CALIFORNIA: “Ex-Gay” Therapy Ban For Minors Passes In State Assembly

California’s bill to outlaw “ex-gay” therapy for minors was approved by the state Assembly yesterday. The bill has already passed in the state Senate.

The 51-21 vote in the Democratic-controlled Assembly marked a major victory for gay rights advocates who say the so-called conversion therapy has no medical basis because homosexuality is not a disorder. Opponents of the practice say such attempts to change sexual orientation can cause depression and lead to substance abuse and suicide. Several openly gay legislators championed the bill in emotional speeches during the floor debate, citing their own childhood experiences.

“One of our No. 1 priorities in this house is to protect the next generation of Californians,” said Ricardo Lara, a Democrat from Los Angeles County. “And some of those are sissy boys. And some of those sissy boys grow up to be Assembly members. And some of those sissy boys need help. And we are here to stand with those sissy boys.” The Senate passed its version of the bill by a vote of 23-13 in May. Lawmakers must iron out minor differences in the two measures by Friday before a final bill makes its way to the desk of Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.

Gov. Brown has made no public comment on how he might vote on the bill. In the clip below, openly gay Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez argues for passage of the bill.