On Monday, state senator Anthony Williams sent around a memorandum to all Senate members announcing his intent to introduce legislation that would “ban state-licensed mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation “reparative”or “conversion” therapy with minors, otherwise referred to as sexual orientation change efforts” in persons under the age of 18 years old. In the message, he presents compelling reasons as to why he things the legislation is imperative to Pennsylvania’s gay youth.
In 2009, the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation issued a report, concluding that sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people … Additionally, the Association stated that methods used “to convert or ‘repair’ homosexuality are based on developmental theories whose scientific validity is questionable,” and issued a resolution urging parents, guardians, young people and their families to avoid sexual orientation change efforts that portray sexual orientation as a mental illness or developmental disorder.
The rest of the memorandum goes on to define conversion tactics as “therapies, counseling or other means of practice seeking to change a minor’s sexual orientation.” You can read the rest of the memo here. Stay tuned for updates on how the movement progresses.