Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Brody's Notes... California Rep. Jackie Speier To Announce Efforts To Protect Minors From Anti-Gay Conversion Quackery

Rep. Jackie Speier, (D-CA)
By Brody Levesque | WASHINGTON --  California Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier announced Tuesday that she will be introducing a House resolution Wednesday, November 28 asking the House of Representatives to investigate whether taxpayer funds have been used to reimburse therapists for the discredited practice of the so-called sexual orientation conversion therapy.
Jenny Werwa, Speier's Communications Director told LGBTQNation Tuesday by phone, that the congresswoman's efforts stem from the recent well publicised "tragic examples of the harmful psychological abuse inflicted on young Americans by these dangerous sexual orientation conversion practices," also known as reparative therapy utilised to convert or “repair” an individual’s sexual orientation.  
Werwa acknowledged that Speier's office has been working closely in the past few months with Christine Sun, the Southern Poverty Law Center's legal director and also Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out, a Vermont based watch group that has tracked "Ex-Gay" organisations and therapists who practice the discredited form of physcotherapy. 
Werwa said that Speier's legislative effort, a House resolution entitled 'Stop Harming Our Kids, (SHOK), was also inspired by the recent passage in California of a law authored by State Sen. Ted Lieu, legislation banning psychological therapy aimed at turning gay and lesbian youth straight.   
Speier is set to investigate whether taxpayer funds have been used to reimburse therapists for this discredited and ineffective practice through the federal Medicaid or TRICARE healthcare programs.
Speier will discuss the resolution and her efforts at Wednesday's press conference joined by advocacy leaders and survivors of psychological abuse from sexual orientation change practices. Sheldon Bruck, a plaintiff in a new lawsuit against a New Jersey organization for offering fraudulent conversion therapy services, will share his story.  
Ashland Johnson, from National Center for Lesbian Rights and Brian Moulton, representing the Human Rights Campaign will also attend.