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California lawmakers ban therapy to ‘cure’ LGBT minors

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The California Assembly on Tuesday approved a bill that would prohibit mental health providers in the state from attempting to change the sexual orientation of minors.

“This, in my opinion, is an abusive practice in the guise of therapy,” said California Assembly Speaker John A. Perez, the first openly-gay man in the nation to hold the position of Speaker of a legislative body. He described the practice of attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation, sometimes called reparative therapy, as dehumanizing and damaging.

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The bill, S.B. 117, “helps protect children from activities, as well meaning as they may be, that subject them to incredible challenges to their humanity and put their lives at risk,” Perez said.

The California Assembly voted 52-21 in favor of the bill, which was authored by state Sen. Ted Lieu (D) and co-sponsored by Equality California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gaylesta, Mental Health America of Northern California, Lambda Legal, and the Courage Campaign. The bill will return to the Senate for a vote to concur in amendments made in the Assembly before heading to Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) desk.

The bill completely bans reparative therapy for those under 18. For adult patients, the bill mandates a consent form that states “a lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientation is not a mental disorder” and notes the therapy could be harmful.

The American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association have both officially stated there is no evidence that reparative therapy can change sexual orientation.

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“I wish the law had protected me and my family from this abusive practice when I was a teenager,” Ryan Kendall, who was subjected to the therapy, said in a statement released by the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

“I am lucky that I survived, but I will never be able to recover the years I lost to feeling worthless and suicidal because a state-licensed therapist convinced my family that being gay is a mental illness and that who I am is shameful and wrong. These practices are child abuse, pure and simple, and I look forward to seeing Governor Brown sign this bill into law.”

Watch video of Speaker Pérez, uploaded to YouTube on August 28, below:

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[Young man with Gay Pride flag via Shutterstock]

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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White House spokesperson ridiculed for ‘pathetic’ spin on Trump’s trade war admission: ‘Does she think we believe that?’

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Hours after Donald Trump blithely admitted that he had "second thoughts" about his trade war with China that has damaged the U.S. economy and helped set the stage for a possible recession, White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham was forced to issue a clarification about the president's comments.

Addressing Trump's G7 response about his tariffs, widely interpreted by the press as expressing some regret, Grisham issued a statement saying the president meant that he wished he had increased his market-destroying tariffs even more.

"The President was asked if he had ‘any second thought on escalating the trade war with China,'" White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham relayed. "His answer has been greatly misinterpreted. President Trump responded in the affirmative - because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher."

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Here is why Trump is obsessed with Greenland

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They say that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. Remember that President Harry Truman tried to purchase Greenland in 1946; now, in 2019, President Donald Trump is trying to do the same thing.

This article first appeared in Salon.

To be clear, Trump’s farcical, “absurd” idea — to borrow the adjective used by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen — is not happening, and was never going to happen. As Frederiksen pointed out, Greenland is “not for sale." Trump, for his part, has not backed down from the idea.

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2020 Election

Iowa’s Steve King facing ouster because his campaign is broke and his allies have fled: report

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Iowa Republican Steve King is facing losing his seat representing his district in the U.S. House of Representatives as his campaign finds itself broke and the Republican Party has turned its back on him after his latest round of controversial comments.

According to a report from the Daily Beast, his campaign is struggling to bring donors -- who once wholeheartedly supported him --back into the fold.

Even worse, his colleagues in Congress have also abandoned him.

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