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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A first-of-its-kind ban on a controversial form of psychotherapy aimed at making gay people straight is speeding through the California statehouse.
Supporters say the legislation, which passed its final Senate committee Tuesday, is necessary because such treatments are ineffective and harmful. "This therapy can be dangerous," said the bill's author Sen. Ted Lieu. The Torrance Democrat added the treatments can "cause extreme depression and guilt" that sometimes leads to suicide.
Conservative religious groups emphatically reject that view of sexual orientation therapy and say the ban would interfere with parents' rights to seek appropriate psychological care for their children.
David Pickup, who is registered with the California Board of Psychology, said a ban would prevent people from recovering from trauma of sexual abuse. "Any therapist worth his salt knows that homosexual feelings commonly occur in victims as a result of abuses," he said. "I ought to know because I was one of those boys."