Another courageous state lawmaker has stepped up to the plate in the ongoing battle against the dubious practice known as “reparative,” “conversion,” or “ex-gay” therapy, a slate of scientifically baseless “therapy” practices that falsely claim to be able to change patients from gay to straight.
Pennsylvania State Representative Babette Josephs (D-182) has introduced a bill that would make it illegal for mental health providers in Pennsylvania to offer conversion therapy to minors. In a news release posted to the website of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Caucus, Josephs notes that the scientific consensus on sexual orientation change efforts is crystal clear:
“No reputable mainstream mental health association considers being gay, lesbian or bisexual a disease or mental illness. Yet, that is exactly the premise behind this kind of therapy – a wrong assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder that can be ‘corrected,'” Josephs said.
“As homosexuality is not a disorder, so attempts to ‘convert’ the sexual orientation of anyone, particularly a minor, threatens the individual’s short- and long-term health and well-being.”
Josephs’ bill, which has been introduced as H.B. 2691, comes less than two weeks after California Governor Jerry Brown signed the nation’s first-ever law prohibiting minors from being subjected to this form of anti-gay abuse. The 14-term Democrat from Philadelphia is a longtime advocate for the LGBT community.
In her news release, Josephs also points out the many awful ways ill-fated “ex-gay” efforts harm victims’ lives:
“The very concept of ‘correcting’ homosexuality is dehumanizing and contrary to conventional societal norms. The fact that minors are forcefully subjected to this therapy that is not based in any scientific fact is unacceptable. Pennsylvania’s children deserve better,” Josephs said.
We completely agree. Bravo, Rep. Josephs. We salute you!