California bans gay 'conversion' therapy

2012-09-30 22:42

Sacramento - California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill barring a controversial therapy that aims to reverse homosexuality in minors, the measure's sponsor said on Sunday.

Brown's approval made California the first state to ban so-called conversion therapy. The move marked a major victory for gay rights advocates who say the therapy, also called reparative therapy, has no medical basis because homosexuality is not a disorder.

The bill's sponsor, state Senator Ted Lieu, a Democrat from Torrance, said in a statement that Brown had signed the bill. An announcement from the governor's office was expected on Sunday.

The bill prohibits children and teens under 18 from undergoing sexual orientation change efforts. It got support from the American Psychiatric Association, California Psychological Association and the California Board of Behavioural Sciences, among others.

"LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] 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," Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said in a statement.

He urged other states to follow California's lead.

Lieu said the psychiatrist who pioneered the therapy, Dr Robert Spitzer, has since renounced it and has apologized to the gay and lesbian community.

All major medical and mental health organizations including the American Medical Association have denounced the practice, supporters said.

Opponents said the bill encroached on the rights of parents to make choices for their children. They also said politicians should not regulate what they considered to be a matter for medical boards to decide.

The measure will take effect on 1 January.

  • PrettyUsefulArt - 2012-09-30 23:03

    Common sense finally prevails. Sheesh, it's easy to forget what century we're living in at times...

  • JohncarlosBiza - 2012-10-01 01:02

    Why not ban all forms of stupidity?!

      shanleigh.sewsanker - 2012-10-01 07:32

      its weird that so many people actually dislike this comment. in a different context this would be a great comment

  • hannah.p.mostert - 2012-10-01 04:36

    Wow wapsite you are so out of touch with humanity!

  • ljmostert - 2012-10-01 06:00

    Many people are born gay but lately it has become fashionable to choose your sexual lifestyle. I don't have a problem with former but with the latter! In gewneral society needs to improve its morality - its going backwards!

      MerryMartin - 2012-10-01 07:15

      Seriously? People are now CHOOSING to be gay? Just as a matter of interest, if it is OK in your book to be born gay, why is it then a problem for you if people (according to you) choose to be gay? Being gay has nothing to do with society and it's lack of morals - seems to me that society is lacking most of all in common sense, compassion and humanity, and I don't think any of those are specific to gays. Peace and blessings.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-10-01 14:36

      You're bigoted.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-10-01 17:17


  • atholl.hay - 2012-10-01 07:40

    Hatred is not holy.

  • jjeppe - 2012-10-01 08:40

    Great!!!, I am glad that people are moving in the right direction. If your child decided to convert to a different religion, would it be right to try and convert him/her without regard what he/she might believe?

  • mark.beeld - 2012-10-01 09:19


  • wordis.word.1 - 2012-10-01 12:03

    If you believe gay people can be converted to hetero, then you must also believe that it is possible for hetero people to be converted to homo. Personally I don't see that anyone will be able to 'cure' me of my hetero nature, I assume it is the same for all the homo people.

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