Update: Box Turtle Bulletin points out that this would only restrict the activities of those regulated by the state of California, it does not restrictpastors, ministers and lay counselors.
Authority does not extend to the religious sphere. Nor can it under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
But the bill does:
Pose a problem for any licensed professionals who work in those ministries.
California is considering banning so-called ‘Pray Away The Gay’ therapy for LGBT teens and slapping a warning label on it for adults.
A bill written by California State Senator Ted Lieu and sponsored by the LGBT rights group Equality California would force psychotherapists to tell patients about the mental and physical harms of undertaking any so-called ‘gay therapies.’ Therapists would also need the consent of a patient before moving forward with their dangerous work.
It would halt all ‘pray away the gay’ treatment of minors, regardless of the wishes of his or her parents. Those over 18 years old would have to sign off on treatment warning that such therapy is regarded as ineffective by experts. That warning would read:
Having a lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientation is not a mental disorder. There is no scientific evidence that any types of therapies are effective in changing a person’s sexual orientation. Sexual orientation change efforts can be harmful. The risks include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior.
Medical and mental health associations that oppose the use of sexual orientation change efforts include the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
NARTH (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) has admitted in an alert email about the California bill that their work’s intention is to simply reinforce religious bias against homosexuality.
Equality California president Clarissa Filgioun said:
For decades, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people—particularly youth—have suffered psychological abuse by those who are entrusted to care for their emotional and psychological well-being. It’s long past time to do everything in our power to put an end to the use of therapy tactics that have no sound scientific basis and that cause lifelong damage.
Last week, Care2′s Steve Williams reported on how the supposed ‘science’ underpinning so-called ‘ex-gay’ therapy is being withdrawn by those who originally proposed it.
If you support the bill, please sign this petition.
Clockwork Orange screengrab by Gustavo Medde