- Meet Ted
- Media Galleries
- Contact Me
- Sign up for my newsletter
Assembly OKs cracking down on deceptive attempts to change sexual orientation
August 28, 2012
First-in-nation measure regulating attempts to turn gays straight returns to Senate
SACRAMENTO – Assembly members today approved and returned to the Senate for final vote a proposed first-in-the-nation crackdown on unethical efforts that promise to change a person’s sexual orientation.
“It’s heartening to see the majority of the Assembly agrees that this kind of so-called ‘treatment’ essentially is psychological abuse of children,” Sen. Ted W. Lieu, D-Torrance, said about his measure, Senate Bill 1172. “Even the person who brought any legitimacy to this kind of psychological technique, Dr. Robert Spitzer, renounced his study and apologized to the LGBT community. Even professionals agree that this quackery needs to stop.”
The Senate, which had approved an earlier version of the bill last May, must concur on amendments no later than midnight Friday.
If signed, Lieu’s patient-protection plan would help raise public awareness of bogus and unethical practices by mental-health providers who claim they can help change a person’s sexual orientation.
“These non-scientific efforts have led in some cases to patients later committing suicide, as well as severe mental and physical anguish,” Lieu said, citing recent testimony made during policy-committee reviews on SB 1172.
As written, SB 1172 would prohibit children under 18 from undergoing sexual orientation-change efforts.
Citing nearly 40 years of research by mental health experts, SB 1172 is based on the following:
• An individual’s sexual orientation, whether homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual, is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency or shortcoming.
• Sexual orientation change efforts pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay and bisexual people, including confusion, depression, guilt, hopelessness, shame, suicide, self-hatred, decreased self-esteem and a host of anger, dysfunction and dehumanized feelings.
• There is insufficient evidence that any type of psychotherapy can change a person’s sexual orientation. Instead, abusive attempts to change sexual orientation in some cases has caused serious and lasting harm.
For more, including a Fact Sheet on SB 1172, visit Lieu’s Web site at the address below or contact Lieu’s office.
Ted W. Lieu chairs the Senate Labor Committee and represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Pedro. For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu