ONTD Political

Because we need some good news every now and then

3:27 pm - 04/29/2012
California Bill Would Protect Patients From Harmful Ex-Gay Therapy

A California Senate committee today advanced SB 1172, a bill that would help protect citizens from harmful, ineffective ex-gay therapy. The law does not outright ban all ex-gay therapy, but it does prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from undergoing sexual orientation change efforts. It also requires that any prospective patient sign an informed consent form that includes the following disclaimer:

Having a lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientation is not a mental disorder. There is no scientific evidence that any types of therapies are effective in changing a person’s sexual orientation. Sexual orientation change efforts can be harmful. The risks include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior.

Medical and mental health associations that oppose the use of sexual orientation change efforts include the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.


This is model legislation that applies scientific knowledge to the benefit of the general welfare. Ex-gay therapy has been debunked repeatedly and deserves the marginalization that this bill would implement.

Of course, groups that promote ex-gay therapy insist that the evidence supports their traumatic practices, but it’s an empty claim. One of the witnesses at today’s hearing speaking on behalf of NARTH (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) cited two studies that have been debunked and disavowed. The intention behind the therapy, as essentially admitted in NARTH’s alert email today, is to simply reinforce religious bias against homosexuality. (The same email also mistakenly described the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ted Lieu (D), as openly gay, in an apparent attempt to further bias the group’s followers.) SB 1172 is an important step forward to protect gay youth and limit the dangerous impact of such stigma.

As a native Californian, totes glad to see our Legislature pushing this. Hopefully it gets passed.
i_amthecosmos 30th-Apr-2012 04:38 am (UTC)
Personally, I think that minors should be spared this sort of "treatment", but I'm not sure about requiring adults to sign a disclaimer. I just don't think it would do any good, they would be too far gone to reach it. And I know that most people want to believe that with the right education people would not do stupid things. But decades of televangists getting investigated by the IRS and caught in scandals does nothing to stop people from giving over their money to the TV charlatans.

If someone is desperate enough, the disclaimer will not stop them.

But by all means, keep the kids away from this shit.
sparkindarkness 30th-Apr-2012 10:01 am (UTC)
I dion't think it'll help many, but at very least it will force the bigots that run these organisations to print up forms that basically say "we're worthless and harmful". I'd prefer a blanket ban as well as ensuring that any medical professional who gets anywhere near these places loses their credentials and qualifications - but this is something at least

If nothing else, just because I can picture the look on their faces every time they print off a form
i_amthecosmos 30th-Apr-2012 07:03 pm (UTC)
That is a point. I bet most of them will do their best to get around the law. Also it gives them a chance to pull the "we're so oppressed" card. Still, it is rather satisfying to think of.
thelilyqueen 30th-Apr-2012 01:25 pm (UTC)
I don't think the disclaimer will help many either, but a) it's the truth and b) it can't hurt. If even just 1%, say, decide to look into why all those groups have rejected this form of 'therapy' and start the process of accepting their orientation that's not nothing.
i_amthecosmos 30th-Apr-2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
That's true, it might help those who are mostly under family pressure or are otherwise on the fence.
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