On Thursday, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) wrote a letter to California Senator Ted Lieu to let him know that they were very upset about his decision to introduce legislation to ban therapy for minors to change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual.
In the letetr, PFOX accuses the Senator of endangering the youth by saying they can not have access to the “conversion” or “reparative therapy, writing: “As parents of gays and ex-gays, we are ashamed of your willingness to take action against parents, children, and the family in order to support gay activists. California is not a socialist state and our children do not belong to the government, subject to the ideology of the state over the objections of their parents.”
Earlier this year, Senator Lieu introduced legislation that would prohibit “conversion” or “reparative therapy for minors “regardless of the willingness of a patient” or a “patient’s parent.” Lieu refers to the therapy as “bogus” and harmful. If the therapy is banned, California would be the first state in the country to pass legislation banning the therapy for minors.
Last week, the bill was passed by the State Assembly’s Appropriations Committee and will now be going to the Senate for concurrence on amendments made to the measure.
PFOX , which advocates for ex-gays and their families, charged in their letter, that the bill is “an act of childhood endangerment and an unconstitutional attempt to deny parental rights everywhere,” and goes on to say: “Your bill will turn California into a nanny state by usurping the civil rights of parents who support their child’s right to receive therapy for unwanted same-sex attractions, especially when that child has been sexually molested. This smacks of fascism and ex-gay bashing.”
Senator Lieu said that he was aware that the bill infringed on parental rights and also said that that is the every point of the bill, stating: “The attack on parental rights is exactly the whole point of the bill because we don’t want to let parents harm their children. For example, the government will not allow parents to let their kids to smoke cigarettes. We also won’t have parents let their children consume alcohol at a bar or restaurant.”
Under the bill, any efforts to change sexual orientation through therapy would be considered “unprofessional conduct” and the provider of the therapy would be subject to discipline by whomever they are licensed under.