California becomes first state to ban ‘gay cure’ therapy on minors with new law
A bill banning the use of controversial therapy aimed at ‘curing’ homosexuality in gay teenagers has been stamped into law by California, making it the first state to outlaw the practice. Gov Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1172 yesterday, which prohibits doctors from performing any type of conversion therapy on lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender minors. In a press release today, Clarissa Filgioun, board president of Equality California, said: ‘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.’ Conversion therapy is an attempt to change the sexual orientation of a subject from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual. Democratic Sen Ted Lieu, who sponsored the bill, said that he was ‘honored’ by the signing of the bill. Sen Lieu told NBC News: ‘An entire house of medicine has rejected gay conversion therapy. Not only does it not work but it is harmful. Patients who go through this have gone through guilt and shame, and some have committed suicide.’ Advocates also warned that the controversial therapy could lead to depression and substance abuse. Democrat Ricardo Lara, one of several openly gay legislators to champion the bill during the debate, urged Assembly members last month to stand with ‘sissy boys.’ One of our number one priorities in this house is to protect the next generation of Californians,’ Mr Lara said last month before the California State Assembly vote.