Therapy inflicts harm

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Re "Backers aim to widen ban on gay conversion therapy" (Tribune, Oct. 2):

I'm so glad that California doesn't agree with Utah's Sutherland Institute.

California became the first state to prohibit children under age 18 from undergoing "sexual orientation change efforts." Gov. Jerry Brown stated that "These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery."

I agree with Clarissa Filgioun, Equality California board president, when she stated that Brown "reaffirmed what medical and mental health organizations have made clear: Efforts to change minors sexual orientation are not therapy, they are the relics of prejudice and abuse that have inflicted untold harm on young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians."

Contrast that with the views of the Sutherland Institute president Paul Mero. Mero believes homosexuality is a choice and "reparative therapy" is just "helping people (mostly men) struggling with homosexuality overcome those urges and change their sexual choices."

Stephen Curtis Drabner

El Paso, Texas