lgbt teens

California Could Become First State to Ban Homosexual Conversion Therapy for Teens

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.

Bullying Horror Stories: Civil Rights Workers Get Personal

A new anti bullying video is out from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. It focuses on fighting the harassment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender kids and those who don’t conform to gender stereotypes about male or female behavior or appearance. The video features several Division employees sharing their childhood struggles with being bullied and harassed. In this short video, the staff was surprisingly candid about not only being attacked by other kids, but by parents and teachers as well. Staffers go on to encourage young people who are bullied and harassed, by letting them know their futures are still bright.

LGBT Teens Are More Likely to Get Arrested

Teens who are lesbian, gay or bisexual are more likely to be arrested, expelled from school and/or put in jail than heterosexual kids, according to a nationwide study. The study also found that gay kids are more vulnerable to health risks including addiction, bullying and family abuse. The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health looked at teens in grades seven through 12 who identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual. Lesbian girls reported the worst treatment, indicating they were stopped by police 50 percent more often than their straight peers in one experiment. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, is unclear why lesbian, gay or bisexual kids are facing harsher treatment.