California signs ‘gay cure’ therapy for children ban into law

US state becomes the first to ban mental health practitioners from carrying out so-called conversion therapy

California signs ‘gay cure’ therapy for children ban into law
30 September 2012

California has become the first American state to ban ‘gay cure’ therapy for minors after the Governor signed a bill to outlaw it yesterday (29 September).

The bill, sponsored by Senator Ted Lieu, stops psychiatrists and churches from performing conversion, or reparative therapy, which the World Health Organization calls ‘dangerous and abusive’.

In a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle, Brown said: ‘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.’

Any mental health professional who violates the law, which applies to therapy for patients younger than 18, would be stripped of their license to practice psychiatry.

Gay rights organizations had been lobbying the state intensely to sign the therapy ban.

The Human Rights Campaign praised the landmark decision after they sent Brown a petition with nearly 50,000 signatures.

Chad Griffin, president of the HRC, said: ‘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.

‘We comment Brown for putting children first, and call on all states to take California’s lead on this issue.

Before the bill was signed, it was also subject to protests from anti-gay religious groups.

Extremist Christian group, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), accused the Democrat Lieu of ‘fascism’, ‘ex-gay bashing’ and ‘usurping the rights of parents.’

On Friday (28 September), it was also announced same-sex couples in California will have the same access to fertility services that was only available to heterosexual couples.

The American Psychological Association declassified homosexuality as an illness in 1973 and views the practice as ‘inappropriate, unethical and inhumane.’ 

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Heather Small and Loreen play pop-up show tonight in Sydney

'Secret' last minute gig announced with performance from M-People's Heather Small and Eurovision winner Loreen
No thumbnail available

GSN and G-A-Y ask the public what they want for London Pride

GSN is chairing a debate at Heaven on 25 July at 5.30pm on how to create a world class LGBT pride in London
No thumbnail available

UK soccer star: Players need to be educated to stop gay hatred

Former footballer Clark Carlisle is calling on players to recieve more education on homosexuality so one day one of them could feel comfortable to come out
No thumbnail available

Emily Blunt: 'I hope to be a gay icon'

Actress reunites with Devil Wears Prada co-star Meryl Streep in the musical Into the Woods
Anne Hathaway felt 'magnetic pull' to her character of Lureen in Brokeback Mountain

Anne Hathaway felt 'magnetic pull' to her character of Lureen in Brokeback Mountain

'It’s not dissimilar to the feeling of meeting someone that will become very important to you on some soul level'
No thumbnail available

Europop sets London up as the pride of the world

London has been chosen to host World Pride on behalf of the global LGBT community exhibiting some shameless music performances
No thumbnail available

Malta extends hate crime laws to include gays

Campaigners welcome passing of new bill which sends 'strong message' to society about LGBT rights
Crowd at Comic Con cheers when gay make-up artists proposes to boyfriend on stage

Crowd at Comic Con cheers when gay make-up artists proposes to boyfriend on stage

Barry Bishop shocked the crowd by proposing to his partner Billy Brooks who said yes
No thumbnail available

Uganda parliament speaker: gay groups infiltrate schools through donated computers

Rebecca Kadaga says foreigners adopt African kids and train them to be gay
No thumbnail available

Petition urges Ukraine president to stop anti-gay gag law

Generation will be 'forced into the shadows' if anti-gay 'propaganda' law is passed