Childrearing

California Bans ‘Gay Therapy’ For Children, Protecting Countless Kids From Quacks

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Being an LGBTQ child in California just got much, much safer and I’m not talking about bullying. While it’s monumental that the Defense Of Marriage Act was ruled unconstitutional today, history was also made this week when California became the first state to ban “gay therapy” for kids. The measure will prevent many a queer youth from being handed from their unprepared parents to “professionals” who consider their sexuality a disorder.

Reuters reports that the therapy can, not surprisingly, saddle children with a host of life-long problems including depression, substance abuse, and even suicide:

“Too many young people have taken their own lives or suffered lifelong harm after being told, falsely, by a therapist or counselor that who they are is wrong, sick or the result of personal or moral failure,” Clarissa Filgioun, Equality California Board President, said in a statement.

The bill, which was secured by a 23-13 vote in the Senate, protects children and even struggling parents from believing that their children can be “cured” or “reformed” of their same-sex tendencies. And for truly desperate mothers and fathers who cannot grapple with their child’s orientation, the piece of legislation prevents them from making a severely damaging parenting decision, perhaps even with the best of intentions.

Of course those who have profited off the alleged straight conversion of children and adults aren’t taking this news sitting down. The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), has reportedly contested the bill on the grounds that it “transfers the oversight of proper psychological care from mental health professionals and licensing boards into the hands of politicians.” To NARTH”s credit, their mission statement does outline that they “respect the right of all individuals to choose their own destiny,” which I’m assuming extends to sexual orientation. NARTH maintains that their services are available to those who “struggle with unwanted homosexuality.”

But while adults are free to engage in whatever quack business they choose, California’s new bill makes an appropriate recognition for the vulnerability of children in these circumstances — children who never get that choice.

(photo: nito/ Shutterstock)