(Washington, D.C, September 27, 2012)—Momentum is building in California and across the country to put an end to dangerous efforts designed to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender expression that have proven to inflict great emotional harm and have resulted in suicide. Governor Jerry Brown can sign Senate Bill 1172, a bill to protect young people from this abuse by prohibiting therapists from using these discredited practices. To date, nearly 50,000 concerned citizens have signed a Human Rights Campaign petition urging the Governor to sign the bill.
“It is time to safeguard the most vulnerable among us by ending the abusive practice of subjecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth to damaging attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender expression,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Research has shown that far from being beneficial or even neutral, these efforts cause serious, lasting harm.”
Authored by California Senator Ted Lieu, SB 1172 is sponsored by Equality California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gaylesta, Lambda Legal, Mental Health of North America, and the Courage Campaign.
“This legislation is one of the most important bills our community has ever sponsored,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights Executive Director Kate Kendell. “Governor Brown has an opportunity to ensure that state-licensed therapists cannot subject young people to practices that have been universally condemned by mainstream medical experts and that cause terrible harm.”
Signing this bill into law will protect California’s most vulnerable, like Ryan Kendall whose parents subjected him to the cruel practice that drove him to drug abuse, homelessness, and thoughts of suicide that lasted a decade. Kendall wrote an email to HRC’s more than one million members and supporters yesterday urging them to sign the petition to the Governor. Additionally, this summer HRC sent a letter to Gov. Brown urging him to support SB 1172.
Efforts to change sexual orientation or gender expression have been debunked as junk science, and have also been proven harmful to children and adults. All major medical and mental health organizations have denounced the practice including: the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American School Counselor Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Pan American Health Organization. Learn more at www.hrc.org/reparativetherapy .
The petition to Gov. Brown is available at: https://secure3.convio.net/hrc/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1493
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBTQ citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.