Posts Tagged ‘sb 1172’

100 Days Later

October 4, 2013 By Josh Steichmann

100 days from SCOTUS marriage100 days ago, the Supreme Court struck down the central portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, and dismissed the last gasp appeal of the Prop. 8 supporters, returning the freedom to marry to California. Across the country, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people cheered along with allies who supported the vision of an America where everyone could marry the person that they love.

Since then, we’ve seen a parade of victories at the federal level, from the Department of Homeland Security allowing same-sex spouses full immigration privileges to the IRS issuing new rules to make sure loving same-sex couples are recognized, to the first same-sex weddings on U.S. military bases. We’ve seen big marriage victories in New Mexico and New Jersey, and we’ve seen the roll-out of the biggest advance in LGBT healthcare in our lifetimes with the Affordable Care Act.

Here in California, we’ve seen the federal courts uphold SB 1172, which ended the psychological abuse of LGBT youth by licensed therapists, we’ve seen transgender students win both with the passage and signing of the School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266), which ensures that transgender students can participate as their authentic selves in school, and at the Arcadia Unified School District, which settled a lawsuit and implemented policies to ensure transgender equality.  Read the rest of this entry »

Big Win for LGBT Youth; Big Loss for Abusive So-Called “Therapists”

August 29, 2013 By Josh Steichmann
Orientation and gender identity aren't a switch to turn on and off

Orientation and gender identity aren’t a switch to turn on and off

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled today that SB 1172, a law that prohibits the discredited and dangerous use of psychological abuse to change sexual orientation in minors by licensed therapists, is constitutional, removing an injunction against the enforcement of the law and remanding the case back to the district court level.

Writing for the court, Circuit Judge Susan Graber ruled that the California law is a “regulation of professional conduct” and therefore “does not violate the free speech rights of [mental health] practitioners or minor patients, is neither vague nor overbroad, and does not violate parents’ fundamental rights.”

SB 1172, authored by Sen. Ted Lieu, takes aim at the debunked practice of subjecting minors to psychological abuse in order to change their sexual orientation, which has been disavowed by every major medical and psychological association.  Read the rest of this entry »

Equality Roundup: Legislative Victories

October 5, 2012 By Josh Steichmann

Big huge couple weeks for Equality California. We got all six EQCA-sponsored bills passed and signed!

The one that’s been getting the most attention is SB 1172, a bill to end dangerous psychological abuse of minors. Already, anti-equality groups have filed lawsuits; here’s EQCA pro boon counsel David Codell on KPCC discussing the lawsuit and where things stand.

The field team is transitioning into PAC work — making sure that pro-equality candidates are elected throughout the state. Volunteer here to help out!

Next Thursday, at the CAA Screening Room in LA, we’re proud to present a screening of Wish Me Away, a documentary about country star Chely Wright’s coming out. Here she is talking about the movie and her journey with Kentucky Public Radio. She’ll be at the screening, answering questions. For more information and tickets, click here.

Two days later, we’ll be out in Palm Springs, honoring Speaker of the Assembly John A. Pérez, Senator Barbara Boxer, and many more. For tickets and more information, the Palm Springs awards page.

It’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month, and we’ll be delving into that further later in the month. For the moment, get your whistle wet with Queer Music Heritage, a 12-year archive of radio shows about queer music, as well as a wealth of information about Stonewall protest songs, camp records and gay folk music.

For a more modern queer music, Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert have a video for “Same Love”, which was made in response to Maryland’s current struggle for the freedom to marry.

Two more brief links: Orlando Cruz is the first openly gay boxer! and the new Catholic bishop in San Francisco doesn’t like the gays and they don’t like him.

Equality Roundup: Equality Wrap-Up

September 12, 2012 By Josh Steichmann

john perez at dncAs the late Jim Anchower said, it’s been a while since we rapped atcha. We’ve been busy! We were at Oakland Pride, FYF Fest in LA, the governor’s office and across the state having Breakthrough Conversations.

Oh, and we were watching Assembly Speaker John A. Perez at the DNC (video). Money quote: “Opportunity is why we fight. Across the country there are parents who want nothing more than the opportunity to have a job and the ability to put food on the family table. We fight for them. In too many states, even folks who have jobs wake up every morning worrying that they may lose their job simply because they’re gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. We fight for them.”

We’re also bracing for September 24, when the U.S. Supreme Court could certify Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Prop. 8 case. If they decline to grant certification, then the freedom to marry is restored in California. For Californians, it’s a bit of a bittersweet moment: If the Supremes don’t grant cert, we’ve won and all the volunteer ministers down at the EQCA offices can start just officiating willy-nilly. But that means that Hollingsworth v. Perry won’t be a binding precedent for the rest of the country — some other brave couple will have to win marriage for everyone. Not to get too much into sports metaphors, but it’s the old dilemma of taking the (sure) extra point kick or going for the two-point conversion.

