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California Nears Ban On Gay ‘Conversion’ Therapy

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(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – The California State Assembly has approved what supporters say would be the nation’s first ban on a form of psychotherapy aimed at making gay people straight.

The bill would prohibit what is known as reparative therapy for minors.

Democratic Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance said he is seeking the ban because he believes so-called conversion therapy is dangerous. He says it has led some people to attempt suicide.

“It’s heartening to see the majority of the Assembly agrees that this kind of so-called ‘treatment’ essentially is psychological abuse of children,” said Lieu in a press release Tuesday. “Even the person who brought any legitimacy to this kind of psychological technique, Dr. Robert Spitzer, renounced his study and apologized to the LGBT community.”

The Senate, which had approved an earlier version of the bill last May, must concur on amendments no later than midnight Friday for the bill to be sent to Governor Brown’s desk.

Psychiatric, family therapy and mental health associations are split on the bill.

Some religious groups have said the bill would interfere with parents’ rights to seek psychological care for their children.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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