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Philly lawmaker introduces bill to ban reparative therapy for minors

Sunday, October 14, 2012

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Rep. Babette Josephs (D-Philadelphia) has introduced a bill that would ban mental health providers from offering “gay-to-straight” reparative therapy for minors.

Josephs’ bill comes less than two weeks after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the nation’s first-ever law prohibiting licensed mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts of any kind for a minor patient, regardless of a parent’s willingness or desire to authorize participation in such programs.

Babette Josephs

Reparative therapy generally purports to change a person’s sexual orientation by using such techniques as aversion or psychoanalytic treatments or spiritual interventions.

“No reputable mainstream mental health association considers being gay, lesbian or bisexual a disease or mental illness. Yet, that is exactly the premise behind this kind of therapy – a wrong assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder that can be ‘corrected,’” Josephs said, in a statement.

“As homosexuality is not a disorder, so attempts to ‘convert’ the sexual orientation of anyone, particularly a minor, threatens the individual’s short- and long-term health and well-being,” she said.

Josephs noted that the potential negative effects of such treatments include depression, substance abuse, self-loathing and suicide.

“The very concept of ‘correcting’ homosexuality is dehumanizing and contrary to conventional societal norms. The fact that minors are forcefully subjected to this therapy that is not based in any scientific fact is unacceptable. Pennsylvania’s children deserve better,” Josephs said.

Josephs is a 14-term Democrat and longtime advocate for the LGBT community.

A petition supporting Josephs’ bill is here.

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11 more reader comments:

  1. Philly likes having tourists and not being mistaken for Alabama or Iran.

    Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 6:31pm
  2. Please sign and share this petition to show support for Representative Josephs.

    Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 6:32pm
  3. Being a PA resident I can say, “Finally! A good rep for Pennsylvania!”

    Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 6:39pm
  4. Hope it gets passed.

    Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 6:49pm
  5. finally someone who understands ‘that our choice is not a disease and is not something that a treatment can cure. We are born with are choice.

    Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 6:55pm
  6. Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 6:57pm
  7. Yes! It’s Spreading! :D

    Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 7:38pm
  8. therapy doesn’t work lol

    Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 8:19pm
  9. That’s a no brainer!

    Posted on Monday, October 15, 2012 at 4:17am
  10. “Reparative” therapy does not work because nothing needs repairing! Nothing’s broken until these people demean & humiliate their “patients” enough to make them hate themselves!

    Posted on Monday, October 15, 2012 at 7:10am
  11. Protecting our children from that kind of abuse shouldn’t even been debated, it’s only common sense.

    Posted on Monday, October 15, 2012 at 1:05pm