California becomes first US state to ban “gay cure” therapy for teens
The state of California has banned controversial “gay cure” therapy for teens in a move hailed as a major victory for gay rights.
A bill has been passed to ban state-licensed therapists putting minors through conversion therapy: the process of trying to change their sexual orientation to be heterosexual.
The psychological effects of the controversial treatment have included depression, guilt, shame and suicide.
Governor Jerry Brown announced his signing of Senate Bill 1172 on 30th September 2012. The bill was passed with 51 votes to 21 and will go into effect on 1st January 2013.
Brown released the following statement: “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.”
Conversion therapies to “cure” a minor of their sexuality have already been denounced in mainstream psychiatry in the US. The American Psychiatric Association has labelled conversion therapy unethical and ineffective.
Praising the bill, Clarissa Filgioun, the board president of Equality California, released the following press release: “Governor Brown today reaffirmed what medical and mental health organisations 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.”