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05/19/2015

Voodoo, snake oil, 'changing' gays: CA congressman to introduce national ban on dangerous anti-science

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 At 7.04.21 AmThe bill has only a dozen or so Democratic co-sponsors, and he's introducing it into a GOP-controlled Congress. But good on the congressman for trying to drain the dangerous snake oil, even if gravity's working against him:

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday morning, Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California will introduce a federal bill to ban commercial efforts to change people’s sexual orientation or gender identity — often called conversion therapy.
FULL: Democratic House Freshman Aims To Ban LGBT Conversion Therapy As “Fraud” [BuzzFeed]

Unlike state-level bans, like the ones in New Jersey and California and Oregon and D.C., Rep. Lieu's effort would expand the bar beyond just minors. This scientifically-discredited quackery would become illegal under the Federal Trade Commission Act, as many deceptive practices already are. Why should this deeply deceptive abuse of both consumer trust and scientific research be any different or more limited?

I wouldn't yet count my chickens (which, incidentally enough, is a practice some "ex-gay" camps probably use to de-gay people). However, I do believe we will see this kind of ban in this lifetime. The writing's on the wall; the damaging quackery is destined to fall.

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