Efforts to change sexual orientation or gender expression have been debunked as junk science, and have also been proven harmful to children and adults. All major medical and mental health organizations have denounced the practice including: the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American School Counselor Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Pan American Health Organization.
Kate Kendell President of The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) issued the following statement:
"This legislation is one of the most important bills NCLR has ever sponsored. Since 1993, NCLR’s Youth Project has provided legal support to LGBT youth who have been damaged by psychological abuse and mistreatment at the hands of abusive mental health practitioners who tell these youth that who they are is bad, sick, and wrong. We have seen firsthand the terrible, lasting damage caused by these deadly practices. This law provides a powerful tool to make sure that therapists who abuse LGBT youth can be held legally accountable. And just as important, it sends a powerful message of affirmation and support to LGBT youth and their families—telling them loud and clear that the state of California will not stand by while state-licensed therapists abuse their power to harm LGBT youth and propagate the deadly lie that sexual orientation is an illness or disorder that can be “cured.”
Special thanks also go to the many organizations who sent action alerts to their members and urged the Governor to support the bill. And a very special thanks to you, the people who—through your calls, your emails, and your tweets—took the time to ask Governor Brown to put a stop to these practices.
We are also grateful to celebrities such as Jane Lynch, Chely Wright, and Wilson Cruz who worked alongside us, tweeting their followers to encourage them to ask the Governor to sign this bill.
Chad Griffin President od Human Rights Campaign issued the following statement:
"We're grateful to Governor Brown for standing with California's children. 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 commend Governor Brown for putting children first, and call on all states to take California’s lead on this issue. We will continue our fight against this kind of child abuse, which has been deemed harmful to children by all major mental health, medical, and child welfare organizations."
Authored by California Senator Ted Lieu, SB 1172 was sponsored by Equality California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gaylesta, Lambda Legal, Mental Health of North America, and the Courage Campaign. This week nearly 50,000 concerned citizens signed a Human Rights Campaign petition urging the Governor to sign the bill.
Please send aheartfelt thank you to Governor Brown for his leadership on this issue. You can thank him directly by tweeting him @JerryBrownGov or by using TinyURL.Com/ThankCAGov.
Source Press releases from HRC and NCLR