California Bans Gay Teen Conversion Therapy

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California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill banning mental therapy for minors struggling with gender confusion.

Beginning Jan. 1, therapists are prohibited from telling anyone under the age of 18 that it's possible to change their sexual orientation.

According to Brown, the therapies "have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery."

The move has sparked outrage from those who have undergone that therapy. Some say it helped them overcome same sex attraction sparked by childhood sexual abuse.

Conservative religious groups, like the organization Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, argue the ban takes away parents' rights to provide psychological care for confused children.

"As parents of gays and ex-gays, we are ashamed of your willingness to take action against parents, children, and the family in order to support gay activists," the group wrote in an open letter to Democratic Sen. Ted Lieu, who authored the legislation.

"California is not a socialist state and our children do not belong to the government, subject to the ideology of the state over the objections of their parents," the group said.

California is the first state to ban conversion therapy for teens.

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