Bill to ban conversion therapy passes senate committee

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A bill championed by gay rights activists is one step closer to becoming law. The conversion therapy bill passed through a senate committee today.

Hundreds rallied at the state capitol opposing what could be a first in the country law: making conversion therapy “a fraudulent practice” in California. Under the measure, the advertising of the service would be labeled as a “fraudulent practice” in state law. 

Opponents say the proposal infringes on their right to practice their faith by seeking counseling for quote “unwanted same-sex desires.” 

The event included testimony from those who say they were once gay but are no longer due to conversion therapy services. Ken Williams, a pastor at Equipped to Love, says he was once gay, but no longer is and he’s against the bill.

“They should pursue the counseling and personally life changes that bring them happiness,” stated Williams. 

It was a packed house inside the senate judiciary hearing.

“Conversion therapy is psychological torture. It’s a very simple thing,” stated Senator Scott Wiener. 

Lawmakers point to medical opinion by the California Psychological Association that say the practice has been known to have lasting damaging effects on patients.

But most inside were there to speak out against the bill. Some believed the bill would ultimately ban books, including the bible.

The bill’s sponsor, Silicon Valley assemblyman Evan Low, said that’s not the case…he amended it to say so. 

“This bill applies to services, not goods, which includes books,” mentioned Low. 

The bill would also only make paid conversion therapy fraudulent, but the practice could still take place for free. Now approved by the judiciary committee it heads to senate appropriations.

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