California Senate Bill Gags Counselors in Helping Overcome Unnatural Attractions

Posted by Guest Writer on May 18, 2012 under How | Be the First to Comment

Washington, DC – Liberty Counsel Action told California state senators that it strongly opposes SB 1172, a bill that bans counselors from helping minors overcome same-sex attractions and puts restrictions on providing adults with “change therapy.” In addition, SB 1172 would impose unprecedented legal liability for counselors who suggest that it is possible to overcome same-sex attractions.

Introduced by State Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, SB 1172 relies on a concept that the American Psychological Association (APA) has refuted: homosexuality is an immutable characteristic. In fact, the APA has stated that environmental factors do have a role in a person choosing homosexuality. Despite this research, SB 1172 would codify the assertion that homosexuals cannot become heterosexuals and that efforts to make such a change are harmful. However, no such assertion of harm is made regarding therapy that encourages heterosexuals to experiment with homosexuality, nor does the bill address the harms of counseling people to change their genders.

Mandi Campbell, Liberty Counsel Action Director of Public Policy, said, “If SB 1172 passes, the hands of psychotherapists will be tied and adults struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction will be discouraged from seeking help. What is even more problematic is that the bill prohibits minors from receiving change therapy, even when their parents consent. This would usurp parents’ rights to determine the upbringing and education of their children, a right affirmed by the Supreme Court.”

“Reparative therapy, change therapy, works,” Campbell said. “I know people who have benefited from the therapy that the California Legislature is restricting,” she added.

The Director of Public Policy encouraged California state senators to vote against the bill, stating, “SB 1172 disrupts the psychotherapist-patient relationship, creates an unprecedented burden and corresponding liability for psychotherapists, and usurps parental rights.”

Liberty Counsel Action is a 501(c)(4), nonprofit, grassroots lobbying organization advancing religious and civil liberties, the sanctity of human life, the family, limited and responsible government, national security, and support for Israel.

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