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California must cure homosexuality? Lawmaker pushes to repeal relic law.

Cornell Barnard

SACRAMENTO, CA - A Southern California assemblywoman wants to repeal an obscure law that's been on the books for six decades and calls on mental health professionals to find a cure for homosexuality.

"It's absurd and it needs to go. Sixty years is long enough," said Long Beach Democratic Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal.

Lowenthal has introduced a bill to repeal section 8050 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, which declares "the State Department of Mental Health shall plan and cause to be conducted scientific research into the causes and cures of sexual deviation, including the causes of homosexuality."

Many in the gay community are surprised such a law still exists and want it gone.

"It's truly offensive, a law from a bygone era that is utterly discriminatory," said Mario Guerrero of Equality California.

Lowenthal said she's moving the repeal through committees and hasn't seen any opposition.

"It has no place in our code books today," Lowenthal said.

By Cornell Barnard, cbarnard@news10.net




An article on why the law was created.

It was at this step, as the Legislature defined the role of science in solving the "sexual psychopath" problem, that gay people -- simply because they vexed the psychiatric profession -- were swept up in the net.

In 1950, homosexuality remained, officially, a mental disorder. So when the Legislature promised funding for a study into the causes and cures of sexual deviance, it was, tragically, natural to add homosexuality to the list.
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So, in April of that year, almost exactly 60 years ago, one of the bills Warren signed to combat the scourge of child molestation included a command that the "Department of Mental Hygiene plan, conduct and cause to be conducted scientific research into the causes and cures of sexual deviation, including deviations conducive to sex crimes against children, and the causes and cures of homosexuality, and methods of identifying potential sex offenders."

You don't need a law degree to see that homosexuality was shoe-horned into a sentence otherwise focused on the task at hand.



Man o' man a bygone era that shows a ignorance can be blown way out of proportion.