California State Sen. Ted Lieu, (D-Torrance) says “reparative” or “ex-gay” therapy wrongfully treats homosexuality as a disease and can be dangerous to minors. If his proposed bill, SB 1172, becomes law, California would become the first state to ban therapy aimed at turning gay and lesbian teens straight (video below).
Before the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve the bill on Tuesday, Lieu said: “Some therapists are taking advantage of vulnerable people by pushing dangerous sexual orientation-change efforts. These non-scientific efforts have led in some cases to patients later committing suicide, as well as severe mental and physical anguish."
No date for a vote has been set in the state senate, but it will likely be in the next month. If it passes there, it would face action in the Assembly. Lieu told MSNBC: “I feel confident that the bill will pass. The facts are on our side.”
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However, David Pickup, a licensed marriage and family therapist in California, says he was once gay and became heterosexual after undergoing reparative therapy starting in his 30s. Pickup says a ban would prevent some people from recovering from trauma of sexual abuse.