California One Step Closer to Banning ‘Gay Cure’ Therapy
Gay rights advocates are celebrating a victory as California’s Assembly recently approved a bill banninga controversial therapy meant to “cure” teenagers of homosexuality.
Passed 52 to 22, the bill prohibits conversion therapy for teens and children. Conversion therapy is intended to convert a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual.
According to opponents of conversion therapy, the practice has no medical basis and leads to depression, drug addiction and suicide. “It is inappropriate for anyone, including parents, to subject anybody to dehumanising activity,” said John Perez, an openly gay member of the assembly.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, says that “therapy” is damaging and abusive.
“These non-scientific efforts have led in some cases to patients later committing suicide, as well as severe mental and physical anguish,” Lieu said in a press release hailing the vote. Ricardo Lara, an openly gay Democratic assemblyman from Los Angeles County, said the bill would protect “the next generation of Californians,”
The Senate version of the bill was passed in May by a vote of 23 to 13. However, there are still some differences between the two versions that must be worked out before the final bill goes before Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday.
If signed into law, California will be the first state to ban the practice.