraud, it’s torture and should be outlawed in all 50 states.

    • DaddyRay


      • Christopher

        “Cuppa Noodles be with you!”

      • Robert Whitted

        That took me a second!

    • IDavid

      Religion brought this whole ex-gay fraud into being, I think religions should also be outlawed as fraud, in all fifty states.

      • Goodboy

        Not just religion but the most hateful of them.

  • AJ Drew

    “Follow the money” works if it shuts this bs down forever, but ideally I’d like to see torture legally codified as torture.

  • bkmn

    Thank you. They have had decades and have not produced a single peer reviewed study showing effectiveness or anything else. Glad they are being called out.

    • Todd20036

      No, they haven’t. And when even the officers in their little cults get caught in bars or with prostitutes, that alone shows how effective their “cure” is.

  • JWC

    The government has NO business in this field or abortion Back the hell off Its all orchestrated by religious persuasion

    • David L. Caster

      All quackery should be scrutinized carefully by public health authorities.

      Edited to add: not just scrutinized but also explicitly outlawed.

      • JWC

        Quakery in all its forms should be outlawed by saying “no government” i was meaning policy not administratively

  • pj

    sorry to be shallw but hes very sexy

    • Brian Burleson

      Indeed he is. I used to see him quite often as his parents live two doors down from us. He stopped by to thank us for flying our rainbow flag.

      • pj

        those brainy asian guys are so hot in the sack

        • Brian Burleson

          You really need to live here in Silicon Valley if that is your type. Lots of them fit that description.

          • pj

            story of my life….always in the wrong place.

          • Brian Burleson

            Plus the thin Indian guys with their toothy grins make me swoon.

    • James in Hollywood

      I couldn’t agree more.

    • Todd20036

      So I’m not the only one wondering if he’s wearing pants in that photo.

  • Kevin Andrews

    Everyone should know that the author of “conversion therapy” is George Alan Rekers of “and the rent boy” fame.
    Everyone should know that his first victim committed suicide.
    Everyone should know that human sexual identity is a broad spectrum of individual physiology from Rabid Heterosexual to LGBTQ & Cis gendered.
    Everyone should know: “Who I love is no bodies business but my own.

    • carlnsteve

      absolutely excellently well put together!

      like i always say, sometimes: what other people think of me is none of my business and what i think of them is none of their business.

      • Kevin Andrews

        I neglected to add that George Alan Rekers was one of the founders of The Family Research Council. Perhaps Ms Tony Perkin’s is one of Reker’s victims.

    • Sporkfighter

      “Everyone should know: “Who I love is nobody’s business but my own.”

      Nothing else matters but your personal autonomy.

      • Kevin Andrews

        That is the very essence of Life, Liberty and pursuit of happiness.
        “Those who give up essential Liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither Liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin.
        Think about that as you are taking off your shoes and being searched at the airport. Think about that when the Gestapo puts you through the metal detector to gain admission to public buildings.
        You are the problem and a graphic example of how Hitler ( and the Fascist Zionist bastards now in office here) rose to power.
        Sieg Heil, Comrade.

    • xzargo

      George Rekers was a leering shower goblin in the gym where I worked.

      • fuow


  • Halou

    Waiting for the wails of hateful privileged agony from evangelicals.

  • greenmanTN

    Here is what pisses me off. These people think they get to change reality. “Oh, Franklin Graham doesn’t like gay people so we’ve all got to stop it!” Reality doesn’t work that way. Your opinion of it is beside the point, it just is, so get the fuck over it.

    • David L. Caster

      Generalizing, beliefs alone should not form the basis of public policymaking, particularly where public health is concerned and any policies should be science-based.

      • pch1013

        See also: the anti-vax cult.

  • JackNasty

    I hope that the gay men who have been subjected to this torture are able to win reparations from the churches and quack medical practices that promulgated and promoted it.

  • ‘Til Tuesday

    I’ve read many stories of people who were damaged and harmed by this. And there have been suicides. I’m curious why there haven’t been some class-action suits against the practitioners of it, or even some individual lawsuits? Are the practitioners protected by law in some way? It seems with all the evidence adding up and more and more states banning it for minors that there would be grounds for legal action. I mean, people have clearly been harmed by it.

  • Hank
  • pch1013

    Every day, I’m more and more proud to call myself a Californian.

  • GanymedeRenard

    Conversion therapy is neither. Good on the lawmakers.

    BTW, Low is super sexy!

  • AJA

    I’m gonna be shallow for a minute: this guy is cuuuuuuute! 😀

    • Todd20036

      Line starts around the corner.

      • Paul

        I’m glad I’m not the only one who lusts over Evan Low. Do you think he likes (way) older guys?

      • fuow

        I saw him first, before most of you bitches were even hatched.

  • JCF

    I said this recently: I would not be at all surprised, in 4 or 8 or 12 years, to see Evan Low as California’s first openly-LGBT Governor. [Beyond that? Who knows? 😉 ]

  • NowVoyager

    Turn it around and see how heterosexulists would react if gay parents forced their children into camps and so-called “conversion therapy” in order to convert them into homosexuals so they would be more like them. A federal law would be passed against it in no time flat. But same-sex parents are better than that.