American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

CA Gov. Jerry Brown Signs SB 1172, Legislation to Protect LGBT Youth from Dangerous Psychological Abuse

California Governor Jerry Brown last night signed into law important legislation that protects LGBT youth from dangerous and abusive efforts that purport to change their sexual orientation.

As AFER’s legal team led by distinguished lead co-counsel Ted Olson and David Boies proved conclusively in federal court – with expert testimony from Dr. Gregory Herek and the personal experiences of Ryan Kendell – so-called “therapies” that purport to turn gay people straight cause irreparable harm including increased risk of depression, social withdrawal, substance abuse, self-harm and suicide.

This led the court to conclude, as one of its 80 detailed findings of fact:

46. Individuals do not generally choose their sexual orientation. No credible evidence supports a finding that an individual may, through conscious decision, therapeutic intervention or any other method, change his or her sexual orientation.

California has shown incredible leadership on this issue, and this legislation will serve as a template for other states to protect their LGBT youth.