Tag Archives: california governor jerry brown

California governor unsure about legalizing recreational pot

California Gov. Jerry Brown says he is not sure legalizing pot is a good idea in his state because the country could lose its competitive edge if too many people are getting stoned.

Brown says he worries that if pot smoking gains more legitimacy, it could have negative effects on the state and nation.

Californians voted to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. But Brown says he is watching closely to see how Colorado and Washington handle their new laws that go a step further by regulating the growth and sale of taxed pot at state-licensed stores.

Brown says the world is dangerous and competitive, so people need to stay alert.

In a wide-ranging interview aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Brown also discussed California’s drought problems, climate change and his future political career.

Brown is seeking re-election in California — where he’s served as the 37th governor and also the 34th governor.

He also has served as the state attorney general and mayor of Oakland, and repeatedly sought the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.

California governor directs clerks to issue marriage licenses to gay couples as soon as court lifts stay

California Gov. Jerry Brown has issued a directive to clerks in the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples as soon as a federal appeals court lifts an injunction.

The governor’s directive followed the ruling June 26 from the U.S. Supreme Court, which said that proponents of California’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, known as Prop 8, lacked standing to defend the ban.

The decision cleared the way for gay marriages to again take place in California, but only after the stay is lifted.

Brown, in a statement, said, “After years of struggle, the U.S. Supreme Court today has made same-sex marriage a reality in California. In light of the decision, I have directed the California Department of Public Health to advise the state’s counties that they must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit confirms the stay is lifted.”

The governor’s office said that Brown sought an opinion from California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris on whether the state, through the California Department of Public Health, can advise county clerks and registrar/recorders that they are bound by the federal district court’s ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.


Kamala said the California Department of Public Health “can and should” instruct county officials that they “must resume issuing marriage licenses to and recording the marriages of same-sex” couples.

Group sues over California’s new ban on ex-gay therapy

A Christian legal group has filed a lawsuit to overturn a first-of-its-kind California law that prohibits licensed mental health professionals from practicing therapies aimed at making LGB teenagers straight.

The Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Institute is challenging the law signed on Sept. 29 by Gov. Jerry Brown in U.S. District Court.

The institute filed the lawsuit on behalf of a psychiatrist and a marriage and family therapist who is also a church pastor. It also names as a plaintiff Aaron Bitzer, a man who says he has benefited from the “reparative” or “ex-gay” therapy.

The lawsuit claims the law, set to take effect on Jan. 1, violates First Amendment and equal protection rights.

“Of all the freedom-killing bills we have seen in our Legislature the last several years, this is among the worst,” stated Brad Dacus, president of PJI. “This outrageous bill makes no exceptions for young victims of sexual abuse who are plagued with unwanted same-sex attraction, nor does it respect the consciences of mental health professionals who work in a church. We are filing suit to defend families, children and religious freedom. This unprecedented bill is outrageously unconstitutional.”

Brown, issued a statement after he signed the bill. He said, “This bill bans non-scientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”

A coalition of LGBT civil rights groups pushed for passage, along with health professionals.

“We have seen firsthand the terrible, lasting damage caused by these deadly practices,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights executive director Kate Kendall. “This law provides a powerful tool to make sure that therapists who abuse LGBT youth can be held legally accountable.”

She added, “And just as important, it sends a powerful message of affirmation and support to LGBT youth and their families—telling them loud and clear that the state of California will not stand by while state-licensed therapists abuse their power to harm LGBT youth and propagate the deadly lie that sexual orientation is an illness or disorder that can be ‘cured.’”

State Sen. Ted Lieu, who sponsored the bill, said, “No one should stand idly by while children are being psychological abused, and anyone who forces a child to try to change their sexual orientation must understand this is unacceptable.”

California gov. signs bill banning ex-gay therapy for youth

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation barring state-licensed therapists from using so-called ex-gay therapy on LGBT youth.

California state Sen. Ted Lieu introduced the bill with co-sponsors National Center for Lesbian Rights, Equality California, Gaylesta, Mental Health America of Northern California, Lambda Legal and the Courage Campaign.

The legislation takes effect on Jan. 1, 2013.

Brown, in a statement in the San Francisco Chronicle, said, “This bill bans non-scientific ‘therapies’ that have driven young people to depression and suicide. These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.”

The San Francisco-based NCLR, in a news release on Sept. 30, described the legislation as “one of the most important bills NCLR has ever sponsored.”

The organization has provided legal support since 1993 to LGBT youth damaged by psychological abuse and mistreatment by mental health practitioners who told them and their parents that homosexuality was a illness, disease or disorder to be cured.

“We have seen firsthand the terrible, lasting damage caused by these deadly practices,” said NCLR executive director Kate Kendall. “This law provides a powerful tool to make sure that therapists who abuse LGBT youth can be held legally accountable.”

She added, “And just as important, it sends a powerful message of affirmation and support to LGBT youth and their families—telling them loud and clear that the state of California will not stand by while state-licensed therapists abuse their power to harm LGBT youth and propagate the deadly lie that sexual orientation is an illness or disorder that can be ‘cured.’

“Ex-gay” therapy is not advocated by any mainstream physicians or mental-health practitioners organization. But it is still practiced, mainly by therapists aligned with religious ministries that teach homosexuality is sinful.

Proponents of the legislation included the California Psychological Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (California Division), the National Association of Social Workers (CA Chapter), the California Latino Psychological Association, and the California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies.

Wayne Besen, of Truth Wins Out, said in a news release, “This is a historic day that protects LGBT youth from child abuse disguised as genuine therapy. We thank Gov. Brown for signing legislation that can serve as a model for similar bills across the nation.”

With passage of Lieu’s bill in California, staff at TWO, NCLR and other LGBT civil rights advocates hope to launch campaigns in other states.

“We will not stop until LGBT youth are protected from these dangerous practices everywhere in the country,” said Kendall.