A first-of-its-kind California state law restricting parents from trying to “cure” their minor children’s same-sex attractions appears to be headed for Governor Jerry Brown’s desk.  Should both houses agree on the final wording, the new law, which would ban all sexual orientation change effort (SOCE) treatment for minors, will be sent to Sacramento this September.  So far, however, there has been no indication from the governor’s office as to whether he would even sign such a bill into law

Opponents of the legislation claim it would unconstitutionally prohibit speech, violate privacy and personal autonomy rights, intermeddle in theological disputes, clash with other laws, and create significant unintended consequences.  Others believe it will shame patients and have a chilling effect on counselors, therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists.

Proponents of the proposed new law believe it could help terminate therapy with gay children that could lead to depression, feelings of shame, self-loathing, drug abuse, high-risk sexual behavior, anger, withdrawal, and, in some cases, even attempted suicide in minor children, if those same-sex attractions were to continue.

Opposition to the bill has generated a firestorm, because banned treatments would exclude psychotherapies that provide acceptance, support, and understanding of clients or the facilitation of clients coping, social support and identity exploration and development, including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices and do not seek to change sexual orientation.  It appears Governor Brown will have plenty of opposition no matter which way he rules on the matter.

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