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California Bans Gay-Repair Therapy for Minors

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on Saturday banning the use of sexual orientation-changing therapy on patients under 18.

Approval of the bill has made California the first state in the country to ban conversion therapy procedures.

SB1172, was presented by Democratic Sen. Ted Lieu and sent to Brown on September 11. Brown’s approval of the bill means the law is slated to take effect on January 1, 2013.

“This bill bans non-scientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide,” Brown said in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle. “These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”

As the bill underwent debate, gay rights organizations and supporters lobbied Brown to sign the bill, with the Human Rights Campaign sending in a petition that had gathered 50,000 signatures in support of the legislation.

Starting January 1, 2013, any mental health practitioner provider caught performing therapy intended to change a minor’s sexual orientation will be subject to punishment by whatever group licenses them.

Sexual orientation reparative therapy has been described as a harmful and abusive procedure. It has been condemned by the American Psychiatric Association as a “treatment…based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation.”

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Annie Pei

U Chicago

Annie is a Political Science major at the University of Chicago who not only writes for Her Campus, but is also one of Her Campus UChicago's Campus Correspondents. She also acts as Editor-In-Chief of Diskord, an online op-ed publication based on campus, and as an Arts and Culture Co-Editor for the university's new Undergraduate Political Review. When she's not busy researching, writing, and editing articles, Annie can be found pounding out jazz choreography in a dance room, furiously cheering on the Vancouver Canucks, or around town on the lookout for new places, people, and things. This year, Annie is back in DC interning with Voice of America once again!
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