comments_image Comments

California Moves to Repeal Law Calling for Research into "Homosexuality Cure"

Until 1973, "homosexuality" was classified as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. However, since then, the notion that sexual orientation is a condition that can be "cured" has faced increasing criticism from a wide range of professional organizations. These include such luminaries as the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychological Association, a group whose most recent position on the matter is: "efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies."

Yet until now, the state of California has had a statue on the books calling for research into cures for "homosexuality." This was found within a larger law passed in the panicy 1950s that required research into sex crimes. However, the law also had the distinction of explicitly equating gay men with child molesters, referring to them as sexual deviants and mandating the state to actively support the search for a cure for "homosexuality."

Earlier this month, Democratic Assembly woman, Bonnie Lowenthal, introduced a bill that would remove this section of the law. It unanimously passed the state assembly on Monday, and while it still needs to go to the state senate, it is expected to pass there as well.

Though it might seem like a token move, this bill makes an important statement in a climate where far too many religions still preach that faith should be enough to turn you straight. Or where kids are still forced into ex-gay “reparative” therapy by parents buying into the claim that being gay is deviance embodied.

Of course, in such an environment, it stands to reason that not everyone would back the law’s repeal. One group that has expressed open opposition is Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX), an organization dedicated to the men and women they claim “make the personal decision to leave homosexuality.” The organization's California educational director, Jeralee Smith, told the AP she didn't support the bill because,"I just don't think any door should be closed when we're trying to stop attacks on children."

Right, because calling gay children “sexual deviants” and telling them to they should strive to change a core part of who they are is a good way to protect them from attacks?

Whether the Smiths of the world like it or not, not everyone is straight, yet these types continue to cling to long disproven theories and outdated myths in the hopes that doing so will bolster half-baked claims about the dangers of being gay. Happily, as the imminent repeal of California's archaic law clearly shows, such claims are getting harder and harder to make.

See more stories tagged with: