October 1, 2012
By Jacob Combs
California is now the first state to prohibit the use of so-called gay ‘conversion’ therapy on minors after Governor Jerry Brown signed a ban into law this Saturday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. From the Chronicle:
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.
The new law will take effect on January 1 and will prohibit mental health providers from practicing therapy with an aim “”to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”
The Courage Campaign, which sponsors P8TT, was among the groups spearheading the push to pass SB 1172 through the legislature and encourage Governor Brown to sign the bill. Rick Jacobs, Courage’s founder and chair, issued the following statement the bill was signed:
“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.”