Jo Linder-Crow, PhD
California Psychological Association
Office: 916-286-7979, ext. 115
||California Psychological Association
1231 I St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
California Psychological Association Voices Support for SB 1172 (Lieu) Banning the Use of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) with Minors
Sacramento, CA, August 17, 2012: The California Psychological Association (CPA) has voiced its support today for proposed state legislation that would prohibit the use of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) with minors. The bill, SB 1172, is authored by Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and sponsored by Equality California.
CPA originally held an Oppose Unless Amended position on the bill, based on concerns both about the intrusion of the legislature into clinical practice as well as a concern that an overly broad definition of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts may discourage legitimate therapeutic interventions with minors seeking to explore their sexual orientation and identity. CPA, along with other CA mental health organizations, worked with Sen. Lieu's office over a period of many weeks to arrive at revised bill language, and earlier this summer removed its Oppose Unless Amended position and moved to a Neutral position on the bill.
Today, after significant reflection and discussion, CPA has agreed to support the proposed legislation. Jo Linder-Crow, PhD, Executive Director states that "CPA has a strong track record of supporting measures that protect vulnerable groups, and has long been an ally of the LGBT community. Of course we want to ensure that legitimate therapy regarding normal developmental issues of sexual orientation and identity is readily available to minors, and it is also our job to protect our members from undue risk. However, consistent with the overwhelming weight of research available, we believe that Sexual Orientation Change Efforts, where the therapist's intent is to direct, redirect, or influence an individual's sexual orientation, are potentially harmful and have no place as a part of legitimate psychological practice. We are continuing to work with the bill's Author to put measures in place that will clarify this important distinction, as a protection to licensed mental health professionals."
The California Psychological Association, an affiliate of the American Psychological Association, represents more than 4000 member psychologists in California and is the nation's largest state psychological association.