CALIFORNIA: State Senate Approves Bill Defining Conversion Therapy As Fraud, Allows Victims To Sue

Courthouse News reports:

California is on the verge of shunning treatments that promise to “cure” patients of homosexuality through hypnosis, counseling and even electric shock sessions.

The state Senate on Thursday cleared a proposal to list so-called conversion therapy as a fraudulent business practice, bringing it under the umbrella of state consumer-protection laws and opening the door for victims to sue practitioners.

California outlawed conversion or reparative therapy for minors in 2012 but there is still a fringe market for adults. The current measure, Assembly Bill 2943 by Assemblyman Evan Low, makes it illegal to advertise practices claiming to “change an individual’s sexual orientation.”

Via press release from Assemblyman Low:

“We as legislators have a responsibility to protect Californians from harmful and deceptive practices. All Californians should be celebrated, cherished, and loved for who they are. I am grateful to my colleagues in the Senate for affirming their support for those in the LGBT community who need it most by voting for this bill.”

In 2012, Senate Bill 1172 by then Senator Ted Lieu was signed into law to prohibit licensed mental health providers from performing sexual orientation change efforts with a patient under 18 years of age. Violating this law subjects the provider to discipline by the provider’s licensing entity. AB 2943 now goes back to the Assembly for a concurrence vote.

As I have reported in recent months, anti-LGBT groups have tried to gin up public outrage over the bill by claiming it literally outlaws the bible.