Supporters of Gay Conversion Therapy Speak Out Against Proposed Bill

SACRAMENTO -- Supporters of so-called gay conversion therapy massed at the State Capitol Tuesday, there to oppose a bill that would label that therapy consumer fraud in the State of California.

"There was counseling that I received, as someone being confused about my gender as a child, that saved my life and this bill would actually take away the rights to receive that kind of counseling," said Ken Williams.

Williams says he owes his life the therapy -- and he's not the only one.

"I love my gay friends," said Thena Beam. "I want them to be able to choose what they want for their lives. But that’s what this is about, is just giving everyone that freedom to make that choice for themselves."

The group went into the Capitol, door-to-door, urging state senators to oppose the bill.

Conversion therapy has already been outlawed for minors. The new bill would make it illegal for anyone to take payment for it, regardless of the age of the patient.

Bill author and Assemblyman Evan Low, D-San Jose, is chair of the Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus.

"This is a practice that is harmful. All scientific and medical communities have recognized this practice as being detrimental to one’s health," Low said.

"Well, you’d have to be inside of me in order to know that, wouldn’t you? All I can say is, I lived every day in panic, fear, insecurity, sexually aroused by men. That was my normal every day. That is not my experience anymore."