A California bill would declare therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people to be an unlawful practice under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
Such therapies go by names such as “conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay therapy.”
California was the first state in the nation to prohibit such therapies to minors. Eleven states and the District of Columbia have enacted similar bans.
Introduced by Assemblymember Evan Low, AB-2943 would go further, making it clear that such therapies run afoul of state consumer protection laws.
“This bill would include, as an unlawful practice prohibited under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual,” the bill's summary reads.
On Tuesday, the bill cleared the Assembly's Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee with an 8-2 vote. The committee's seven Democrats were joined by Republican Assemblymember Catharine Baker in supporting the bill's passage.
The bill now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration.
Equality California, which co-sponsored the legislation, cheered its passage out of committee.
“So-called 'conversion therapy' is as ineffective as it is psychologically damaging,” Rick Zbur, the group's executive director said in a statement. “We're grateful to the bipartisan group of Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee members who today recognized this practice for what it is: consumer fraud that harms LGBTQ Californians.”