California representative calls on US Congress to ban gay ‘cure’ treatments for kids

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

California Democratic Representative Jackie Speier has introduced a resolution in the US Congress calling for a ban on gay conversion therapy for minors.

In denouncing reparative therapy as “quackery” Ms Speier told a news conference on Wednesday that she had found examples of groups who say they can turn gay people straight and who are being paid via federal funds.

Ms Speier has sent letters to health agencies Medicaid and TRICARE over the matter.

She said “gay conversion has become a multimillion dollar industry.”

Ms Speier was joined by Florida Representative Ted Deutch and David Cicilline of Rhode Island as co-sponsors of the resolution, called SHOK (Stop Harming Our Kids).

In October, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that bans gay conversion therapy in the state.

He said at the time: “It had no basis in science or medicine”.

Christian opponents of the measure have since filed lawsuits stating they should be allowed to continue to provide the treatments.

Last week, Labour MP Diana Johnson said the UK Government needed to take a stronger position against gay conversion therapy after Health Minister Daniel Poulter told Ms Johnson that ministers had “no plans” to introduce statutory regulation for psychotherapists.