An LGBT legal group has sued a
California therapist over efforts to change a lesbian's sexual
The National Center for Lesbian Rights
(NCLR) filed its lawsuit Thursday in state court in Alameda County.
The suit alleges that Berkeley-based therapist Lloyd Wiley over eight
years attempted to change the sexual orientation of Katherine McCobb.
“I trusted my therapist, and I was
defrauded of tens of thousands of dollars as a result,” said
McCobb, who paid Wiley more than $70,000.
According to the lawsuit, Wiley told
McCobb that being gay was unnatural and could “change her brain.”
Wiley advised McCobb to alter her appearance and begin dating men,
in particular a man who was also his client.
NCLR is suing Wiley under two
California laws (the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the
Unfair Competition Law) that protect consumers from false and
“Therapists who exploit vulnerable
people by taking their money based on false claims that being lesbian
or gay is unnatural and that counseling can change a person’s
sexual orientation are engaging in fraud,” NCLR Legal Director
Shannon Minter said. “Our complaint alleges that our client in this
case paid tens of thousands of dollars based on false promises that
therapy could change her attraction to women. Charging a person money
based on such bald-faced misrepresentations violates California’s
consumer protection laws.”