Gay "cure" therapists one-step closer to getting banned in California.

The state Assembly in California has passed a bill that would deny a license to therapists using therapy to “cure” gay people.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, says treatments that attempt to change a gay kid into a straight kid are harmful and amount to “psychological abuse of children.”

“These non-scientific efforts have led in some cases to patients later committing suicide, as well as severe mental and physical anguish,” Lieu said in a press release hailing the vote.

Hell to the yes.  Of course, it keeps people from abusing gays, so naturally the Republicans are arguing that their rights are being violated.

Opponents said during debate that the bill intrudes on the rights of parents to make choices for their children’s care.

“That’s why parents have children — to hand down their legacies, their belief systems, the way they want their children raised,” Assembly member Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

And nobody’s stopping them.  You can tell your kids that sexual orientation can be changed.  You can tell the evolution is false.  You could tell them that burglary is a good career choice.  But governments must operate on reality, and they shouldn’t license therapists who do damage to children just because you want to send your child there.

Well done, California.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Is there anything Christians want to do that isn’t a violation of “religious freedom”?

    Scare quotes entirely intentional.

    • Mary

      Gay cures don’t work. Never have and never will. If anything these methods teach a person how to hide…but that can only last for so long . If suppressed for too long, the person can become very anti-social with attitudes and behaviour directed inward or outward in fashions that can be very negative (and the tipping point depends on the person). I tried it (yes, including “praying and marrying”) for forty years and it doesn’t work. The end result was hating God and others.
      When I finally woke up, I wanted to enjoy God and life again. So I stopped fighting Him/Her and accepeted myself. Life is very good now.

  • eric

    I am ambivalent. Remember, the same political club is wielded by Congress to prevent the FDA from regulating alternative medicine. When you cede to political office-holders the right to decide what is bad medicine, you also cede to them the power to decide what is legit medicine – and they don’t always get it right.

    It would be far, far better, IMO, if the various NGO medical licensing bodies would step up and actually regulate their own damn people effectively. I’d much rather the AMA (or its psychiatric equivalent?) come out and say “this is bad science, and we won’t give you a licence if you practice it.” But instead, organizations like the AMA (and on the legal side, the ABA) tend to be fiercly protective of the people in their professions, to the point where you practically have to murder people before they will withdraw their support.

    Until these professional bodies actually take their licensing responsibilities seriously, I guess we are left with the far worse option of regulation via elected officials. But I really don’t like that solution. This may be a tactical win and I’m glad for the outcome – but supporting it is a strategically iffy move.

    CA residents should really be asking themselves whether a victory for the good guys on this particular issue is worth the cost of giving (more power to) popularly elected non-doctors in Sacramento to decide what counts as legal medicine.

    • invivoMark

      This isn’t giving the legislation any more power than they already have. It’s the legislature, not the judicial system. The reasoning used in one decision doesn’t have to be carried over to other future decisions made by other people. (Otherwise, how else would legislators be so habitually hypocritical?) It’s just as likely that a year from now, when the alternative medicine issue comes up, people will be flipping sides in a heartbeat.

      Licensing laws are already in the purview of the legislature. This one vote can’t change that.

      And it is, undeniably, a victory for evidence-based medicine.

      • eric

        Licensing laws are already in the purview of the legislature. This one vote can’t change that.

        I agree with the first sentence but not really with the second. Every exercise of their legal power in this area makes later, future exercises more publicly acceptable. If the NGOs were more on the ball, the public would perceive this as more of an overreach or unnecessary interefence with an already working system. Which might in turn influence elections, and make legistlators more cautious to overrule/interfere with the findngs of mainstream scientific organizations.

        But, as it is, the mainstream scientific organizations are not on the ball, so this is not considered overreach or unnecessary interefence, and we end up with good things like this but also bad things like NCCAM.

  • Dustin Baker

    Considering the APA dropped homosexuality from the DSM-IV-TR, it only makes sense to stop people from trying to treat nonexistent illness.

  • Nentuaby

    [...]Assembly member Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, was quoted[...]

    And this is why I HATE hearing the ol’ home town’s name in the news. :( The last time we got national attention was when the county clerk was refusing to certify gay marriages while they were legal. *sigh*

  • smrnda

    “That’s why parents have children — to hand down their legacies, their belief systems, the way they want their children raised,”

    Sorry, I can’t figure out how to handle quotes.

    This may be why some people have children – to create replicas of themselves in terms of beliefs, but there’s no reason why the State needs to support an approach to child-rearing that regards children as property of their parents.

    • baal

      it took me a while to figure it out too.

      (blockquote) “That’s why parents have children — to hand down their legacies, their belief systems, the way they want their children raised,”(/blockquote)

      becomes (once you use the shift ,. (pointy brackets) instead of the () ):

      “That’s why parents have children — to hand down their legacies, their belief systems, the way they want their children raised,”

      You can ignore the cite=”” part of the tag.