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Gay-to-Straight Psychotherapy Ban Passes Senate

A form of psychotherapy intended to turn gay children straight would be banned in California under a bill that passed the State Senate today. California would be the first state to pass such a ban.

Democratic Senator Ted Lieu wrote the bill and calls that kind of treatment “junk science.” During the floor debate, Lieu told the story of Ryan Kendall, who participated in that therapy:

“He was told that he had to “butch up;” was told that being gay “made god cry;” was told that he had to go and play sports; and he testified that for 10 years of his life, he wanted to commit suicide. He has not done that and now he is speaking out against this kind of therapy,” said Lieu.

Republicans voted against the bill but did not speak during debate. Two Democrats supported the measure for now, but raised concerns from trade associations that the bill is overly broad and would micromanage the work of individual therapists.

The measure passed 23-to-13 and now moves to the State Assembly.

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