This week I’d like to send a huge congrats out to California for becoming the first state to ban “therapy” that aims to change sexual orientation of minors. The bill, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown bans mental health practitioners from performing “reparative therapy,” which is believed to cause harm. It was signed in just in time, as with the upcoming election, Brown had a Sunday night deadline to consider legislation.
It was signed after national gay rights organizations lobbied the governor. This included a petition, from the Human Rights Campaign – the largest LGBT-rights organization in the US – that had 50,000 signatures attached to it.
Most mainstream mental health associations oppose “gay-curing” therapy, including the World Health Organization, which says the practice “lacks medical justification and represent a serious threat to the health and well-being” of patients. Even Robert L. Spitzer, a psychologist who appeared in “change is possible” ads and published a study on the “gay-cure” in 2009 has apologized for supporting the practice. His non-profit organization Exodus International announced that there is no cure for homosexuality.
Hopefully now that one state has made it illegal to practice this harmful and outdated “therapy” other states will follow suit. It’s a step in the right direction towards actually making things better for LGBTQ teens.
Leah graduated from Ryerson University with her Bachelor of Journalism. She’s currently interning at a design magazine in Toronto and spending her spare time baking tasty cupcakes. You can follow her @ElleandBee.