Contact: Wayne Besen, Executive Director
Phone: 917-691-5118

Bill Now Returns To Senate Before Reaching Gov. Jerry Brown’s Desk, Says TWO

Burlington, Vt. – Truth Wins Out applauded the California Assembly today after it voted 52 to 21 to pass a much-anticipated bill to protect sexual minorities from practitioners that seek to change one’s sexual orientation. All leading medical and mental health organizations call such efforts futile and dangerous. The bill will go back to the Senate to reconcile with the Assembly version before landing on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk.

“We strongly urge Gov. Jerry Brown to sign this bill into law so the quacks can no longer abuse the kids,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Each day that goes by without this bill becoming law is another opportunity for damaging therapy to psychologically scar LGBT youth.”

The bill was authored by Senator Ted Lieu and is co-sponsored by Equality California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gaylesta, Mental Health America of Northern California, Lambda Legal, and the Courage Campaign.

This bill bans state-licensed mental health practitioners from engaging in harmful treatments that disingenuously claim to turn a gay person straight through so-called “therapy.”

“We hope this bill is duplicated in other state because LGBT youth should be safe and secure throughout America,” said Besen.

Senate Bill 1172 is supported by the National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, California Division, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Truth Wins Out is a nonprofit organization that fights anti-LGBT extremism. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.

What others are saying:

“These dangerous, unscientific practices have caused too many young people to take their own lives or suffer lifelong harm after being told, falsely, that who they are and who they love is wrong, sick, or the result of personal or moral failure,” said Clarissa Filgioun, Equality California board president. “We applaud the legislature, and in particular, Senator Ted Lieu, for putting a stop to the psychological abuse these misguided practitioners have inflicted on vulnerable youth and families.”

Added NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell: “The time is long overdue for the legislature to take action to stop the severe harms being inflicted on young people and their families by these dangerous practices. These practices have been thoroughly discredited, and yet every day in California state-licensed therapists abuse their professional authority to deceive parents and wreck the lives of youth who deserve nothing but protection and support. This bill will literally save lives. California youth deserve protection from this terrible abuse.”