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SAN FRANCISCO — California Governor Jerry Brown on Saturday made history by signing a landmark legislation banning psychological therapy aimed at turning gay and lesbian youth straight — often referred to as reparative therapy.

With Brown’s signature, California becomes the first state in the nation to prohibit licensed mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts of any kind for a minor patient, regardless of a parent’s willingness or desire to authorize participation in such programs.

Authored by State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrence), Senate Bill 1172 was co-sponsored by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Equality California, Gaylesta, Courage Campaign, Lambda Legal, and Mental Health America of Northern California, and supported by dozens of organizations.

“Governor Brown today reaffirmed what medical and mental health organizations have made clear: Efforts to change minors’ sexual orientation are not therapy, they are the relics of prejudice and abuse that have inflicted untold harm on young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians,” said Clarissa Filgioun, Equality California board president.


“Governor Brown has sent a powerful message of affirmation and support to LGBT youth and their families,” said Kate Kendall, NCLR Executive Director. “This law will ensure that state-licensed therapists can no longer abuse their power to harm LGBT youth and propagate the dangerous and deadly lie that sexual orientation is an illness or disorder that can be ‘cured.’”

The wording of the California bill also prohibits attempts by therapists to change gender expression in LGBT minors as well as sexual orientation.

Dr Kenneth ("Drop The Barbie") Zucker, chairman of the American Psychiatric Association's Gender Identity Disorder committee for the 2012 edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), has built his career and professional reputation by practicing the now-illegal form of conversion therapy on transgender minors. Were his practice in California, it would now be considered criminal activity. This is the man the American Psychiatric Association chose to write its rules on how to treat transgender children and adults. For better or worse, American Psychiatry has wedded a criminal quack, whose practice is illegal in the state of California.

Zucker packed his DSM committee, and another related one which pathologizes cross-dressers as mentally ill, with cronies of his who have spent their lives torturing both gender-variant children and adults seeking transgender medical services.

It is a major legal breakthrough for the LGBT community that a US state has now criminalized Psychiatry's business-as-usual for gender-variant children and youths. Dr Zucker himself has repeatedly denied he practices "gay conversion therapy", assuring the gay community that he merely practices conversion therapy on transsexual children (whom nobody could defend), not on gay children (whom we all care about). No doubt this evasion will be attempted by many homophobic and transphobic therapists who work with gender nonconforming children. There is money to be made from fathers in a panic that their sons will be gay; Zucker and his brethren have been harvesting that financial resource for decades, and the APA has protected them and rewarded them very well.

However, as other states pass similar laws and the Dr Zuckers lose their licenses, their life savings, and their freedom to move about outside prison, we will at last begin to see an end to psychiatrically approved torture of gender nonconforming kids.

The American Psychiatric Association is now stuck with a new edition of DSM firmly mired in repressive attitudes that can only serve to further tarnish the already murky reputation of their profession -- the most ethically challenged of all professions.

Originally posted to atana on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 03:46 PM PDT.

Also republished by California politics and TransAction.


DSM-V should be...

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Comment Preferences

  •  kids change (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There are surely teens who want sex change surgery, but they can't get it just by asking, they need to be old enough to make that kind of body-altering choice, and they need to have time to think it over. Kids change their minds on a regular basis, it's common.  If there is any hint of a therapist having his or her own agenda in encouraging this choice, well, adults are far better able to resist any pressure. Don't forget the paranoia back in the 80's when all those child care workers were convicted of implausible ritual child abuse, and the 'group think' that supported their convictions, since overturned, no longer anything that's alleged.  There are fads in mental health.

    i know this isn't the PC point of view, but some of the people  who want sex change surgery are psychotic, and they have their breaks only after the surgery, when it didn't change them the way they'd anticipated.  No guy can have a baby no matter how excellent the surgery, and no woman can father one. The change is cosmetic, not genetic.  Kids can wait.  

    Those individuals who have thought it over, recognize the limits and the risks and choose sex change should of course have that option, and their results are good, but the pool of possibilities contains more then them.  It contains some young men who are gay and have been abused and told that they are really girls. And it includes some psychotics, who don't know who they are and think that a sex-change operation will tell them.  

    reelect the president

    by anna shane on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 04:13:42 PM PDT

    •  Zucker isn't just "making kids wait" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love, bluesheep, kyril

      He is having their daddies beat them for being too effeminate.

      He practices behavioral aversion therapy on gender nonconforming kids -- in other words, abuse the children when they don't conform to gender stereotypes.

    •  You make several remarkable claims, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      atana, kyril

      all of them unsubstantiated.

      Don't forget the paranoia back in the 80's when all those child care workers were convicted of implausible ritual child abuse, and the 'group think' that supported their convictions, since overturned,
      Presumably (though I can only guess) you mean McMartin. There were no convictions.
      i know this isn't the PC point of view, but some of the people  who want sex change surgery are psychotic,
      Any physician who performs sex change surgery on a psychotic patient will not have even vaguely reached the bar for professional ethics and invites suit for malpractice.
      I think you have an agenda of some kind but it isn't concern with a destructive DSM outline nor the well being of those with sexual dysphoria.
        •  And also (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Little Rascals, Wee Care (Kelly Michaels) and the granddaddy of them all, ECDC (Bernard Baran). The latter one was especially disgusting for two reasons:

          1) The prosecution made a big deal of Baran's being gay, invoking the old blood libel that gay men are likely to be pedophiles.

          2) There's substantial evidence that at least two of Baran's supposed victims actually had been sexually abused, but by their mothers' boyfriends, not Baran. Their allegations (which were described as credible) weren't pursued because doing so would interfere with the attempt to "get" Baran.

          Baran's conviction wasn't overturned until 2006 and it wasn't until 2009 that the prosecution decided not to retry him.

          In a dog-eat-dog world, rabies is an advantage in the short term.

          by ebohlman on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 07:36:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps this issue has become only... (0+ / 0-)

        for those with an "agenda."  Those on this site are comfortable with one of them, and therefore see all who disagree as being the opposition.

        This law assumes the worse, that the therapist is not being responsive to sexual confusion, not doing the best for the patient during a stressful time of life, but rather is a homophobe who hates gays.

        This is, I would suggest is actually rare, but the politicization of this issue makes it seem like it is ubiquitous.

        •  The experiences of the many LGBT people (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bluesheep, kyril

          who were subjected to therapeutic abuses -- the people who have pressed for this law and now finally won -- are of course irrelevant. The only people anyone should listen to are the therapists. After all, they are the "scientific experts". We are just confused, sick people who are no doubt lying.

  •  Thanks for sharing this! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana, kyril

    Zucker makes me want to retroactively not have my breakfast.

    Maybe just maybe our foremothers and our forefathers came to this land in different ships. But we're all in the same boat now. - John Lewis

    by bluesheep on Sun Sep 30, 2012 at 11:41:57 PM PDT

  •  Yay! 'Bout time that was stopped! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana, kyril

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