US Rep. Ted Lieu To Introduce Bill To Ban "Ex-Gay" Torture As Fraudulent Practice
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. “The public views conversion therapy as quackery, as something that harms people,” Lieu told BuzzFeed News on Monday afternoon, just after landing back in D.C. from California. “Eventually, I believe Congress will catch up to that, but you do need to start somewhere, so that’s why we’re introducing this legislation.” He faces an uphill battle: The legislation, which would label conversion therapy an “unfair or deceptive act or practice” that would be illegal under the Federal Trade Commission Act, is being introduced with less than three dozen co-sponsors — all of whom are Democrats. Lieu does, however, have a powerful ally in his effort. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has signed on as an original co-sponsor of the bill.While a state Senator in California, Lieu was behind his state's successful ban on the "ex-gay" torture of those under age 18. His federal bill, however, would not limit the ban to minors. Lieu tells Buzzfeed, "Fraud is fraud, whether you practice it on a 16-year-old or a 45-year-old." The SPLC is currently suing an "ex-gay" group in New Jersey on the same grounds.