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  • Petitioned California Governor

This petition was delivered to:

California Governor

Protect youth from being forced into ex-gay therapy: SB1172

    1. Petition by

      Gaylesta, Inc. : The LGBTQ Psychotherapy Association of the Greater San Francisco Bay Area

September 2012


Gaylesta, Inc., the LGBTQ Psychotherapy Association of the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, and 12,522 supporters of their petition helped influence the Governor of California to protect youth from being forced into ex-gay therapy by approving SB 1172. From Gaylesta, Inc.: "We used a multi-pronged approach to victory. Change.org acted as the launching pad for further action: A letter writing and phone calling campaign, letters to the editor, press releases, enrolling the support of dozens of professional, religious, and government organizations. We turned the tide on several professional organizations that were originally opposed to our efforts. We used Facebook and email campaigns (including change.org) to spread the word about the importance of this bill. Countless other methods were used to help get the word to the legislature and the governor. Change.org was a huge help in making this a great success. Thanks!"

This proposed California legislation is the first of its type in the US. Please support it, help stop the abuse of minors, and help make history!

Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE), commonly known as reparative therapy, conversion therapy, or ex-gay therapy, are practices that have been ineffective and harmful. SB1172 is a bill proposed by the California State Legislature to ban the use of SOCE with minors.

Some mental health providers are claiming that they can change sexual orientation or reduce sexual attractions for people of one’s own sex. Experts from the American Psychological Association report these methods are unlikely to change one’s orientation and can be harmful, leading to increased depression, isolation and suicidal feelings.

Many youth and adults have told their story of how these methods have been damaging, requiring more therapy to heal the wounds of being forced into believing same-sex attractions are bad. In spite of this evidence, some psychotherapists in California are still using these harmful methods and parents are fooled into believing this is legitimate psychotherapy. And our youth are suffering as a result.

Even Alan Chambers, the Head of Exodus, one of the leading organizations that promoted “reparative therapy,” recently came to the conclusion that this type of approach doesn’t work. These ex-gay approaches have been denounced by every major medical association in the country.

The bill has already passed the Senate in its original form. It has since been amended and will go to the Assembly sometime in August.

Your signatures will be delivered to the California Legislature urging it to pass SB 1172 and to Governor Jerry Brown to sign the bill once it reaches his desk. (You don't have to be a California voter to participate. Everyone can encourage California's leaders to do the right thing and make history.)

Let’s protect all minors from this type of harm. And let’s set an example for the rest of the country.  Thank you!

GAYLESTA: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Psychotherapist Association of the Greater San Francisco Bay Area.


In addition to signing this petition, you can add to your impact by sending a personal message to your California representatives and the Governor.

To contact your California Assembly Member and Senator, click here.

To contact Governor Brown, click here.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 12,500 signatures
    2. National Religious Leaders Support SB 1172 to End Dangerous Methods

      A coalition of more than 30 national religious leaders gathered by Gaylesta, a therapy association for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, Faith Work Director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund and Convenor of the National Religious Leadership Roundtable, have endorsed Senate Bill 1172, which will protect minors from damaging psychological abuse by licensed mental health professionals who falsely claim they can change their sexual orientation or gender expression. Authored by Senator Ted Lieu, SB 1172 is co-sponsored by Equality California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gaylesta, Mental Health America of Northern California, Lambda Legal, and the Courage Campaign.

      For more information, copy this link in your browser:

    3. Combined petition signature delivery of about 55,000 signatures

      A group of activists from Gaylesta and Equality California delivered some 55,000 signatures from combined efforts to tell Governor Brown we care deeply about this issue. Your signatures are vitally important. Please keep them coming. The Governor needs to know how much we care about this issue.

    4. Senate passed SB1172.

      The bill, in its current version, is now definitely headed to Governor Brown. Please sign the petition and pass it on to your friends.

    5. Breaking News! The California Assembly passed SB1172.

      The bill will likely go back to the Senate for final vote and then will head to the Governor Brown very soon. Keep your votes coming! We need as many supporters as possible.

    6. Two supporting organizations: Dignity USA and SoulForce

      Two organizations signed on to support SB1172 this week: SoulForce (http://www.soulforce.org/) and Dignity USA (http://www.dignityusa.org/). We sincerely thank them for their support toward getting this bill passed.

    7. AllOut: International LGBT Rights Organization supports SB1172

      Adding people power to the historic fight for lgbt equality:
      The members of AllOut.org - gay and straight, bi and transgender - are building a world where we can all live freely and be embraced for who we are. Please join the movement by visiting their website and supporting their cause: http://www.allout.org/

    8. Reached 10,000 signatures
    9. New supporters of SB1172

      As of today, The California Psychological Association (CPA) and the San Francisco East Bay California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (known as East Bay CAMFT), and CenterLink (The Community of LGBT Centers) have added their support for SB1172.

    10. Reached 9,000 signatures
    11. Decision-maker Darrell Steinberg responds:

      Darrell Steinberg

      Thank you for your recent communication in support of SB 1172 (Lieu), which would prohibit psychotherapists from performing sexual orientation change efforts without informed consent of the patient. I understand that you support this bi...

    12. Reached 8,000 signatures
    13. Decision-maker Darrell Steinberg responds:

      Darrell Steinberg

      August 15, 2012August 14, 2012



      Thank you for your recent communication in support of SB 1172 (Lieu) . This bill would prohibit mental health pr...

    14. Reached 5,000 signatures
    15. Reached 1,500 signatures
    16. Reached 100 signatures
    17. Please note the current list of supporters of SB1172, as of August 1, 2012

      Equality California (Sponsor)
      Courage Campaign (Co-Sponsor)
      Gaylesta (Co-Sponsor)
      Mental Health America of Northern CA (Co-Sponsor)
      National Center for Lesbian Rights (Co-Sponsor)
      American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, CA Division
      American Psychoanalytic Association
      APAIT Health Center
      Asian Law Caucus
      Asians and Pacific Islanders Equality-LA
      Board of Behavioral Sciences
      Calif Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, San Francisco Chapter
      Calif Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Los Angeles Chapter
      Calif Communities United Institute
      Calif Council of Community Mental Health Agencies
      Calif National Organization for Women
      City of Los Angeles
      City of West Hollywood
      Coil Foundation
      Congress of California Seniors
      L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center
      L.A. Stonewall Young Democrats
      Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association of Southern California
      National Association of Social Workers, CA Chapter
      West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club
      Women’s Therapy Center


    Reasons for signing

    • mia bavelas WEST VALLEY, UT
      • about 2 years ago

      i had to experience that because my family is mormon. i hated it and after that i started cutting'. it does more damage then good. and it never works.........

    • Isabelle St-Laurent KINGSBURY, CANADA
      • about 2 years ago

      Harmful and disgraceful.

    • Victoria Olson EVANSVILLE, IN
      • about 2 years ago

      Because it doesn't work! Homosexuality is not a "disorder" or a "choice", it is who people are! I study psychology, the statistics show that these programs can be seriously detrimental to homosexual youth.

    • Edwin Chandler AKRON, OH
      • about 2 years ago

      I know that forcing people is the christian way but smart Americans say no person should be able to force another into therapy for being gay! That is as stupid as ex cancer therapy!

    • Jessica Wardle WEST DEPTFORD, NJ
      • about 2 years ago

      People can not control everything. They need to stop trying.


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