In some restore our faith in humanity news, California has went one step further in approving a law that prevents adversive “treatment” used to “cure” homosexuality. The law would also ensure that parents of gay children could not seek out therapy by a counselor or other means to “re-program” them.
The Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) statute would be the first bill of it’s kind in the United States if approved by Governor Jerry Brown in the very near future. While House Legislatures are still working on the language, here is what the bill looks like so far:
The bill would provide that any sexual orientation change efforts attempted on a patient under 18 years of age by a mental health provider shall be considered unprofessional conduct and shall subject the provider to discipline by the provider’s licensing entity. Being lesbian, gay, or bisexual is not a disease, disorder, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming. The major professional associations of mental health practitioners and researchers in the United States have recognized this fact for nearly 40 years.
Also included in the bill is what their research found that ill-reasoned treatments like “curing” homosexuality by using “reparative therapy” has on the patient:
(b) The task force concluded that sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, including confusion, depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame, social withdrawal, suicidality, substance abuse, stress, disappointment, self-blame, decreased self-esteem and authenticity to others, increased self-hatred, hostility and blame toward parents, feelings of anger and betrayal, loss of friends and potential romantic partners, problems in sexual and emotional intimacy, sexual dysfunction, high-risk sexual behaviors, a feeling of being dehumanized and untrue to self, a loss of faith, and a sense of having wasted time and resources.
The proposed bill also notes that no mental health professionals can deem homosexuality ammoral and treat anyone with the notion of changing their sexuality with this type of “reparative therapy.” “Reparative Therapy”, derived from conversion therapy, has been around for several decades and for the most part that homosexuality is learned in early childhood, therefore can be unlearned.
The SOCE supporters see this preventative law as another battle in the civil rights movement and I could not agree with them more. Conversely, those opposing the bill feel it will be and “infringement on parental rights”.
But what about the child”s right to be allowed to be who they are? This law would protect their right to not be a part of some experiment that comes with a lot of mental health issues.