Two months ago, I wrote, “As of today, it is legal in California to give hormone blockers to an 11 year-old boy in order to delay the onset of puberty, but it could soon be illegal for a 17 year-old with unwanted same-sex attractions to receive professional counseling, even with parental consent.” Now, California Senator Ted Lieu, has removed any doubt as to why he introduced Senate Bill 1172: “The attack on parental rights is exactly the whole point of the bill because we don’t want to let parents harm their children.”
This is an absolute outrage, and every parent in California needs to contact their senators and urge them to vote against this ridiculous and wrong-headed bill.
Senator Lieu, who is married with children, said “he got the idea for the bill after seeing a television special last fall about adults who had gone through this kind of therapy as children. He said he was struck by their description of traumatic experiences, confusion, depression and suicidal thoughts.” And so Lieu has now appointed himself the guardian of the children of California, the arbiter of what is best for them, and the ward over the parents of his state.
If this is not an example of egregious government overreach, nothing is.
For those unfamiliar with SB 1172, it is an unprecedented bill that “would ban sexual orientation conversion therapy for California minors—even if they or their parents want it.” It would also make it very difficult for an adult with unwanted same-sex attractions to receive professional counseling, since the counselor would have to inform the client that the counseling does not work and that it could cause harm. How encouraging! [Update: The informed adult consent part of the bill has been dropped -- a small step in the right direction.]
The bill has the enthusiastic support of gay activist organizations and gay politicians, and it is making its way through the Legislature with almost total Democratic backing. Thankfully, there are some politicians who are exposing the absurd nature of the bill. As reported by Kim Reyes in the Orange County Register, Assemblyman Donald Wagner explained that, “The default of this Legislature is to assume authority over parents by getting invested in issues of medicine, which is something it is not qualified to do, especially regarding matters of medical decisions made between parents and children.”
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.