(San Francisco, CA, September 29, 2012)—California Governor Jerry Brown made history today by signing a landmark bill that will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth from psychological abuse by deceitful mental health professionals who falsely claim to be able to change their sexual orientation or gender expression. With Governor Brown’s signature, California becomes the first state in the nation to protect LGBT young people from these dangerous practices, including the use of shame, verbal abuse, and aversion therapy, that place youth at high risk of depression and suicide. The law, which goes into effect January 1, 2013, prohibits state-licensed therapists from engaging in these practices with minors.
|Governor Brown (at microphone) and State Senator Ted Lieu (the Bill's sponsor)|
The press release from the National Center For Lesbian Rights continued with this,
Ryan Kendall, a survivor of the practice who testified in the Perry v. Brown legal challenge to Proposition 8, described his experience earlier this summer to the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee: “As a young teen, the anti-gay practice of so-called conversion therapy destroyed my life and tore apart my family. In order to stop the therapy that misled my parents into believing that I could somehow be made straight, I was forced to run away from home, surrender myself to the local department of human services, and legally separate myself from my family. At the age of 16, I had lost everything. My family and my faith had rejected me, and the damaging messages of conversion therapy, coupled with this rejection, drove me to the brink of suicide.”
Senate Bill 1172 becoming law is a big step towards a better world. As Clarissa Filgioun, Equality California board president said of the new law when it was signed on September 29, 2012,
"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... We thank Senator Ted Lieu and Governor Brown for their efforts in making California a leader in banning this deceptive and harmful practice."