California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law SB 1172, a bill that will put an end to dangerous and disproved efforts designed to change a young person’s sexual orientation or gender expression that have proven to inflict great emotional harm, that can lead to depression, substance abuse and suicide.  This makes California the first state to ban 'gay cure' therapy on minors with this new law.
 
Efforts to change sexual orientation or gender expression have been debunked as junk science, and have also been proven harmful to children and adults.  All major medical and mental health organizations have denounced the practice including: the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American School Counselor Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Pan American Health Organization. 

Kate Kendell President of The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) issued the following statement:
"This legislation is one of the most important bills NCLR has ever sponsored. Since 1993, NCLR’s Youth Project has provided legal support to LGBT youth who have been damaged by psychological abuse and mistreatment at the hands of abusive mental health practitioners who tell these youth that who they are is bad, sick, and wrong. We have seen firsthand the terrible, lasting damage caused by these deadly practices. This law provides a powerful tool to make sure that therapists who abuse LGBT youth can be held legally accountable. And just as important, it sends a powerful message of affirmation and support to LGBT youth and their families—telling them loud and clear that the state of California will not stand by while state-licensed therapists abuse their power to harm LGBT youth and propagate the deadly lie that sexual orientation is an illness or disorder that can be “cured.”

Special thanks also go to the many organizations who sent action alerts to their members and urged the Governor to support the bill. And a very special thanks to you, the people who—through your calls, your emails, and your tweets—took the time to ask Governor Brown to put a stop to these practices.

We are also grateful to celebrities such as Jane Lynch, Chely Wright, and Wilson Cruz who worked alongside us, tweeting their followers to encourage them to ask the Governor to sign this bill.

Chad Griffin President od Human Rights Campaign issued the following statement:
"We're grateful to Governor Brown for standing with California's children. LGBT youth will now be protected from a practice that has not only been debunked as junk science, but has been proven to have drastically negative effects on their well-being. We commend Governor Brown for putting children first, and call on all states to take California’s lead on this issue.  We will continue our fight against this kind of child abuse, which has been deemed harmful to children by all major mental health, medical, and child welfare organizations."

Authored by California Senator Ted Lieu, SB 1172 was sponsored by Equality California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gaylesta, Lambda Legal, Mental Health of North America, and the Courage Campaign.  This week nearly 50,000 concerned citizens signed a Human Rights Campaign petition urging the Governor to sign the bill.

Please send aheartfelt thank you to Governor Brown for his leadership on this issue. You can thank him directly by tweeting him @JerryBrownGov or by using TinyURL.Com/ThankCAGov.

Source Press releases from HRC and NCLR
 
 
From HRC: Supreme Court to decide fate of Prop 8 case shortly; denial of hearing would mean return of marriage equality in California

WASHINGTON – In a matter of weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether or not to hear the Perry v. Brown case – the suit challenging California’s ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples known as Prop 8.  If the court decides not to hear the case, the appeals court ruling will stand striking down Prop 8 as unconstitutional, and the state will begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples again.  The court will also consider whether to review a number of cases challenging the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bars the federal government from recognizing married same-sex couples, even in states that legally recognize their union.  These milestones, along with the four states deciding marriage-related issues on the ballot in November makes these next few weeks critical to the future of marriage equality in this country.

On Wednesday, September 18, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. E.T., the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) will hold a national phone press briefing on the status of the marriage cases in front of the Supreme Court and the marriage equality landscape across the country.

In the states, voters in Washington and Maryland will head to the polls to affirm marriage equality legislation passed by their state legislatures. In Maine, we are looking at the first chance to proactively pass marriage at the ballot. And in Minnesota, voters can vote no on a proposed constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. Heading into 2013, we’re also looking at possible marriage equality bills in states like Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

Of course, the presidential election also will be a turning point in the fight for marriage. President Obama supports full marriage equality – and is the first president to do so while in office. He’s also directed the Justice Department to stop defending DOMA. Mitt Romney presents an alarming contrast – he doesn’t support relationship recognition for same-sex couples (even George W. Bush supported civil unions), he’s vowed to defend DOMA, and he’s even pledged to support a constitutional amendment banning committed, loving same-sex couples from marrying.

Momentum is on our side – a majority of Americans, including an increasing number of conservatives, support marriage equality. Help spread the word and share this chart with your friends and family.