Calif. Looks to Change Gay "Cure" Law - NBC Bay Area

Calif. Looks to Change Gay "Cure" Law



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    Gay people have been fighting stereotypes and dispelling misconceptions for years, including the crazy notion that there's a "cure" for their sexual preference.

    But, according to current California law, there's a fix for the gay. State lawmakers are finally looking to change that outdated and outlandish belief and on Tuesday, a California legislative committee advanced a bill that would repeal a state law designed to find the causes and cures for homosexuality.

    The law was written in 1950 after a series of sex crimes in Los Angeles. The law states:

    The State Department of Mental Health shall plan, conduct and cause to be conducted scientific research into the causes and cures of sexual deviation, including deviations conductive to sex crimes against children and the causes and cures of homosexuality.

    At the time, lawmakers wanted to discover why people committed such crimes and listed homosexuals as "sexual deviants" who should be researched. Democratic Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal of Long Beach says it's time to repeal the law.

    "Our values have changed today." Lowenthal told KCRA TV. "What existed in 1950 does not exist in 2010."

    The bill passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee Tuesday on a 4-1 vote. One Republican voted no, while a Republican and Democrat abstained. They said the law's reference to homosexuality should be removed but want the state to continue researching sex crimes.

    If it passes, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will sign the bill into law this summer.