Conversion Therapy May be Banned for Adults in California. But for Now, There's a New Twist.
Conversion therapy has been the bane of many LGBTQ people's existence, causing people who were subjugated to this harmful practice to teach themselves to hate their homosexuality, which often leads to depression and suicidal ideation. One man, Evan Low, attempted to have this abhorrent practice banned for adults in California but on the last day of the 2018 legislative calendar he withdrew the bill, but for a good reason, according to Euro News.
About one in every five hundred Americans have received therapy that seeks to change their same-sex attraction. This type of therapy is rooted in the belief that homosexuality is an illness that can be cured using psychiatric practices, although the majority of psychologists say it doesn't hold any merit. The therapy is sometimes performed by licensed therapists, but mostly it's performed by a religious figure.
Erin Green, Executive Director of Brave Commons, calls out the religious figures administering this practice, saying that "They're just pastors who don't know a whole lot about sexual identity or sexual diversity or gender." Erin is an LGBTQ Christian who attended conversion therapy and wishes to spread how harmful the practice is by citing its statistically proven negative consequences.
Currently, fourteen states plus Washington, DC have banned conversion therapy for people under the age of eighteen. Evan Low wished to take California a step further and ban the practice for adults as well. However, some people were not happy with this bill being proposed and actively tried to prevent it from being passed.
Jim Domen, a self-professed "former" as in "formerly gay" decided that he did not want to be gay and instead "chose" heterosexuality. He claims attending therapy helped him gain an understanding of why he and others are gay. He says that young boys disconnecting from their fathers early in life causes homosexuality as longing for a male role model, like in his personal case, turns into a sexual attraction because he did not get the male support he needed as a child.
Low wants to put an end to the practice as he views it as fraudulent; people have to pay for it and there are no accurate results. During a meeting to discuss this bill, Evan presented an emotional argument saying that harmful results of the therapy, namely depression and suicidal ideation, were things that he experienced growing up as a gay person and he wants to rid California of the practice altogether. He recognizes that people are all equal regardless of sexuality, there should not be any converting, and people should be proud of their identity.
Low had the votes to get the bill passed but pulled it at the last minute. He says religious figures contacted him and admitted that these practices do actively harm people. Low believes that if he receives support for the ban from other pastors in the near future, the bill would be stronger, hopefully getting the support he needs for it to pass with no worries.
h/t: Euro News