A bill that threatens the very licenses of professionals working to transform the sexual orientations of their gay patients is a step away from becoming law. All it takes is for Governor Brown to sign the bill into existence by the end of August.
"I believe I owe the gay community an apology," he wrote.
For more than three decades, one of the leading forces behind the practice of attempting to change sexual orientation was Exodus International, a nonprofit group. In June, the head of Exodus International declared at its annual meeting that there was no cure for homosexuality and that the promise of one offered false hope to gays. Just a few years before, he and his wife had starred in advertisements saying, "Change is possible."
Still, there aren't any scientific studies showing that the practice actually causes harm. Anecdotal reports of depression, even suicide, abound, and a task force convened by the American Psychological Association found the practice to be both harmful and ineffective. But when the government regulates a behavior, like driving without a seatbelt or smoking, they can usually draw on volumes of data demonstrating that the behavior hurts people. That isn't the case here, and the few remaining supporters of the practice stress this fact.
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