If passed, a California law will make it the first state in the nation to ban controversial therapy aimed at turning gay and lesbian teens straight. State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), sponsor of the bill, said the so-called reparative therapy wrongly treats homosexuality as a disease and can be harmful to minors. “Some therapists are taking advantage of vulnerable people by pushing dangerous sexual orientation-change efforts,” Lieu told the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee last week. “These non-scientific efforts have led in some cases to patients later committing suicide, as well as severe mental and physical anguish.”
As it’s written, SB 1172 would ban juveniles under the age of 18 from undergoing “sexual orientation change efforts” (SOCE) and require adults considering treatment to sign consent forms stating they understand the therapy has no medical basis and the potential dangers. The bill has already passed two Senate policy committees and is due for a vote on the Senate floor, liking within the next month.