There's a dark corner of the far right-wing moronosphere that believes homosexuality is a learned behavior that can be drilled out of people through "conversion therapy" sessions.
This so-called therapy appears to work for all those closeted politicians and preachers who thrive in the moronosphere, but it's an otherwise fraudulent, unscientific practice better left alone.
U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu of the South Bay is on it. Today he plans to introduce legislation that could become the first federal ban on conversion therapy.
His office says the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) are backing the bill.
He plans to make an announcement this morning in Washington, D.C. Here's what Lieu says about the gay-to-straight medicine show:
So-called gay conversion therapy, which seeks to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, is a dangerous but often overlooked form of discrimination against LGBT Americans. I was elated to hear of President Obama’s support for a permanent ban. Conversion therapy has critical medical and ethical flaws that can be seriously damaging to the physical and mental health of those who are compelled to undergo it. Minors, who may not be empowered to make their own health decisions, are especially at risk.
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In 2012 Lieu, then a state senator, authored a successful bill that banned conversion therapy for minors in California. The law has survived two court challenges that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear.
Other states have followed suit with bans of their own.
"However," Lieu says, "I believe that a federal ban is the only way to completely protect young people from the harmful effects of conversion therapy and to ensure that they are celebrated, not shamed, for their identities."