Update on California bill to ban reparative therapy for minors:

Dear Supporter of SB 1172:

Let me first thank you again for your continued support for SB 1172 – a measure to ban sexual orientation change efforts for minors. Your support has made a huge difference, and this critical legislation would not be moving forward without your help.

We are now in our final push to get this important bill passed by the Legislature and to the Governor’s desk for his consideration. The Legislature must approve all measures by August 31st. We need your continued support throughout the month of August with members of the California State Assembly. We are anticipating an Assembly floor vote the week of August 20th.

Here is a quick update on SB 1172:

Since this bill was introduced, we have gained support from many child welfare and mental health organizations–and that support is growing every day. Most recently, the California Board of Behavioral Sciences – the entity that regulates the licensees of Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers and others – have taken a support position. The following organizations are also newly in support: the American Psychoanalytic Association, Courage Campaign, Asian Law Caucus, California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists – SF and LA Chapters.

Please see the full list of current supporters below.

In the past month, we have also resolved a few issues that had been raised by four associations (Cal Psychological Association, Cal Psychiatric Association, CAMFT, and CALPCC) on bill language. Specifically, the current bill language further clarifies what sexual orientation change efforts means and what it does not mean. We have been very diligent to include language that encompasses all efforts to change sexual orientation, explicitly including efforts to change behaviors and gender expression in this definition. These groups also wanted further clarification that treatments and interventions to address illegal conduct and unhealthy sexual activities were not included as part of the definition of sexual orientation change efforts. We added language that provided clarity on this issue while also ensuring that efforts to try to change a minor’s orientation were not allowed. We believe this language strikes the right balance, and these four associations have now informed Senator Lieu that they will be removing their opposition to the bill.

We now have the following organizations in support:

Equality California (Sponsor)
Courage Campaign (Co-Sponsor)
Gaylesta (Co-Sponsor)
Mental Health America of Northern CA (Co-Sponsor)
National Center for Lesbian Rights (Co-Sponsor)
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, California Division
American Psychoanalytic Association
APAIT Health Center
Asian Law Caucus
Asians and Pacific Islanders Equality-LA
Board of Behavioral Sciences
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, San Francisco Chapter
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Los Angeles Chapter
California Communities United Institute
California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies
California National Organization for Women
City of Los Angeles
City of West Hollywood
Coil Foundation
Congress of California Seniors
L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center
L.A. Stonewall Young Democrats
Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association of Southern California
National Association of Social Workers, CA Chapter
West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club
Women’s Therapy Center
A number of individual mental health practitioners
A number of individual school board members.

The only groups that are opposing the legislation are NARTH, PFOX, and other anti-LGBT organizations.

In sum, we are in a very strong position as the bill moves to the Assembly for a floor vote. But it is critical that we keep the momentum going, and we urgently need your continued engagement and support for SB 1172 with members of the Assembly. Here is what you can do:

(1) Spread the word about the bill to other potential supporters.

(2) Send letters of support to your representative in the Assembly.

(3) Have your organizations/associations send a letter to every member of the Assembly letting them know of your continued support of this measure.

(4) Be prepared to write letters of support to newspapers.

Thank you again for your input and support on this bill. Please do not hesitate to contact Cliff Costa at Senator Lieu’s office, Alice Kessler at Equality California or Shannon Minter at NCLR with any questions, input, concerns, or information.

Thanks.

Cliff, Alice and Shannon