In some seriously awesome news today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation last night banning “reparative” therapy for minors. Groups like Human Rights Campaign have been lobbying the governor to sign the bill. He had until last night to either let it pass sans his signature of veto it. Fortunately, he chose to sign it!
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Brown stated, “This bill bans non-scientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”
Reparative, or “conversion,” therapy is based on the idea that being gay is a choice and that with enough “assistance,” young people can somehow “become” straight. I’m quite open minded about most people’s beliefs, but forcing kids to believe that they way they feel is somehow wrong and needs rehabilitation in the same way a drug addict might is pretty ludicrous. In fact, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association and the American Psychiatric Association have all issued statements condemning the practice of attempting to change a person’s sexuality through these programs.
The techniques used go way beyond “questionable”; they’re outdated and cruel. According to the LA Times, “techniques discussed…include the use of shame, verbal abuse, exposure to pornography and even aversion training with electric shock and nausea-inducing drugs. Not only can these techniques cause significant harm, their stated goal — changing a gay kid into a straight kid — cannot be achieved.” Even if you make them wear pink and do household duties! Hyuck.
Forced “therapy” can lead to depression, self-loathing and even suicide, so I’m absolutely thrilled that this legislation was passed.
Lovelies, what do you think about the news about this bill?