Once you’re gay, you stay that way —and that’s an order. So says the California State Assembly, which has just banned a form of psychotherapy, called reparative therapy for minors, aimed at making gay people straight. California, never shy about leading the nation away from traditional mores, is the first state to take such a measure.
Democratic Sen. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) of Torrance champions the state’s efforts because he says so-called conversion therapy is dangerous, and caused some people to kill themselves:
It’s heartening to see the majority of the Assembly agrees that this kind of so-called ‘treatment’ essentially is psychological abuse of children. Even the person who brought any legitimacy to this kind of psychological technique, Dr. Robert Spitzer, renounced his study and apologized to the LGBT community.
If the California Senate agrees no later than midnight Friday, the bill will be sent to California governor Jerry Brown. In July, Brown signed a bill making California the first state to add lessons about gays and lesbians to social studies classes in public schools, so it’s likely he’s entirely sympathetic to this bill.
Some religious groups have stated that the bill interferes with their ability to seek help for their children.