Speier Attacks 'Gay Conversion' Therapy
Peninsula Congresswoman Jackie Speier is getting into the debate over therapies designed to turn gay teenagers straight.
Speier introduced a resolution Wednesday urging states to ban therapists from treating minors with what's known as "reparative therapy".
"This quack medicine is very damaging to young people who are subjected to it," Speier said. "In many cases it really resembles something close to torture and can be very scarring."
A federal judge will hold a hearing Friday on a ban recently passed in California.
Attorney Matthew McReynolds of the Pacific Justice Institute, a religious legal advocacy group, says California's law violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
"The government is very specifically telling counselors and therapists what they can and can’t say," McReynolds said, "and what they can and can’t recommend in the counseling context."
The American Psychological Association no longer considers homosexuality a mental disorder and urges therapists not to discriminate against gay men and lesbians.
The Association has not addressed the matter of reparative therapy for minors.