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Gay-To-Straight Therapy Ban?

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POSTED: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 6:23am

UPDATED: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 10:34am

The fight over therapy designed to convert teens from gay to straight has been controversial and emotional, with opponents entering clinics with hidden cameras and posting videos on the Internet.

David Pickup said he knows the issue from two perspectives.

"I will admit there is quackery out there," said Pickup, a therapist. "But reparative therapy, which is what I do, authentic reparative therapy, is absolutely based on science, good research and it works."

Pickup went to Sacramento, California Tuesday to testify against a state bill that would restrict so-called "reparation," or sexual orientation change efforts.

State Senator Ted Lieu, a Democrat representing Torrance, wants to ban it for minors.

He said he'd like to ban it for everyone.

"I would actually ban it for everybody if I could," Lieu said. "But we understand that adults can do risky and stupid things if they want to. But we do ban dangerous things for children."

Among those who testified in favor of the bill was Peter Drake, an attorney who tried reparation treatment, and found it lacking.

"You think you've found something that's professional and it's going to help you," Drake said. "And it doesn't."

Pickup argues the bill goes too far, saying it could deny therapy to a minor who has been molested and questions his sexual identity.

"Evidently the government knows how to raise your child better than you do," Pickup said.  

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