The Psychotherapist Association for
Gender & Sexual Diversity

Press Release - Urgent

March 13, 2014 12:01 PM | Myles Downes (Administrator)

For Immediate Release:

San Francisco, March 13, 2014


SB1172 was to become effective in January 2013. It has faced legal challenges since December 2012. SB1172 protects minors from the practice of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) by licensed therapists in the State of California. These practices have not only been found ineffective, but are coercive and potentially harmful. CAMFT (California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists) -- unlike most other professional associations of mental health practitioners -- has not denounced the practice of SOCE. In fact, the plaintiffs who are challenging SB1172 in court are CAMFT members. 


In the past week, CAMFT members who practice SOCE sent an email blast from "Therapists Concerned About Clients." Kevin Bergen, President of the Long Beach Chapter of CAMFT, allegedly used his position to access CAMFT mailing lists for this blast. The email charged other CAMFT members with "ethics violations” because they are working to ban SOCE and urged recipients to vote against those CAMFT board candidates who supported this work in the upcoming elections. 


Gaylesta, the LGBTQ Psychotherapy Association demands that CAMFT take disciplinary measures with regard to the email blast. The appropriation of its email list for the promotion of a personal agenda should be properly addressed. Those who sent it, some of whom provide SOCE with minors are engaging in a practice that the three branches of California government have deemed illegal and unethical. All those who signed that blast and still practice SOCE with minors should lose their licenses as well as their CAMFT memberships.


Download Gaylesta's Letter to CAMFT Leadership – our Association's website's home page – petition to have CAMFT take a stand on SOCE – the email blast sent from Kevin Bergen links to this page



Deborah Cooper, MFT, Gaylesta  Co-President   415-902-2173  (out of country from March 14th until April 7th)

Marea Murray, LCSW, Gaylesta Board Member and Advocacy Committee Chair  415-846-6309

Click on this link to download a graphic created by Gaylesta member James Guay that clearly outlines CAMFT's history of heterosexist policies and actions.