Governor Jerry Brown over the weekend signed a bill championed by the LGBT community that make California the first state to outlaw therapy to "pray the gay away."
"We're grateful to Governor Brown for standing with California's children," reads a statement from Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). "LGBT youth will now be protected from a practice that has not only been debunked as junk science, but has been proven to have drastically negative effects on their well-being."
Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1172, which was authored by state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), sponsored by Equality California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gaylesta, Lambda Legal, Mental Health of North America and the Courage Campaign, and buoyed by the signatures of more than 50,000 Californians to a HRC petition urging the governor's signature.
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According to the HRC reparative therapy page, efforts to change sexual orientation or gender expression have been debunked as junk science and proven harmful to children and adults by such major medical and mental health organizations as: the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American School Counselor Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Pan American Health Organization.
Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), a Christian legal defense organization, vowed to seek an injunction preventing implementation of the law on Jan. 1.
"Of all the freedom-killing bills we have seen in our legislature the last several years, this is among the worst," Brad Dacus president of PJI, says in a statement. "This outrageous bill makes no exceptions for young victims of sexual abuse who are plagued with unwanted same-sex attraction, nor does it respect the consciences of mental health professionals who work in a church. We are filing suit to defend families, children, and religious freedom. This unprecedented bill is outrageously unconstitutional."