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Peninsula Congresswoman Urges Other States To Ban Gay Reparative Therapy

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Congresswoman Jackie Speier has introduced a resolution calling on other states to follow California’s lead in outlawing gay conversion therapy on minors.

Speier said the Stop Harming Our Kids resolution introduced Tuesday targets what has become a multi-million dollar industry founded on discredited ideas that gay people can be turned heterosexual.

“It should be prohibited because it’s quack medicine. It’s snake oil efforts that are in fact refuted by all the professional associations that provide mental health oversight,” she said.

Speier said her office is also investigating whether taxpayer money is being used to reimburse therapists who practice reparative therapy.

Therapists who claim to cure homosexuality have not disappeared, despite widespread condemnation of the ex-gay movement by mainstream psychologists, said Rebecca Rolfe, executive director of the San Francisco LBGT Community Center.

“A lot of people think that this is something that happened in the past and is not continuing today, but in point of fact, it is continuing,” she said, “at significant levels throughout the country.”

Advocates for conversion therapy have challenged the California law that takes effect in January on grounds that it violates constitutional protections about the practice of religion.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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