The California Senate today passed bill 1172 by a vote of 23-13. The bill will limit the ability of mental health providers in the state to practice "conversion therapy" or "repartive therapy", therapies used to try to change a person's sexual orientation.
The bill, which applies to minors, and which still has to pass the Assembly and be signed by the Governor, is supported by extensive research and evidence from the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association.
In 2007, the American Psychological Association convened a Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation. The task force conducted an intensive review of peer-reviewed studies and concluded that efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm. The American Psychiatric Association published a position statement in March of 2000 in which it states that it “opposes any psychiatric treatment such as reparative or conversion therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder.”
Recognizing that there is no credible evidence that any type of “therapy” can change a person’s sexual orientation and that sexual orientation change efforts may cause serious and lasting harms, the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists have also issued cautionary position statements on sexual orientation change efforts.
If it passes, California will be the first state to enact such legislation...