Last Thursday, journalist Rex Wocker asked a very pertinent question: "So if Jerry Brown already has decided that sexual orientation can't be changed, why does he apparently still need lobbying on SB 1172 (and he apparently does)?" Rex was referring to the bill now on Gov. Brown's desk that would prohibit state-licensed therapists from practicing junk science by trying to "change" the sexual orientation or gender identity of a young patient. The bill's sponsor, State Senator Ted Lieu, and LGBT groups consider this practice child abuse. Please ask Governor Brown to sign SB 1172 via his Twitter account: @JerryBrownGov.
Geoff Kors, who is now working on SB 1172 and other such issues for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, responded to Rex - an email that which was later distributed:
Rex, this is a follow-up letter to Governor Brown that was just sent to him regarding why it is so important that he sign SB 1172. The letter both lays out the case for signing but also responds to arguments against the bill that some people have raised. The letter -- and NCLR's action alert -- focus on a number of things including the fact that the State of California is giving licenses to the people who engage in this unconscionable practice and therefore the State needs to act to stop the practice. In addition, the California Legislature, the California Supreme Court, the Federal District Court and the Ninth Circuit in upholding the Federal District Court decision in Perry have all found sexual orientation to be an immutable characteristic. If it is immutable, then the state shouldn't be licensing individuals who are saying they can change this immutable characteristic and who take money from the public to engage in this discredited practice. In fact, the Governor has taken the position that sexual orientation is immutable in the brief he filed as Attorney General in the Prop 8 case before the California Supreme Court.
The haters have ratcheted up the noise on this and are working hard to get their folks to call, email and tweet the Governor. We need to continue the pressure from our side.
Thanks for all of your help on this bill.
More after the break.