Governor Jerry Brown showed once again why California is considered to be a "bell weather state." Gov. Brown signed into law a measure that prohibits state-licensed mental health therapists from using so-called reparative therapy to "cure" LGBT youngsters of their "affliction." This action makes California the first state in the nation to outlaw the harmful psychological practice of trying to convince LGBT children that they are straight.
In my own experience, I was fortunate that I didn't have quite the level of violence that many have experienced in the offices of social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists who were ardent believers in this idea that one could be cured of gayness. But I did endure many sessions with a social worker who was prepared to "work on" my lesbianism. It was quite painful and I became very good at using aikido-like defenses of my inner being to protect myself from her questions. I figured out that if I changed the gender of the object of my affection in a dream (for example) from a girl to a boy, I could make it through our session with little trauma. Heterosexual tendencies were encouraged; anything lesbian was suspect. Going away to college would be the ultimate savior in this situation.
Others have not been so lucky. They have been greatly damaged by these attempts to thwart God's good design by convincing the gay person that what God had made for good was in fact evil. Using the name of Christ, these doctors would tell young people that they needed to reject their true selves and adopt a false identity as a straight person. Because, among other things, that's what Jesus would want them to do. Really? I somehow doubt that! Families would put so much stock in this idea that their child could be straightened out, as it were, and be "normal." When the therapy predictably failed, the family would be torn up and often times, toss the child out.
I am so glad that Governor Brown has done this in California. Perhaps we are finally seeing the end of the line for one of the most harmful practices in psychology and psychiatry.