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LETTER TO THE COMMUNITY: Support SB 1172 to ban "ex-gay therapy"

This is a vital moment. California legislation that would protect LGBT youth from a dangerous and scientifically discredited practice known to lead to depression and suicide has already cleared the California Senate and will soon be headed to the Assembly floor for a final vote.

We need your help to save lives, and time is running out. We have only a few days to ensure that the Assembly passes this bill, which would ban unscrupulous therapists from trying to force youth to change their sexual orientation or gender expression. We need you to ask your Assemblymember today to vote for SB 1172 and send the historic legislation to Governor Brown.

This abusive practice, known as "reparative therapy" or "conversion therapy," is not based on science, but on homophobia and a callous disregard for the harm it causes to vulnerable youth. Therapists are hurting young people by shaming them and telling them that who they are is wrong, resulting in depression, loss of self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, and even suicide.

This is one of the most important bills we have ever sponsored. It's outrageous that this dangerous practice continues, despite the harmful consequences and the countless warnings from every major medical and psychological association about its real harm. We need to stand up for our youth, and take action. Take a moment to act now by:

- Sending a letter of support for SB 1172 to your elected representative in the California Assembly.

- Helping us spread the word with family and friends on Facebook and Twitter asking them to send a letter in support of SB 1172 too.

- Making a gift in to support Equality California's work on this bill and ongoing advocacy on behalf of LGBT youth.

In Solidarity,

Clarissa Filgioun
Equality California board president