California has a truly awful bill wending its way through the legislature right now. SB 1172 – Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) would prohibit mental health professionals “from performing sexual orientation change efforts…in the absence of informed consent of the patient.” The bill includes a specific statement that must be part of the consent form, listing the ways that SOCE “damages” people. In addition, it bans SOCE with any client under the age of 18.
I am passionate about stopping the harm that would come from this bill, but in this case, the political is also personal. 25 years ago I was living in California and looking for help with same-sex attractions. My motivation wasn’t self-hatred or pressure from a “hetero-normative” society. I believed what the Bible says and the church teaches: God made sexual expression for marriage between a man and a woman. I knew there were grave health risks to homosexual sex, and I wanted a family.
Counseling was a huge help to me on my journey out of homosexuality; now I’m happily married, with three terrific sons. My marriage and children would not exist without the help and support of Christian therapists. Now Senator Ted Lieu, the sponsor of SB 1172, and the California legislature are working to stop people like me from receiving help. Certainly there were other things that helped me grow and change – books, conferences, support groups, Christian friends and God’s work in my life. Perhaps the legislature will attempt to ban these next.
SB 1172 infringes on people’s ability to seek treatment for unwanted same-sex attractions. For more information about this harmful legislation, read: Dig Deeper: Shutting Down Therapy for Unwanted Homosexuality.
(Note: the content in the “Dig Deeper” article is adult in theme and not suitable for children.)