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Ban of Anti-Gay "Conversion Therapy"
September 25, 2013- Don Rooney
PHILADELPHIA- Senator Williams joined with State Reps. Brian Sims of Philadelphia and Gerald Mullery of Luzerne County, who are introducing a bipartisan bill to ban mental health providers from engaging in anti-gay "conversion therapy" for minors. Sen. Williams introduced his version of the bill (SB 872) last spring. Sen. Williams says he thinks "it is appalling that there are adults willing and too frequently able to destroy a child's sense of well-being during their teenage years, when a child is at his or her most vulnerable stage in life. As adults, we are charged to protect children, who come in all shapes, sizes, colors and orientations. By no means should we condone any activity that would demean them, particularly in this day and age."

40 years ago the American Psychological Association excluded homosexuality from being classified as a mental disorder, and the APA has published studies showing that patients younger than 18 suffer from a multitude of harmful effects associated with "conversion therapy," including withdrawal and suicidal thoughts. Supporters of the bills equate it to medical and parental bullying, saying children who were subjected to "conversion therapy" suffer the same effects as children who were subjected to traditional bullying.

"Conversion therapy" has been banned in California and New Jersey.
 
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