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California may ban gay teen 'conversion' therapy

BY HANNAH DREIER, ASSOCIATED PRESS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A first-of-its-kind ban on a controversial form of psychotherapy aimed at making gay people straight is speeding through the California statehouse.

Supporters say the legislation, which passed its final Senate committee Tuesday, is necessary because such treatments are ineffective and harmful.

"This therapy can be dangerous," said the bill's author Sen. Ted Lieu. The Torrance Democrat added the treatments can "cause extreme depression and guilt" that sometimes leads to suicide.

Conservative religious groups emphatically reject that view of sexual orientation therapy and say the ban would interfere with parents' rights to seek appropriate psychological care for their children.

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