California Bans Gay Conversion for Minors

This is shocking to me only because it’s the first state to do it, but California has correctly banned the kind of religion-based therapy intended to turn gay kids straight:

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Sunday that he has signed Senate Bill 1172, which prohibits children under age 18 from undergoing “sexual orientation change efforts.” The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, prohibits state-licensed therapists from engaging in these practices with minors.

“Governor Brown today reaffirmed what medical and mental health organizations have made clear: Efforts to change minors’ sexual orientation are not therapy, they are the relics of prejudice and abuse that have inflicted untold harm on young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians,” Clarissa Filgioun, board president of Equality California, said in a press release.

Even Christian group Exodus International — which was best known for promoting this sort of trash — has backed away from conversion therapy in recent months:

“I do not believe that cure is a word that is applicable to really any struggle, homosexuality included,” said [Alan] Chambers, who is married to a woman and has children, but speaks openly about his own sexual attraction to men. “For someone to put out a shingle and say, ‘I can cure homosexuality’ — that to me is as bizarre as someone saying they can cure any other common temptation or struggle that anyone faces on Planet Earth.”

Chambers’ approach — stay gay, get opposite-sex-married — isn’t any better, but even he understands you can’t change someone’s sexual orientation.

Now, other states need to follow in California’s footsteps.

(Thanks to Seth for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.