A California pro-family leader laments a committee’s passage of a first-ever bill in the state that would ban “gay”-to-straight counseling.
California Democrats passed SB 1172 in the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday on a 3-1 vote. The bill now heads to the Senate floor. The legislation would restrict therapists from providing sexual orientation-change counseling, even if patients are seeking such help. The bill would also ban sexual orientation-change efforts (SOCE) for minors and would require a consent form for adults. Under the measure, professionals who continue SOCE would be penalized.
Patricia Thompson, area director for Central California with Concerned Women for America, says parental rights have been violated. “We need to give our parents the freedom to minister to their children and get help for them,” she tells OneNewsnow. “It’s just a sad, sad situation.”
Adults who are seeking help from counselors in addressing sexual orientation issues must sign a release form that suggests such counseling is potentially dangerous.
“It’s not right, as far as I’m concerned,” Thompson remarks. “These people need help and want to get out of that — I don’t understand their thinking on that.”
The bill’s author, Democratic Senator Ted Lieu, argued that such treatments can cause depression and may lead to suicide. Countering that argument is Randy Thomasson with SaveCalifornia.com, who has warned that implementation of SB 1172 will “depress and harm struggling children instead of giving them a chance at freedom.”
Calif. against pro-heterosexual counseling?
Becky Yeh – OneNewsNow California correspondent – 5/3/2012 3:40:00 AM
A legal group is calling a proposed California bill “one of the most outrageous, speech-chilling bills we have ever seen.”
Senate Bill 1172, which would remove the ability of psychologists, therapists, and counselors to aid clients with sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), has passed its first committee hearing. Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) says SB 1172 requires a new consent form for adults, which contains statements about sexual orientation that many counselors would dispute — and professionals who continue SOCE would be penalized under the measure.
“It not only gives stark penalties and liabilities against counselors and psychologists attempting to assist adults wanting or asking for therapy regarding sexual orientation issues, but it outright bans and prohibits anyone under the age of 18 to have any pro-heterosexual counseling or therapy when they are struggling with their sexual orientation,” Dacus summarizes. “Worse yet is if parents are caught being non-supportive of their child’s perception of homosexuality in any way, then that is deemed abuse by parents under this statute and grounds for the government to permanently take that child from their parents.”
That is because sexually-confused youth who experience “family rejection … face especially serious health risks” — according to SB 1172. So the bill flatly bans SOCE for minors, despite the wishes of the parents or the patients.
But PJI points out that the measure craftily leaves out transgender people, “because backers believe gender is changeable, but sexual orientation is not.” The legal group is asking Californians to contact their state senators and voice opposition to SB 1172.
Dacus adds: “I can honestly say this is one of the most outrageous, speech-chilling bills we have ever seen in California — and that’s saying a lot.” His firm accounts that the measure blames those who believe change is possible for “gay suicides, gild, substance abuse, relationship problems, and a host of other ills.”
According to PJI, even the California Psychological Association, which normally embraces LGBT rights, is opposed to the current form of SB 1172.
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