Bill Banning 'Conversion Therapy' Passes California State Assembly

Bill Banning 'Conversion Therapy' Passes California State Assembly

The California Assembly has passed a bill banning conversion therapy by classifying the practice as a form of consumer fraud.

Equality California and the Trevor Project both co-sponsored the bill, which was introduced by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-San Jose).

"So-called conversion therapy is a risky, ineffective solution in search of a nonexistent problem, and there's no place for it in the State of California", said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur.

Selling or advertising gay conversion therapy may soon be classified as a fraudulent business practice in California under a bill passed Thursday by the state Assembly. "Once again, California legislators sent a clear, bipartisan message to the LGBTQ community across our state and around the world: 'You belong.' We look forward to the day when all LGBTQ Californians are protected from these risky, fraudulent practices". The harmful practice is condemned by every major medical and mental health organization, including the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and American Medical Association.

Assembly Bill 2943 would make it an "unlawful business practice" to engage in "a transaction meant to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer... advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual".

"The pain and fear suffered by those who have been subjected to conversion therapy is something that I can personally identify with", Low said in a statement.

The bill now heads to the Senate for debate and consideration. Although California had already acted to ban the use of "sexual orientation change efforts" on California minors in 2012, it is still legal to practice conversion therapy on adults in the state.

Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Washington all have laws or regulations protecting youth from this abusive practice.