This Saturday, California became the first state in the United States to ban gay cure therapy for kids. The bill banning the reparative therapies meant to change sexual orientation and gender identities was signed over the weekend by California Governor Jerry Brown.
It goes without saying, the past year has been an amazing change in lesbian rights. California has become the first to ban controversial gay cure therapies, putting thus an end to a practice that has no scientific ground. Even those that once were supporters of the reparative therapy have changed their minds lately, admitting the gay cure isn’t in fact a cure.
Equality California, Gaylesta, Courage Campaign, Lambda Legal, NCLR and Mental Health America of Northern California have fought strongly to have Senate Bill 1172 approved. California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill this Saturday and gay cure therapies will be officially banned as of January 1, 2013.
“We’re grateful to Governor Brown for standing with California’s children” reads a statement from the Human Rights Campaign. “LGBT youth will now be protected from a practice that has not only been debunked as junk science, but has been proven to have drastically negative effects on their well-being” the organization added.
Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, was also excited that California banned gay cure therapy and praise Governor Brown for his support. “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’”.
Bill 1172 that bans gay cure was widely supported by Senator Ted Lieu, D-Torrance. He described the bill to be “necessary because children were being psychologically abused by reparative therapists who would try to change the child’s sexual orientation”. In a statement for NBC News, Lieu referred to the gay cure therapy as quackery and added so-called therapists never informed parents about the high risks of depression and suicide.
Huffington Post writes that gay cure, reparative or conversion therapies use “a wide variety of techniques from counseling to shock therapy to – in extreme cases – exorcism” all to the purpose of “curing” “individuals of their homosexual and transgender orientations and identities”.