Apr 242012
Sen. Ted Lieu

The state Senate’s Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee on Monday voted 5-3 to approve a measure that would bar children under 18 from undergoing treatments that promise to “cure” homosexuality.

Senate Bill 1172 by state Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Redondo Beach, would also require adults to sign consent forms before undergoing reparative therapies that promise to change their sexual orientation.

Mental health experts have long contended that a person’s sexual orientation is not a disease or disorder, Lieu said.

“Clearly, so-called conversion or reparative therapy is scientifically ineffective and has resulted in much harm,” Lieu said. “These bogus efforts have led in some cases to patients later committing suicide, as well as severe mental and physical anguish. This is junk science and it must stop.”

The five Democrats who sit on the Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee supported Lieu’s bill, while the panel’s three Republicans voted in opposition.

The measure will likely be reviewed next month by the state Senate Judiciary Committee.

Art Marroquin