Democrat politician’s quest to end conversion therapy

Naith Payton May 20, 2015
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Yesterday, Ted Lieu filed a proposal to ban ‘conversion therapy’ across the United States.

Some states, including Mr Lieu’s native California, have banned attempts to change a person’s sexuality of gender for under 18’s, but recently elected House Representative Lieu wants to take it much further.

Mr Lieu was part of the effort to ban conversion during his time in the California Senate. He said: “I would have loved to have not limited it to minors; I just couldn’t get it through.”

He wants to completely ban conversion therapy across the whole country, regardless of age – because it is fraud.

It is a different approach to what many others have tried. Mr Lieu is hoping that federal laws that protect consumers from harmful or deceptive business practises can be extended to cover conversion therapy too, and The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would enforce it.

Mr Lieu told Buzzfeed News: “What this bill seeks to do is to reaffirm what medical science has already stated formally: Being gay or lesbian or transgender is not a mental disease, illness, or defect that needs any sort of cure.

“There is no medical condition known as ‘being gay or lesbian.’ That is not a medical disease, defect, and for people to charge money to treat you for something that’s not an illness is fraud.

“There already is an established baseline that you cannot practice medicine below a reasonable standard of care, and when you purport to treat someone for a condition they don’t have, that would be medical malpractice.

“There’s nothing unusual about government going out and trying to protect consumers against fraud. It happens all over the place.

“I believe it’s important to expand the bill to cover the entire LGBT community, including the transgender community.”

In April, President Obama called for the end of “devastating” conversion therapy.

More: ted lieu, US

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