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Tell California Gov. Jerry Brown to protect LGBT youth from psychological abuse!

September 14, 2012

California Gov. Jerry Brown will soon consider whether to sign a bill that will protect young LGBT people from the psychological abuse inflicted on them by deceitful mental health professionals who falsely claim to be able to change their sexual orientation or gender expression.

California Senate Bill 1172 — backed by groups such as Equality California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Mental Health America of Northern California, Gaylesta, and Lambda Legal — will stop state licensed mental health professionals from harming young people with these dangerous practices, which include shaming, verbal abuse and aversion training.

Let’s put an end to these abusive practices once and for all! Please tell the governor that you want him to protect young people by signing the bill into law.

Opponents of equality recently sent an extremely deceptive e-mail to thousands of people that spread horrible lies about this bill and LGBT people in an effort to encourage them to contact the governor. We’ve seen how their attacks have hurt LGBT people in the past, and we can’t let it happen again — especially not with this bill, when the well-being of young people is in jeopardy.

Please take a moment now to either tweet the governor directly at @JerryBrownGov (using the #SB1172 hash tag), call his office (dial 916.445.2841 and express your support for SB 1172) or send an e-mail using the sample text below:

Dear Governor Brown,

I am writing to you today to ask that you sign Senate Bill 1172, which would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people from psychological abuse inflicted on them by deceitful mental health professionals who falsely claim to be able to change their sexual orientation or gender expression.  And these practitioners engage in this practice with a license from – and the authority of – the State of California.

These abusive practices cause serious harm to LGBT youth, including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, and suicide. Some of the techniques used by these practitioners include the use of shame, verbal abuse, pornography, and even aversion training.

Several leading medical and mental health organizations have issued warnings that there is no credible evidence that any type of psychotherapy can change a person’s sexual orientation and that efforts to do so may cause serious and lasting harm. You acknowledged that sexual orientation is an immutable trait in your brief in the Prop 8 case and the California Supreme Court agreed with your view.  And yet, every day, unscrupulous therapists in California continue to mislead parents and to subject youth to this dangerous practice.

Too many young people have taken their own lives or suffered lifelong harm after being told, falsely, by a therapist or counselor that who they are is wrong, sick or the result of personal or moral failure.

We must ensure that no young person is subjected to this damaging and discredited practice.

Please sign SB 1172.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

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