A California bill would declare
therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender
identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people to be an
unlawful practice under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
Such therapies go by names such as
“conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay
California was the first state in the
nation to prohibit such therapies to minors. Eleven states and the
District of Columbia have enacted similar bans.
Introduced by Assemblymember Evan Low,
AB-2943 would go further, making it clear that such therapies run
afoul of state consumer protection laws.
“This bill would include, as an
unlawful practice prohibited under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act,
advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation
change efforts with an individual,” the bill's summary reads.
On Tuesday, the bill cleared the
Assembly's Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee with an 8-2
vote. The committee's seven Democrats were joined by Republican
Assemblymember Catharine Baker in supporting the bill's passage.
The bill now heads to the Assembly
Appropriations Committee for consideration.
Equality California, which co-sponsored
the legislation, cheered its passage out of committee.
“So-called 'conversion therapy' is as
ineffective as it is psychologically damaging,” Rick Zbur, the
group's executive director said in a statement. “We're grateful to
the bipartisan group of Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection
Committee members who today recognized this practice for what it is:
consumer fraud that harms LGBTQ Californians.”