On Monday, the California Assembly
approved a bill that repeals a decades-old gay “cure” mandate
from state code with a unanimous 62-0 vote.
The law instructed the State Department
of Mental Health to conduct research into the “causes and cures of
Equality California, the state's
largest gay advocate, lobbied for passage of the bill sponsored by
Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, a Long Beach Democrat.
“Sexual orientation is not a matter
of choice any more than one's height, and neither can be changed,”
Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, said in a
statement. “We are thrilled with the passage of this vital bill,
as all Californians regardless of their sexual orientation or gender
identity, deserve to be treated equally and with dignity and
The law was placed on the books in
1950. It classifies gay men and lesbians as sexual deviants and
possible child molesters.
“It's discriminatory, it's insulting
and it has got to go,” Lowenthal said. “Sixty years is more than
The ex-gay group Parents and Friends of
Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), a group that claims sexual orientation can
be altered, objected to repeal of the law.
Jeralee Smith, education director of
PFOX California, called the repeal effort “offensive” in an
interview with the Associated Press.
The bill now moves to the California