Freshman Rep. Ted Lieu of California
has announced plans to introduce a bill that would ban therapies
aimed at altering a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.
In an interview with BuzzFeed
News, Lieu repeatedly called such therapies, often called
conversion therapy, “fraud.”
“There's nothing unusual about
government going out and trying to protect consumers against fraud,”
Under the proposal, conversion therapy
would be labeled an “unfair or deceptive act or practice” under
the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) would be tasked with enforcing the law.
The bill is broader than California's
first-in-the-nation law, which Lieu introduced in 2012 while in the
California Senate. That law is limited to minors and does not
include attempts to alter a person's gender identity.
“The bill is … broader, obviously,
because it's nationwide,” he said. “But, what this bill seeks to
do is to reaffirm what medical science has already stated formally:
Being bay or lesbian or transgender is not a mental disease, illness
or defect that needs any sort of cure.”
“There is no medical condition known
as 'being gay or lesbian.' That is not a medical disease, defect,
and for people to charge money to treat you for something that's no
an illness is fraud. There already is an established baseline that
you cannot practice medicine below a reasonable standard of care, and
when you purport to treat someone for a condition they don't have,
that would be medical malpractice,” he added.
Lieu said that he would introduce his
bill on Tuesday. But with fewer than three dozen co-sponsors, all of
whom are Democrats, the bill faces a steep incline in the