Pennsylvania officials propose ban on anti-gay ‘conversion therapy’ for minors

State Rep. Brian Sims.
Rep. Brian Sims will co-sponsor the bill. Credit: Metro

Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims will hold a press conference tomorrow to detail legislation he plans to propose with state Rep. Gerald Mullery that would ban mental health providers from engaging in anti-gay “conversion therapy” for minors.

Conversion therapy is used to describe a range of treatments that claim to “reform” or “cure” individuals of their homosexuality and “restore” them to heterosexuals.

One local example would be conservative Catholic group Courage’s sports camp held this past May at the Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary.

The camp, whose presence drew protests from social justice nonprofit The Peace Advocacy Network, claims to help gay men repair their “sports wound” and become “manlier.”

Also on hand for tomorrow’s announcement will be state Sen. Anthony Williams, who together with several co-sponsors this spring brought forth similar legislation in the Senate prohibiting state-licensed medical professionals in Pennsylvania from “engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with a person under the age of 18.”

That bill is currently in a Senate committee.

“In 2009, the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation issued a report, concluding that sexual orientation change efforts can pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, including confusion, depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame, social withdrawal, suicidality, substance abuse, stress, self-blame, a loss of faith, high-risk sexual behaviors, among several other negative psychological effects,” Williams wrote in a memorandum issued in March.

He further noted methods used to “repair” homosexuality are based on developmental theories of “questionable” scientific validity and “pose a danger to the mental health of children.”

Tomorrow’s announcement comes nearly one month after Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a ban on conversion therapy in New Jersey and several weeks after an appeals court upheld California’s outlawing of the practice.

The news conference is slated for 2:30 p.m. at the Attic Youth Center, located at 255 S. 16th St.

Also scheduled to speak are Peace Advocacy Network campaign director Ed Coffin and Attic Youth Center counseling services coordinator Monique Walker.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.