April 9, 2015
Press Release

Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement calling for a federal ban on gay conversion therapy. While serving in the California State Senate, Lieu was the author of S.B. 1172, S.B. 1172, which prohibited mental health providers from providing conversion therapy to minors. The bill was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2012, making California the first state in the nation to officially ban this dangerous practice.

“So-called gay conversion therapy, which seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, is a dangerous but often overlooked form of discrimination against LGBT Americans,” said Congressman Lieu. “I was elated to hear of President Obama’s support for a permanent ban.  Conversion therapy has critical medical and ethical flaws that can be seriously damaging to the physical and mental health of those who are compelled to undergo it. Minors, who may not be empowered to make their own health decisions, are especially at risk.”

“California’s ban on conversion therapy has survived several court challenges by anti-LGBT groups and has inspired the passage of similar bills in New Jersey and Washington, D.C.  I applaud the President’s decision to fully support state-level initiatives that make the use of these practices on minors illegal. However, I believe that a federal ban is the only way to completely protect young people from the harmful effects of conversion therapy and to ensure that they are celebrated, not shamed, for their identities. I look forward to working with the Administration and my colleagues in Congress to pass a national law that forbids this destructive and discriminatory pseudoscience once and for all.  In the meantime I will seek to block any federal funding from supporting this discredited and cruel practice.”