U.S. congressman introduces first federal bill to ban conversion therapy

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.)

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.)

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.)

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) on Tuesday announced he is introducing into Congress the first nationwide bill that would ban on so-called “conversion therapy.”

The Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act would be the first federal law to protect LGBT people from being defrauded by promises that they can change their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Lieu, who in 2012 as a California state lawmaker, championed the first state bill of its kind to ban the practice on LGBT youth, has since been working with Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), to stop conversion therapy on and national level.

Since then, New Jersey and Washington D.C. have passed similar laws. Earlier this month, Oregon lawmakers approved a similar bill, which Gov. Kate Brown is expected to sign into law.

“We know that being gay or lesbian is not a medical condition that needs a cure,” Lieu said at a news conference Tuesday announcing the bill. “Love doesn’t need a cure. That’s what the bill is about.”

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“This visionary bill will not only ensure that no person can profit from peddling services based on blatantly fraudulent claims about sexual orientation or gender identity, it will save lives and send a clear message to every child in the country, no matter who they are or where they live, that they were born perfect,” said NCLR #BornPerfect Campaign Coordinator and Staff Attorney Samantha Ames, who spoke at the bill’s introduction.

Earlier this month, Congresswoman Jackie Speier reintroduced the Stop Harming Our Kids (SHOK) Resolution of 2015, calling on more states to take action to protect youth from conversion therapy.

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