To Governor Jerry Brown: Veto California SB 1172 banning certain SOCE for minors

Here's my letter to California Governor Jerry Brown giving the reasons why he needs to veto SB 1172:

September 5, 2012

The Honorable
Jerry Brown
Governor of California

via: Email-form submission

Dear Governor Brown:

SB 1172, which seeks to ban SOCE (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts) for minors and as provided by California licensed mental-health practitioners in California, has passed both California houses.

The correct thing for you to do as Governor of California is to now veto that legislation.

First of all, SB 1172 is against the US Constitution, specifically the First Amendment, as follows: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...."

As you know, Mr. Governor, many people of the Christian persuasion consider Paul's Epistles to be the word of God. They cite the following verses (among others) from the New Testament:

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 KJV)

According to Thayer's Greek Definitions, "...abusers of themselves with mankind" there is the English translation of the Greek transliterated as "arsenokoites" and means "one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual." Koites is synonymous with our coitus, from the term "bed." Arsen there means male. Together, we have male-bed or males bedding each other. For more information, see:

If you research those Pauline verses, you will find that there are those who have attempted to change the clear and plain meaning, frankly, in an attempt to misdirect others into falsely believing that the term "arsenokoites" applies only to homosexual behavior used in idol worship. However, you will notice that idolatry is already stated in the verses along with other things including what are considered by Paul as sexual sins besides homosexuality. To be consistent, and as I've written elsewhere, the pro-homosexuality interpretation would then mean that adultery there would be wrong for the Christian only if done in idol worship, clearly illogical to say the least.

Even if pro-homosexual "idolatry" interpretations were correct, that would not alter the fact that many people have it as their deep religious conviction that homosexuality is against their religion (not just Christianity) , and they teach their children accordingly.

As you no doubt also know, Jesus said the following:

"But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (Mark 10:6-9 KJV)

Many Christians take that as their definition of what is proper concerning human sexuality, mating, bonding, etc., and as excluding homosexuality as a proper possibility. They teach their children that way, as is expressly legal for them to do so under the First Amendment. I trust you agree it is their constitutionally protected right and should remain so in every state in the United States.

Furthermore, the rationale for the legislation is that SOCE may harm children, but does it? Will what has been offered as the reasoning for SB 1172 be equally applied concerning all mental-health therapies? Will all therapies be banned for minors where any discomfort, depression, or the like, is experienced during or after the treatment and regardless of whether or not cause and effect has been researched and determined? It has not been researched and properly determined concerning SB 1172.

SOCE includes many different types of approaches. One such approach is termed Reparative Therapy. During that therapy, the person undergoing treatment is guided toward looking at familial relationships, particularly for the male, his relationship with his father and mother. According to Dr. Joseph Nicolosi (Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, and licensed as a psychologist in California; and many others, a distant father and a smothering mother will very often be the male homosexual's experience growing up. Realizing this can be distressing. A client could want to stop the treatment and leave. Would the treatment up to that point then constitute harm, per se? That would be quite a stretch, wouldn't it?

Some clients enter treatment who have been depressed and even suicidal. If a client leaves before the treatment has run its course, is the therapist then responsible if that client goes on to continued or even worsened depression and even ends up committing suicide? If so, will every form of treatment for every mental state also be held to this same, new standard?

In addition, is there any harm done in not applying SOCE?

Many licensed practitioners in California firmly believe that homosexual sexual abuse of children can alter those children such that they end up with same-sex attraction (SSA) where none existed before or was likely to have otherwise manifested. Such children are clearly harmed as a direct result of such molestation, abuse, rape, even gang rape.

SB 1172 if signed into law by you and upheld by the courts as constitutional, would leave such children in California without the legal assistance of California mental healthcare practitioners. Can you in all good conscience sign SB 1172 into law or let it become law without your signature rather than vetoing it for very good cause?

Perhaps, as is likely, others will suggest that it is not proven that children develop SSA as a result of being homosexually raped or molested and the like. Well, wouldn't that be the proper place for the Governor to then say that California needs to find out before a law is put in place banning children from obtaining help with SSA?

SB 1172 would also not be made proper with the simple addition carving out an exception for abused children. The existence of such abuse can come out in the process of therapy concerning same-sex attraction. When that may happen during the therapy, who can say? Children should not be banned from SOCE unless they've first disclosed experiencing homosexual sexual abuse. For one, that would be blocking a child who may feel at risk. A perpetrator could be a parent, foster parent, or other legal guardian the child fears. The child could be intimidated into silence and otherwise immorally manipulated and further abused.

Lastly, Reparative Therapy and other forms of SOCE do work. Not every approach is equally effective with every client. I know of no one who is suggesting that children and others should never be protected concerning approaches. A blanket ban though throws the baby out with whatever bathwater there may be, which bathwater, if any, remains to be properly determined.

What is needed and what is openly desired by groups such as NARTH (National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality; is more and better research, not premature and/or indefensible wholesale bans based upon one-sided, unsubstantiated, often pop-psychological views.

I highly recommend you read the following: "The (Complete) Lack of a Scientific Basis for Banning Sexual-Orientation Change Efforts with Minors, " by Christopher Rosik, Ph.D.

Governor Brown, you owe it to the people of California to meet with, and give a full airing to, the leading proponents of SOCE licensed in California, and other states if necessary, and to thoroughly review their documentation concerning their practices and experiences with actual clients.

Thousands and thousands of people have undergone counseling and receive significant diminishment of their unwanted same-sex attraction and some to the point of reporting zero such attraction. I've heard it directly from many of them. Is that anecdotal? Yes, however, so too are the reports by those who claim SOCE is unethical, etc. Much psychological research (peer-reviewed, published, generally accepted) is based upon self-reporting. How could it be otherwise?

I could go on and on about this. There's a great deal more I could say, but you can find it all out if you will take the time or direct impartial staff to assemble for you what you need per my suggestions above in order to make a truly informed decision, especially for the children of California.

The world is watching. The importance of your approach and decision in this matter cannot be overstated. Don't let truth down, Mr. Governor.

I am confident that you will be able to handle it when you veto SB 1172. You'll have set the right precedent, the highest standard, for the governors of the various states of the United States of America. You'll have done your highest duty at this point concerning this proposed law.


Tom Usher
Real Liberal Christian Church & Christian Commons Project


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    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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