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Bill by Torrance lawmaker Ted Lieu banning ‘conversion’ of gay teens clears committee

Gay To Straight

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

State Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, urged lawmakers to approve his bill to ban a controversial form of psychotherapy aimed at making gay people straight during a hearing at the Capitol in Sacramento on Tuesday, May 8. The bill, SB 1172, was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee 3-1.

The practice known as “conversion therapy” -- in which gay or bisexual people, usually teenagers, are “converted” to becoming heterosexual -- is that much closer to being banned for all minors in California thanks to a state lawmaker from Torrance.

Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu’s first-of-its-kind bill, SB 1172, was approved by the state Senate Judiciary Committee late Tuesday, paving the way for a vote before the full Senate within the month.

Lieu says he believes conversion therapy (also known as “reparative therapy”) is harmful and unscientific. Senate Bill 1172 would forbid the practice for all people under 18 and require “informed consent” for adults.

This morning Lieu was a guest on KPCC’s The Madeleine Brand Show, telling Brand that “There are patients that have committed suicide having gone through” conversion therapy.