Maybe we’ve just got football on the brain: Brandon Ayanbedejo of the Baltimore Ravens came out in favor of the freedom to marry, since Maryland’s going to vote on it come November. Which led to Maryland Delagate Emmett C. Burns Jr. to write a very silly letter denouncing Ayanbedejo. To which Minnesota Vikings kicker Chris Kluwe responded with a very silly, swearing letter back, calling Burns out. For those of you who would prefer a non-swearing, but still very silly letter, Kluwe wrote this version that you can share with gramma. Ayanbadejo “thanks” Burns for bringing the whole thing more attention.

In other traditionally macho pursuits: One year study on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal finds absolutely no negative impact. You can read the full study here (PDF).

Finally, while we’ve been keeping up the pressure on Governor Jerry Brown, we’d like your help too: Do you tweet? Join us — and fabulous leaders like actress Jane Lynch – as we ask California Governor Jerry Brown to protect LGBT youth from dangerous psychological abuse by signing Senate Bill 1172 into law. Tag @JerryBrownGov in your tweet, and don’t forget to use the #SB1172 hash tag.

If you don’t tweet, please go to and send a letter in. We can make this happen with your help!

SB 1172: A Call to Action

August 27, 2012 By Sarah Thomsen

sb 1172 field staffDespite significant progress made in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement, there are those in society who continue to perceive homosexuality as temporary, or even “curable.” This state of mind is demeaning to the LGBT community and offers false justification to at least 24 clinics across California where sexual orientation conversion efforts still take place. These modern-day clinics are run by licensed mental health providers who attempt to change the sexual orientation of minors from gay to straight. The psychological stress that can result from youth being led to believe they have a “mental illness” is disturbing, particularly when unknowing parents send their children to these clinics.

Soon, however, California may be the first state in the nation to ban such discriminatory practices. Senate Bill 1172 (SB 1172) co-sponsored by Equality California, would ban licensed mental health providers from subjecting minors to sexual orientation conversion efforts. The California Senate approved SB 1172 back in May, and I had the opportunity to attend a hearing in June where an Assembly committee further approved the bill. Now with an upcoming vote on the Assembly floor, I must say I am proud to have been a part of Equality California’s field work that has furthered awareness for SB 1172.

The field work surrounding SB 1172 has offered California’s citizens a chance to lend their voices to government action. EQCA’s Northern and Southern California offices took part in Pride celebrations throughout the summer and in the process collected 8,200 signatures from constituents urging Assembly members to vote in favor of the bill. Perhaps most encouraging, however, has been the enthusiasm of individuals who have personally reached out to their elected officials.

For the past week, Equality California’s staff, interns, and volunteers called constituents in districts with undecided representatives. During these conversations, callers urged proponents of SB 1172 to be directly transferred to their legislatures’ offices where they voiced their support. During my time calling, I quickly found that people were not only willing to be transferred to their representatives; they were unabashedly eager. The dedication of the callers and the passion of the constituents resulted in over 1,000 calls made to legislators’ offices.

This collaboration has been essential in spreading the word about SB 1172 and will continue to be essential as we approach next week’s vote. If you have not informed your legislator about your position on SB 1172, please state your support now. Now is a crucial moment for this piece of legislation, and we cannot back down. We must set a precedent for the rest of our nation by banning this discriminatory practice and, ultimately, keeping our youth safe

So-Called “Conversion Therapy” Survivor Ryan Kendall on SB 1172

June 27, 2012 By Shaun Osburn

Ryan Kendall, a survivor of so-called “Conversion Therapy” who testified in the Perry v. Brown legal challenge to Proposition 8, described his experience before the The California Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee in Sacramento this July during the hearing on SB 1172.

SB 1172, a bill that would ban psychotherapists from engaging in efforts to change the sexual orientation of minors, was approved by the committee on July, 26 212 on a 5-2 vote.

Read a transcript of Kendall’s testimony below.  Read the rest of this entry »

EQCA at San Francisco Pride

June 25, 2012 By Shaun Osburn

More than 75 dedicated staffers, interns and volunteers came out to support the work of Equality California during the 2012 Pride festivities in San Francisco.

More than 1,000 signatures were collected in support of SB 1172, a bill that would ban licensed therapists from subjecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth to dangerous and discriminatory sexual orientation change efforts. A great number of volunteers also joined in early Sunday morning as we marched alongside other grassroots organizations in the Pride Parade down Market Street.

A big thank you to everyone who made this weekend possible and to everyone who took the time to talk with an EQCA representative and sign their support! Didn’t get to sign a post card in support of SB 1172 at Pride, send an email to your representative here.
san francisco pride

Behind Conversion Therapy: How we got it and how we stop it?

