In 2012, NCLR helped draft and pass a groundbreaking law in California that prohibits licensed mental health practitioners from trying to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender expression. Sometimes called “reparative therapy,” these dangerous practices by therapists put youth at risk of severe depression, suicide, and drug and alcohol abuse.
Every major medical and mental health organization has warned that attempts to change a young person’s sexual orientation are ineffective and harmful, but some licensed therapists continue to lie to parents and youth falsely claiming they can prevent a child from being LGBT. When Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1172 into law, he rightly said that these non-scientific practices should “be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.” As soon as the bill became law, it was challenged in court by therapists and parents claiming they have a constitutional right to subject children to these harmful practices. NCLR has intervened in those lawsuits to help the California Attorney General protect young people from this abuse.