California is considering a new bill that would make it illegal to send a child under the age of 18 to ex-gay reversion therapy. It would also require that anyone seeking such therapy to be given a disclaimer form that says:
Having a lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientation is not a mental disorder. There is no scientific evidence that any types of therapies are effective in changing a person’s sexual orientation. Sexual orientation change efforts can be harmful. The risks include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior.
Medical and mental health associations that oppose the use of sexual orientation change efforts include the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Counseling Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
Unsurprisingly, the religious right is freaking out over it:
Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), one of several groups who testified against the bill last week, said the bill’s anti-conservative bias was extreme even by California’s standards.
“I can honestly say this is one of the most outrageous, speech-chilling bills we have ever seen in California – and that’s saying a lot,” said Dacus, who told LifeSiteNews.com that the bill is “a child’s welfare issue.”
Dacus pointed out that clinical evidence has shown that sexual molestation and other trauma at an early age can lead to sexual confusion. “To deprive these young people of quality psychiatric counseling and therapy is a gross and outrageous violation against humanity,” he said.
Yes, it is a child’s welfare issue. And it’s the welfare of gay children that is at stake when they are sent to be “cured” of homosexuality by bigoted parents. I don’t know if this bill is the right way to go about helping the situation, but I do know the bigots are wrong about it.