June 25, 2012 By Josh Steichmann

kendall spitzer aranaTomorrow, the Assembly Business and Professions Committee will hear Senate Bill 1172, Equality California’s bill to ban therapists from subjecting minors to discriminatory and dangerous sexual orientation change efforts. Testifying at the hearing is Ryan Kendall, a survivor of the practice who testified in the Perry v. Brown challenge to Prop 8. During his time in the program, he was paired with another gay kid, Gabriel Arana, as a “therapy partner.”

Gabriel Arana was once a gay kid, put into therapy by scared but well-meaning parents, but instead of that therapy working to support him as he came to grips with being a healthy, fulfilled adult, that therapy was based on the idea that being gay was bad and that he could be cured.

Recently, he wrote about the experience for the American Prospect, “My So-Called Ex-Gay Life,”. Stunningly, his article sparked an apology and retraction from the only credible scientist to ever investigate the issue, Robert Spitzer. Here’s more about his story and how “My So-Called Ex-Gay Life” came to be:

“Part of the reason Spitzer agreed to talk to me is that I’m one of [Dr. Joseph] Nicolosi’s patients,” said Arana. Spitzer was old, and quiet now. He’d loved controversies in his earlier days — he was one of the psychologists that led the charge to have homosexuality removed from the second volume of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-II), when it was reprinted in 1974. But he had also authored a controversial 2001 paper that seemed to support the idea that people could change their sexual identity.

After a slow start — “I had trouble finding his house,” said Arana — they began to talk.

“The initial focus was on some of his 1973 work. What does it mean to have a mental disorder? Then I meant to transition. I was not expecting him to walk back his study.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Equality Roundup: The Work Ahead

June 19, 2012 By Josh Steichmann

david-codellSF Bay News interviews equality advocates, including EQCA board member, David Codell (last seen with a grin and a rainbow flag at LA Pride). The other thing we were doing at Pride? Advocating for an end to discriminatory practices by therapists trying to make gay people straight.

Last year’s FAIR Education Act was a great step toward getting the recognition that unfairly excluded lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender heroes deserve in California schools, but implementation has been mixed. The LAUSD School Board passed a resolution to ensure funding for FAIR, and to recognize Pride month for the LAUSD, a important step for the largest school district in the country. And when those kids grow up, maybe an openly gay Speaker of the Assembly will speak at their college graduation too.

The LAUSD contrasts favorably with PS 195, where a fifth-grader was barred from giving a speech supporting marriage equality. The fifth-grader, Kameron Slade, was prompted by Obama’s announcement of support. Longtime equality activists have noted how LGBT friendly the current White House is, so friendly that a transgender man proposed to his partner at the White House. Even the Pentagon is recognizing Pride month. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta thanks LGBT servicemembers. Dig the posters.

Putting a damper on that was news that Obama’s current campaign manager, Jim Messina, gay-baited in Montana. Dems might not be able to get away with that for much longer — GOP fundraiser Paul E. Singer created a super PAC to press for LGBT equality and shield Republicans from fundraising fallout they may experience due to their party’s homophobia.

But maybe Singer just sees the writing on the wall — Maine’s marriage equality vote is favored by 20 points (scroll down), no one in Illinois wants to defend their unconstitutional marriage ban, even Mormons, Catholics and Eagle Scouts (Salon wants more of them) feel comfortable speaking out. It makes Olivia Munn seem positively prosaic. Even Apple has imported LGBT emoticons, and LGBT activists have time to support broader civil rights causes.

Sure, there’s more work to do — Michigan wants homophobes protected as counselors, junk science still pervades parenting discussions (Scientific American cuts that one down to size), and our Aussie pals won’t be married any time soon.

But at least we’re on track to cure homophobia.

Equality Roundup: Immigration Reform, X-Men Marry & NAACP Shows Support

May 24, 2012 By Josh Steichmann

x-men homophobia racism naacpWhen Equality California works with other groups in support of immigration reform, sometimes we get asked why. Well, for instance, Takako Ueda and her wife Frances Herbert just supporting the freedom to marry. It’s hard to overstate, and hopefully you’ve already heard about it, but kapow: “‘Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people,’ said Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP.”

Of all of the comic book heroes, the X-Men have consistently been an all-purpose anti-discrimination metaphor, with “anti-mutant” hysteria serving first as racism, and now as homophobia. Which is part of what gives the current Northstar gets married arc such resonance. Northstar, a speedy Canuck, has been out since ’92, one of the first characters to embrace being gay. Now writer Marjorie Liu is using the recent New York (home of the X-Men) embrace of the freedom to marry in order to tell a story she describes as being, “About love, not politics.”

One of our big priorities this summer is to pass SB 1172, which would end the anti-gay conversion efforts inflicted on minors. NPR’s Talk of the Nation interviews Dr. Robert Spitzer and concludes that everything has changed. We’re working to end this quackery here in California, and it’s great that NPR is reminding people just how damaging and relevant this pseudo-science is. Read the rest of this entry »