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California Says No to Ex-Gay Therapy for the Second Time

California Says No to Ex-Gay Therapy for the Second Time

Hooray! The state of California now has a ban on the shameful practice of gay conversion therapy. The decision came on August 29, when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld the nation’s first-of-its-kind law in California prohibiting health practitioners from offering psychotherapy aimed at making gay youth straight.

This, of course, is in stark contrast to what is going on in Russia, where in addition to the so-called gay propaganda ban, Russian lawmakers are now said to be mulling over a nationwide conversion service, which, while supposedly opt-in, raises the specter of forced sexual orientation change attempts.

It was last October that California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill to ban clinicians administering ex-gay therapy to minors.

The move was immediately welcomed by gay rights campaigners. As Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said in a statement:

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.’

It’s really more serious than that. Supporters, including Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris, said the ban was necessary to protect children from a coercive practice that puts them at increased risk of suicide. They also said the therapy’s efficacy had been questioned or rejected by every major mental health professional association.

Of course being told that there is something fundamentally wrong with you, just because of who you are, is likely to lead to depression or suicide.

As the American Psychological Society (APA) states, homosexuality is not a mental disorder and the APA opposes all portrayals of lesbian, gay and bisexual people as mentally ill and in need of treatment due to their sexual orientation.

The American Psychoanalytic Society puts it this way:

We emphasize that anti-homosexual bias, just like any other societal prejudice, negatively affects mental health and contributes to feelings of stigma and low self-worth. Reparative therapy is nothing more than quackery fueled by bias.

Nevertheless, before the ink has even had time to dry on Governor Brown’s bill, it was challenged in an appeals court. Unfortunately, this means that instead of going into effect in January 2013, it was placed on hold.

The case was brought by professionals who practice sexual-orientation change therapy, two families who say their teenage sons benefited from it and a national association of Christian mental health counselors. They argued that the ban infringes on their free speech and freedom of association and religious rights.

The counselors also argued that it jeopardized their livelihoods. Oh no! Are we supposed to feel sorry for them?

This was all dismissed by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a 3 – 0 ruling when the court stated that the state’s ban on so-called conversion therapy for minors doesn’t violate the free speech rights of licensed counselors and patients seeking treatment.

“Fundamental rights of parents do not include the right to choose a specific type of provider for a specific medical or mental health treatment that the state has reasonably deemed harmful,” 9th Circuit Judge Susan Graber wrote for the three-judge panel.

Thank heavens for some sanity and compassion in our court system.

How dare “counselors” tell young people that what they are experiencing and who they are is wrong — wrong in the eyes of God, since many of these gay conversion counselors are “religious.”

The ex-gay movement has been around since the 1970′s, attempting to “cure” homosexuality through religion. Their claims have been met with much resistance from gay advocacy groups and mental health organizations over the unsubstantiated claims that homosexuality is an illness and that it can be cured through therapy.

Finally, someone is listening.

In addition to Jerry Brown, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has also signed a similar law that seeks to outlaw conversion therapy in his state.

Hooray for California and New Jersey!

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

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66 comments

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7:03PM PDT on Mar 30, 2014

I think Care2 is a group of pedophile perverts. Take me off your mailing list!

7:55PM PDT on Sep 5, 2013

Good news, and sort of bad news. Good news is that two states have made it illegal to "convert"...Bad news, sort of, what the H*** is Christie up to? He's a TP in the strictest sense, that includes LGBT rights, or lack thereof...makes you wonder.

If anyone wants to know how some of the strictest anti-LGBT think travel over to the Public Advocate and Eugene Degaudio...Please feel free to have barf bucket and lots of air freshener ready...Didn't believe my mother when she told me how this rag is raising money from all the homophobes out there. Very scary lies.

7:00AM PDT on Sep 4, 2013

good news.

10:44PM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

Ex LGBT "therapy" is in my opinion, abuse and torture. Think of a piece of curled ribbon. You take a pair of scissors and try to reverse the curl. What you end up with is a weakened piece of ribbon. That is what ex LGBT "therapy" does, weakens a person's sense of self.

LGBT people are created by the Creator to be just the way they are. Being LGBT is not a lifestyle, not a learned behaviour. Just as being heterosexual is not a lifestyle, is not a learned behaviour. It is the way the Creator made some people.

Such conversion "therapy" is not scientific, but is made up by the right wing evangelical pseudo Christians and other far right religious groups that don't tolerate anyone who is different.

One idiot Republicanus/Teabagger said that most of the murders in the US are done by LGBTs. What BS!

It is time to move on and celebrate life, not denigrate it.

6:52PM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

ty

6:05PM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

We need to do the same here in TX. I have risked my job several times by refusing to recommend this religious voodoo crap. I refuse to harm a child by attempting to alter their sexual identity just to assuage religious nutjobs. This goes against the DSM, thousands of studies, commonsense and [above all] compassion.

Homosexuality harms no one, which cannot be said for religion.

1:16PM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

Good for Californian's, Republicans are destroying their party one temper-tantrum after another. Should be completely rid of the republican party within the next 10 years, if not soon.

2:57AM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

Gotta love us liberal Californians!

1:12AM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

Thanks for sharing

11:51PM PDT on Sep 1, 2013

Thank you. :)

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Lindsay Spangler Lindsay Spangler is a Web Editor and Producer for Care2 Causes. A recent UCLA graduate, she lives in... more
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