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Pennsylvania

Pa. lawmakers to introduce bipartisan bill to ban coversion therapy on minors

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

PHILADELPHIA — Two Pennsylvania state lawmakers announced Tuesday they will introduce a bipartisan bill in the state House of Representatives that would ban mental health providers from engaging in controversial gay-to-straight “conversion therapy” on minors.

State Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia)

State Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia)

State Reps. Brian Sims (D-Phila.), a civil rights attorney and the first openly gay lawmaker elected to the Pennsylvania legislature, cited similar legislation recently passed in California and New Jersey and said “Pennsylvania children deserve the same protection.”

Sims, along with state Rep. Gerald Mullery (D-Luzerne, Pa.) announced the House measure at a news conference Tuesday. A similar bill has already been introduced in the Senate by state Sen. Anthony H. Williams (D-Phila.).

“When I became aware of what was involved in conversion therapy, I equated it to medical and parental bullying,” said Mullery. “Children who were subjected to this so-called therapy suffer the same effects as children who were subjected to traditional bullying, including suicide, attempted suicide and low self-esteem.”

Sims noted that it has been 40 years since the American Psychological Association excluded homosexuality from being classified as a mental disorder.

“The APA has published studies showing that patients younger than 18 suffer from a multitude of harmful effects associated with this so-called therapy, including withdrawal and suicidal thoughts. It’s time to protect Pennsylvania children from this quackery that can inflict years of harm for those who manage to survive it,” Sims said.

“When a child is at his or her most vulnerable stage in life, it is appalling to think that there are adults willing and too frequently able to destroy their sense of well-being,” Williams added. “That’s beyond wrong. As adults, we are charged to protect children, who come in all shapes, sizes, colors and orientations. By no means should we condone any activity that would demean them, particularly in this day and age.”

The announcement comes nearly one month after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a similar ban on conversion therapy in that state, and several weeks after an appeals court upheld California’s ban on the practice.

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38 more reader comments:

  1. PLEASE. <3

    Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 8:32pm
  2. Conversion?
    /Coercion/.

    Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 8:33pm
  3. it uses coercive therapy ie light shock, sound, sensory deprivation, ya know like in Guantanamo bay, to convince children they arent gay

    Replied on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 5:46pm
  4. Not only children, young men and probably women too. They sometimes hook the electrodes to the genitals and turn on the shock whenever an erotic slide of a same-sex person flashes on the screen.

    Replied on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 12:51am
  5. good for him and what a looker he is :)

    Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 8:42pm
  6. DUH ! Please do !!!

    Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 8:44pm
  7. Marcus still hopes it’s possible !!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 8:45pm
  8. It’s sweep time. Get out your brooms

    Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 8:51pm
  9. Conversion Therapy? WTF?

    Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 8:51pm
  10. conversion to what, there crap, which is full of hate and lies.

    Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 8:52pm
  11. Conversion therapy is a fraud; just puts people in closets–even past President of Exodus Int. has admitted so.

    Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 8:55pm
  12. Conversion therapy should be banned. This method is too extreme.

    Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 9:32pm
  13. There is no conversion for a gay person. And gay is OK.

    Replied on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 12:45am
  14. It more than ok its great!!

    Replied on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 1:32am
  15. OK to be gay? It's FAAAAABULOUS.

    Replied on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 2:58pm
  16. Nor does is work. If they think that does they should prove it with the opposite. Therapy to MAKE someone gay.

    Replied on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 4:37pm
  17. Conversion therapy is modern day Nazism!

    Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 10:28pm
  18. Still brainy and handsome. (smile)

    Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 11:04pm
  19. IT SHOULD BE “FEDERALLY BANNED”

    Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 11:35pm
  20. GOOD.

    Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 11:50pm
  21. I have to say this – :) – What a sexy Pennsylvania lawmaker – glad he is on our side helping to pass laws that benefit the LGBT community.

    Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 11:51pm
  22. If you are against torture, then you should be against conversion therapy.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 12:40am
  23. Conversion therapy implies there’s a “cure” for “the gay”, when in fact there is no cure for homosexuality, bisexuality, pansexuality nor transgender identity as well since these groups tend to lob that in with homosexuality. But ignoring the latter and looking only at the sexuality side of it, attraction is something that cannot be “cured” since well, it’s a part of your essence, your being. This goes for anyone with an attraction. You can halt the sexualization aspect of the attraction, most often by halting the production of sex hormones, such as chemical or physical castration. But since homosexuality, bisexuality and pansexuality are not endangering anyone or anything, that extreme is not allowed by our government since it’s not only infringing upon our rights as human beings but our civil rights as well detailed in our constitution. Likewise, conversion therapy for minors (let’s say ages 10-17) is wrong in that very same sense, since it’s not only infringing upon their human rights, but is brainwashing them to believe that there is something inherently wrong, bad or evil about them when in fact, there is not. This can lead such young individuals to become even more confused when their attractions are not “cured”. They may even attempt suicide to “cure” themselves which is sad but a potential issue brought upon by such “therapy”. The only reason why they’re trying to stop this for minors is simply that they cannot legally consent to anything. When they’re 18+ and they want to get brainwashed, that is their own choice, it’s their freedom to do so cause they can legally consent to anything then. It’s still wrong, but when you become a legal adult, it’s your choice. But you still have to live with the consequences of your actions. In this case, potential psychological damage.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 12:53am
  24. What a grand lookin gentleman…..more power to you sir!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 1:06am
  25. i love really cute politicians…and ones that are trying to make a difference.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 1:34am
  26. Please do.<3

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 3:03am
  27. Leave it to Christians to come up with a therapy that’s complete bullshit.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 3:23am
  28. That’s “coNversion” not ” coversion

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 3:53am
  29. It’s about time those Quakers came around!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 5:00am
  30. it should be banned for everyone everywhere period because it’s been proven ineffective and actually worse– harmful. it’s our ethical duty as practitioners not to use ineffective and/or harmful techniques on people. we have a ethical duty to practice in a gay-affirming way.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 9:16am
  31. BAN Conversion Therapy COMPLETELY….

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 11:58am
  32. Only an evil KKKhristian would make up a program like that…geez!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 1:33pm
  33. consider it a baby step for pa.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 1:57pm
  34. its about time

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 2:06pm
  35. Bill should be in Magic Mike 2 .

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 2:58pm
  36. Now they need to ban it for adults, too. Any therapist who engages in this type of “therapy” should lose their license for violating the oath to do no harm.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 3:04pm
  37. Oh good.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 6:30pm
  38. That’s a start anyway.

    Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 12:49am