Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) on Wednesday called on the states to follow California’s example and prohibit therapists from attempting to change the sexual orientation of minors.
“Being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered is not a disease to be cured or a mental illness that requires treatment. Any effort to change sexual orientation is not medicine, it’s quackery, and we should not be supporting it with taxpayer dollars,” she said at a press conference announcing her Stop Harming Our Kids (SHOK) resolution.
The non-binding resolution states that “being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or gender nonconforming is not a disorder, disease, illness, deficiency, or shortcoming.” It also notes that numerous medical and psychological organizations have repudiated so-called ex-gay or reparative therapy. The resolution was cosponsored by Reps. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and David Cicilline (D-RI).
“This resolution would simply support what has already been proven: that what LGBT youth need is the love, support, and acceptance of their parents, not to be told to change who they are,” the group Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays said in a statement.
Speier has also asked the directors of Medicaid or TRICARE if federal taxpayer funds have been spent on the practice of reparative therapy with minors.
California became the first state to ban ex-gay therapy for minors in October. Adults in the state are still permitted to undergo the controversial therapy, but must first sign a consent form that says the practice could be psychologically harmful. Supporters of reparative therapy are currently trying to overturn the law in court.
[Image via Christianne Marra]