CounselorsEmpowerACA Government Affairs Blog

The ACA Government Affairs team strives to keep the counseling community connected with important legislative news, updates, and announcements that affect the profession. Questions? Want to get involved in our advocacy efforts? Email us at 


Jun 15, 2017

Congressman Lieu Receives ACA Award for Work Banning Conversion Therapy

On June 8th the American Counseling Association presented Congressman Ted Lieu with the Illumination Award for his work in California and in Washington DC to pass bans on conversion therapy.  Congressman Lieu received the award at ACA’s Illuminate event, an innovative, three-day counseling symposium focused on serving the needs of the LGBTQ community, and those who work with members of the LGBTQ community.

With a computer science degree from Stanford, Congressman Lieu is one of the few Members of Congress with insight on technology and innovation issues including cybersecurity and cloud computing.  Congressman Lieu also holds a law degree from Georgetown and is a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve.  He comes from humble origins, having immigrated from Taipei to Cleveland with his family at age three.    

Congressman Lieu began his career in elective office in the California State Assembly and then the State Senate.  It was in the Senate that he sponsored and succeeded in passing the nation’s first statewide ban on conversion therapy for minors.  This led the way for eight other states and Washington DC to do the same.

This year Congressman Lieu has introduced a bill, the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, that would ban conversion therapy for minors nationwide.  The bill classifies commercial conversion therapy and advertising that claims to change sexual orientation and gender identity as fraud. The bill empowers the Federal Trade Commission to enforce this legislation, and it would also open practitioners up to civil litigation. It only affects the for-profit conversion therapy industry, and contains important protections for religious liberty and freedom of speech.  Senator Murray has introduced a similar bill in the Senate. 

The Lieu bill, H.R. 2119, has 95 cosponsors but it needs more.  You can ask your Members of Congress to support H.R. 2119 and S. 928 by entering your zip code in Find Officials on this page to get their contact information.  

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