A gay “cure” law is making its way through the California legislature. If passed, the gay cure law would be the first statute of its kind in the United States. The California laws would make it illegal for parents of minor gay children to attempt to cure their same-sex attraction via mandatory counseling or other similar measures.
Both houses of the California legislature are working out the final language of the gay cure law. The Sexual Orientation Change Effort, also known as SOCE is expected to arrive on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk in September, Fox News report. The gay cure bill was sponsored by California Equality, a gay rights group. SOCE was introduced by State Senator Ted Lieu of Redondo Beach.
“The story detailed the harmful impact on vulnerable minors of this kind of supposed reparative therapy. So when California Equality approached me about introducing a bill to ban that kind of therapy for minors, I jumped at the chance,” Senator Lieu stated in reference to a 2011 newscast about forced gay cure therapy for minors.
There has yet to be any indication from the Democratic California governor’s officer about his feeling on the Sexual Orientation Change Effort legislation.
“The law unconstitutionally prohibits speech, violates privacy and personal autonomy rights, intermeddles in theological disputes, clashes with other laws and creates significant unintended consequences,” Pacific Justice Institute attorney Matt McReynolds stated during an interview with Fox News. “As long as this bill threatens to shame patients and silence counselors, therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists, we will vigorously oppose it. We cannot afford to let the state invade the counseling room or doctor’s office to dictate what views on sexuality are acceptable and unacceptable.”
Supporters of the California SOCE bill see the matter as a civil rights issues. Sexual Orientation Change Effort critics consider the proposed gay curing legislation as an infringement of parental rights and limits the ability of mental health professionals to work with gay youth. The American Psychological Association 2009 Task Force noted sexual orientation change therapy could lead to self-loathing, drug abuse, risky sexual behavior and suicide.