Oregon’s Bisexual Governor Signs Ban on Conversion Therapy
Earlier this week, Oregon’s bisexual governor Kate Brown continued to make history by signing a bill that ends gay conversion therapy in her state. That makes Oregon the third state in the nation to ban the therapy that is often considered detrimental. California, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. also have similar bans.
The bill was voted on by the state Senate 21 to 3. The law makes it illegal for mental health professionals to try to convert children younger than 18 by doing “ex-gay” therapy. President Barack Obama condemned the therapy as “neither medically nor ethically appropriate.”
“There are many things that young people need, but breaking them down based on their sexual or gender identity is not one of them — and in fact, it’s inexcusable,” Brown said.
The U.S. House of Representatives also introduced a bill this week seeking a nationwide ban on ex-gay therapy for all ages, trying to make the practice a fraud under federal law. None of the ex-gay therapy practitioners seem to acknowledge bisexuality as a legitimate alternative in their conversion therapy.
In the video showing Gov. Kate Brown signing the Oregon bill, there is a former ex-gay spokesman John Paulk, who in the past promoted the conversion therapy, but now has changed his tune.
Mike Szymanski has written about bisexual issues since 1989 and has one of the longest-running regular bisexual columns as the National Bisexuality Examiner. He came out as bisexual in a cover story of Genre magazine, which resulted in more than 50 television appearances, including Ricki Lake, Phil Donahue Show and 20/20. Szymanski won the Lambda Literary Award in 2007 for co-authoring an informative humor book “The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways.” Write him at [email protected]