California has taken another step toward banning the dangerous “ex-gay conversion therapy” promoted by the religious right to “cure” homosexuality.
While California already bans the practice for minors, the state Assembly passed legislation that would encompass adults earlier this year. After amending the bill, the state senate also passed it.
It now goes back to the Assembly for a concurrence vote. It is expected to pass easily.
The new law would classify the practice as consumer fraud and would allow anyone who paid for the “service” to recoup their payment. There is no scientific basis for the practice and psychological experts say it does more harm than good.
“We, as legislators, have a responsibility to protect Californians from harmful and deceptive practices,” Assemblymember Evan Low, the sponsor of the bill, said in an emailed statement.
“All Californians should be celebrated, cherished, and loved for who they are. I am grateful to my colleagues in the Senate for affirming their support for those in the LGBT community who need it most by voting for this bill.”
Christian activists have angrily defended the practice despite the lack of success. They have gone as far as saying the bill would ban the Bible and have vowed to perform civil disobedience.
The dangerous practice remains legal in most parts of the nation. Only nine states and Washington DC have banned it. Far right Maine Governor Paul LePage is the only governor to veto a ban on the practice.