Target: California Governor Jerry Brown
Goal: Ban sexual orientation change efforts for minors
In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders, yet in the United States, it is often still treated as a disease. Sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) are attempts to eliminate same-sex attraction and to “cure” victims of the illness by means of cognitive behavioral techniques, psychotherapy, medicine, and religious approaches. In California, new legislation has been passed by both houses to ban all forms of SOCE treatments, and it is anticipated that the bill will soon reach Governor Jerry Brown who has the power to sign or veto the proposition. The approval of this bill would not only save thousands of minors from the emotional distress of therapy due to their orientation, but it would be a step in the right direction for a country that still covertly treats homosexuality as malady.
Many claim that the law would impede on freedom of speech under the excuse that government has no place in the counseling room or doctor’s office. However, treating homosexuality as an illness when it is not infringes on the pursuit of happiness and the liberties of many minors who struggle with their sexual orientation. Any speech that implies one orientation is superior to another is in opposition to human rights as it also implies that the individual is somehow inadequate. Not only this, but many SOCE treatments are forced on youth by parents in hopes that the efforts will change or “normalize” children, thus illustrating the idea that something is wrong with them. This idea has had catastrophic results for victims of the treatments, ranging from depression to suicide to feeling utterly out of place. All of the above must be combatted, and a law that would ban SOCE treatments is one more way our society can respect and appreciate gay citizens.
Minors who do wish to undergo therapy will be free to do so in counseling if they choose, but treatments that are explicitly designed to change their orientation from homosexual to heterosexual are insulting and medieval. They should be removed from this society at once. Support this legislation by asking Governor Jerry Brown to sign it into law and stand beside human rights groups as they seek to make our society equal.
Dear Governor Jerry Brown,
I urge you to support and sign the legislation that will ban all forms of sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) in California. This is a step in the right direction, as the treatments are biased methods aimed at minors to change them from a supposed abnormal state into a socially accepted one. Such treatments are only in existence today because many feel that homosexuality is a kind of disease that requires cognitive therapy and medical attention. This belief results in marginalization and it is demeaning to many young men and women in this country. In order to fight against homophobic archetypes, such a law should be enacted immediately.
Please sign this legislation into law and stand up for human rights and equality. You have the power to make a positive change in this society, and I support your efforts to do so by banning a practice that is emotionally devastating for many.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association