The state of California has officially signed a bill into law that prohibits counselors and others from providing conversion therapy and counseling to youth that struggle with homosexuality.
Last weekend, Governor Jerry Brown approved Senate bill SB1172, stating that he hopes that reparative therapy is forever heaved into “the dustbin of quackery.” Brown and others, such as the bill’s author, Democratic Senator Ted Lieu of Torrance, claim that counseling and therapy aimed at helping youth turn from the homosexual lifestyle is the equivalent of “psychological child abuse.” Therefore, the legislation, which was approved by the state Senate in May, prohibits any type of “conversion therapy,” “sexual orientation therapy,” “reparative therapy,” or “sexual orientation change efforts.”
“No one should stand idly by while children are being psychologically abused, and anyone who forces a child to try to change their sexual orientation must understand this is unacceptable,” Lieu wrote in a written statement.
However, others are extremely disturbed by the legislation, as they opine that it unfairly forces children to be counseled in the ways of homosexuality while prohibiting them from obtaining assistance in finding the way out.
The Pacific Justice Institute in Sacramento, California told Christian News Network that it filed suit yesterday in federal court in an attempt to overturn the new law.
“This legislation assumes that everyone that suffers with same-sex attraction are doing so because of their DNA,” President Brad Dacus stated. “This [assumption] completely ignores the many youth that have been sexually abused and are dealing with same-sex attraction because of their prior sexual abuse.”
He explained that the law would therefore cause children to be “victimized twice” by forcing them to continue in the homosexual lifestyle against their will.
“The confusion will increase, the depression will increase and the likelihood of suicide will increase as well,” Dacus said. “[This legislation] amounts to political negligence where a large number of youth will end up being a victim.”
However, Dacus said that parents and counselors will also be forced to promote or accept homosexuality despite their religious convictions.
“[The government] contends … that the state has a right to intervene if the parents do not accept their child’s same-sex attraction, and they risk having their children taken from them by the government,” he outlined. “This will only expand the rate of children being taken from Christian families. … A Christian family at the dinner table … is not allowed to say anything in any way that would amount to rejection of the lifestyle.”
“School counselors in private religious schools will only be allowed to give counseling that affirms same-sex attraction,” Dacus continued. “Youth in the early stages of puberty, when it is normal for them to be curious, often have fears that they may be homosexual. These youth are going to be subjected to tremendous victimization [via the affirmation that is] mandated through every counselor in the state of California.”
Dacus advised that the Pacific Justice Institute has been fighting the legislation each step of the way, attending every state hearing on the matter, and is now escalating the battle via the court system. He also noted that he is inviting all youth in the state of California under the age of 18 that are currently receiving counseling for same-sex attraction to join them as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.
“This legislation ignores the countless numbers that have benefited from this therapy,” he said. “It is an outright violation of the fundamental civil rights of the youth, their parents and counselors.”
The new law officially goes into effect on January 1st. Penalties for violation include discipline by the counselor’s licensing entity under the terms of “unprofessional conduct.”