Confirmed victory

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.

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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.

Letter to
California Governor
I just signed a petition in support of SB 1172, which would prohibit a mental health provider from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) with a patient under 18 years of age.

Sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) are practices by mental health providers that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions and/or feelings toward individuals of the same sex. SOCE does not include psychotherapies that aim to provide acceptance, support, and understanding of clients or the facilitation of clients’ coping, social support, and identity exploration and development including sexual orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual practices.

There is virtually no credible evidence that any type of psychotherapy can change a person’s sexual orientation, and, in fact, SOCE poses critical health risks to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, risky behavior, and suicidality. Nearly all the nation’s leading mental health associations have issued cautionary position statements on the utilization of SOCE.

Minors who experience family rejection based on their sexual orientations face especially serious health risks. In one study, lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3.4 times more likely to report having engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection.

SB 1172 would prohibit mental health providers from performing SOCE with a patient under 18 years of age, regardless of the willingness of a parent or guardian to authorize such efforts. The bill will curb questionable practices known to produce lifelong damage to those who are subjected to them and ensure the overall health and safety of LGBT Californians. I urge you to support this important legislation.

Sincerely,