California law still instructs the State Department of Mental Health to conduct research into the "causes and cures of homosexuality." The California Assembly passed EQCA’s bill, authored by Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) to repeal the archaic law. It passed with unanimous, bipartisan support.
Now that we have a victory in the Legislature, the right wing will start lobbying the Governor. Contact him today to ask them to support repealing this offensive law!
This bill would repeal an archaic law directing mental health officials to seek a cure for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Section 8050 of the Welfare and Institutions Code directs the State Department of Mental Health to conduct “…scientific research into the causes and cures of sexual deviation, including deviations conducive to sex crimes against children, and the causes and cures of homosexuality…”
The code implies that being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is harmful and that LGBT individuals can and should be cured, in direct contradiction with an enormous body of research that demonstrates otherwise.
This code grossly mischaracterizes being LGBT as a mental disorder and propagates bigotry against the LGBT community. It wrongly links sexual orientation with child molestation, sexual deviance and calls for research into a cure for homosexuality. In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Prior to that, gays and lesbians were wrongly considered to have a mental disorder by the APA.
Section 8050 of the Welfare and Institutions Code perpetuates a number of unfounded concerns regarding the LGBT community and children. These concerns include false claims that same-sex parents are unfit and that gay men are prone to sexually abuse children. These claims have been repudiated through various research. Studies by the APA indicate that same-sex parents provide supportive home environments for children just like heterosexual parents. Additionally, the APA calls it a myth that gay men are more likely to sexually abuse children.
The repeal of Section 8050 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is long overdue. Please support this important legislation.