Last night California Gov. Jerry Brown finally signed the bill that bans “ex-gay therapy” for children under the age of 18.
The bill, SB1172 by Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance (Los Angeles County), bars mental health practitioners from performing so-called reparative therapy, which professional psychological organizations have said may cause harm. Gay rights groups have labeled them dangerous and abusive. “This bill bans non-scientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery,” Brown said in a statement to The Chronicle.Brown approved the ban after the public release of two other lists of bills signed and vetoed earlier Saturday. Lieu’s bill is expected to appear on a new list to be released Sunday.
National Center for Lesbian Rights: “Governor Brown has sent a powerful message of affirmation and support to LGBT youth and their families. This law will ensure that state-licensed therapists can no longer abuse their power to harm LGBT youth and propagate the dangerous and deadly lie that sexual orientation is an illness or disorder that can be ‘cured.'”
Equality California: “Governor Brown today reaffirmed what medical and mental health organizations have made clear: Efforts to change minors’ sexual orientation are not therapy, they are the relics of prejudice and abuse that have inflicted untold harm on young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians. We thank Senator Ted Lieu and Governor Brown for their efforts in making California a leader in banning this deceptive and harmful practice.”
Truth Wins Out: “This is a historic day that protects LGBT youth from child abuse disguised as genuine therapy. We thank Gov. Brown for signing legislation that can serve as a model for similar bills across the nation.”
Human Rights Campaign: “We’re grateful to Governor Brown for standing with California’s children. LGBT youth will now be protected from a practice that has not only been debunked as junk science, but has been proven to have drastically negative effects on their well-being. We commend Governor Brown for putting children first, and call on all states to take California’s lead on this issue. We will continue our fight against this kind of child abuse, which has been deemed harmful to children by all major mental health, medical, and child welfare organizations.”
Courage Campaign: “Governor Brown has shown courage for enacting the first law in the nation to ban ‘conversion therapy’ for gay people. The Governor’s action will protect thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth of California. This law will save lives here and across the nation by ending the torture of young people through the quackery that suggests that gay people can decide somehow not to be gay, which is akin to white people deciding not to be white. Once again, California is a model for the nation.”