Text: S.928 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (04/25/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 928 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

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115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 928

  To prohibit, as an unfair or deceptive act or practice, commercial 
     sexual orientation conversion therapy, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             April 25, 2017

Mrs. Murray (for herself, Mr. Booker, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. 
   Brown, Ms. Cantwell, Ms. Duckworth, Mr. Markey, Ms. Warren, Mrs. 
 Gillibrand, Ms. Hirono, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Whitehouse, Ms. Hassan, Mr. 
 Wyden, Mr. Merkley, Mr. Schatz, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Casey, Mr. 
  Franken, Ms. Harris, and Mr. Durbin) introduced the following bill; 
    which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, 
                      Science, and Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To prohibit, as an unfair or deceptive act or practice, commercial 
     sexual orientation conversion therapy, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 
2017''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender 
        nonconforming is not a disorder, disease, illness, deficiency, 
        or shortcoming.
            (2) The national community of professionals in education, 
        social work, health, mental health, and counseling has 
        determined that there is no scientifically valid evidence that 
        supports the practice of attempting to prevent a person from 
        being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or gender 
        nonconforming.
            (3) Such professionals have determined that there is no 
        evidence that conversion therapy is effective or that an 
        individual's sexual orientation or gender identity can be 
        changed by conversion therapy.
            (4) Such professionals have also determined that the 
        potential risks of conversion therapy are not only that it is 
        ineffective, but also that it is substantially dangerous to an 
        individual's mental and physical health, and has been shown to 
        contribute to depression, self-harm, low self-esteem, family 
        rejection, and suicide.
            (5) It is in the interest of the Nation to prevent lesbian, 
        gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming people and 
        their families from being defrauded by persons seeking to 
        profit by offering this harmful and wholly ineffective therapy.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Conversion therapy.--The term ``conversion therapy''--
                    (A) means any practice or treatment by any person 
                that seeks to change another individual's sexual 
                orientation or gender identity, including efforts to 
                change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate 
                or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings 
                toward individuals of the same gender, if such person 
                receives monetary compensation in exchange for such 
                practices or treatments; and
                    (B) does not include any practice or treatment, 
                which does not seek to change sexual orientation or 
                gender identity, that--
                            (i) provides assistance to an individual 
                        undergoing a gender transition; or
                            (ii) provides acceptance, support, and 
                        understanding of a client or facilitation of a 
                        client's coping, social support, and identity 
                        exploration and development, including sexual 
                        orientation-neutral interventions to prevent or 
                        address unlawful conduct or unsafe sexual 
                        practices.
            (2) Gender identity.--The term ``gender identity'' means 
        the gender-related identity, appearance, mannerisms, or other 
        gender-related characteristics of an individual, regardless of 
        the individual's designated sex at birth.
            (3) Person.--The term ``person'' means any individual, 
        partnership, corporation, cooperative, association, or any 
        other entity.
            (4) Sexual orientation.--The term ``sexual orientation'' 
        means homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality.

SEC. 4. UNFAIR OR DECEPTIVE ACTS AND PRACTICES RELATED TO CONVERSION 
              THERAPY.

    (a) Unlawful Conduct.--It shall be unlawful for any person--
            (1) to provide conversion therapy to any individual if such 
        person receives compensation in exchange for such services;
            (2) to advertise for the provision of conversion therapy 
        and claim in such advertising--
                    (A) to change another individual's sexual 
                orientation or gender identity;
                    (B) to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic 
                attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same 
                gender; or
                    (C) that such efforts are harmless or without risk 
                to individuals receiving such therapy; or
            (3) to knowingly assist or facilitate the provision of 
        conversion therapy to an individual if such person receives 
        compensation from any source in connection with providing 
        conversion therapy.
    (b) Enforcement by Federal Trade Commission.--
            (1) Violation of rule.--A violation of subsection (a) shall 
        be treated as a violation of a rule defining an unfair or 
        deceptive act or practice prescribed under section 18(a)(1)(B) 
        of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 57a(a)(1)(B)).
            (2) Powers of commission.--
                    (A) In general.--The Federal Trade Commission shall 
                enforce this section in the same manner, by the same 
                means, and with the same jurisdiction, powers, and 
                duties as though all applicable terms and provisions of 
                the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.) 
                were incorporated into and made a part of this Act.
                    (B) Privileges and immunities.--Any person who 
                violates subsection (a) shall be subject to the 
                penalties, and entitled to the privileges and 
                immunities, provided in the Federal Trade Commission 
                Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.).
            (3) Regulations.--The Federal Trade Commission may 
        promulgate, in accordance with section 553 of title 5, United 
        States Code, such regulations as the Commission considers 
        appropriate to carry out this section.
    (c) Enforcement by States.--
            (1) In general.--If the attorney general of a State has 
        reason to believe that an interest of the residents of the 
        State has been or is being threatened or adversely affected by 
        a practice that violates subsection (a), the attorney general 
        of the State may, as parens patriae, bring a civil action on 
        behalf of the residents of the State in an appropriate district 
        court of the United States to obtain appropriate relief.
            (2) Rights of federal trade commission.--
                    (A) Notice to federal trade commission.--
                            (i) In general.--Except as provided in 
                        clause (iii), the attorney general of a State, 
                        before initiating a civil action under 
                        paragraph (1), shall provide written 
                        notification to the Federal Trade Commission 
                        that the attorney general intends to bring such 
                        civil action.
                            (ii) Contents.--The notification required 
                        under clause (i) shall include a copy of the 
                        complaint to be filed to initiate the civil 
                        action.
                            (iii) Exception.--If it is not feasible for 
                        the attorney general of a State to provide the 
                        notification required under clause (i) before 
                        initiating a civil action under paragraph (1), 
                        the attorney general shall notify the 
                        Commission immediately upon instituting the 
                        civil action.
                    (B) Intervention by federal trade commission.--The 
                Commission may--
                            (i) intervene in any civil action brought 
                        by the attorney general of a State under 
                        paragraph (1); and
                            (ii) upon intervening--
                                    (I) be heard on all matters arising 
                                in the civil action; and
                                    (II) file petitions for appeal of a 
                                decision in the civil action.
            (3) Investigatory powers.--Nothing in this subsection may 
        be construed to prevent the attorney general of a State from 
        exercising the powers conferred on the attorney general by the 
        laws of the State to conduct investigations, to administer 
        oaths or affirmations, or to compel the attendance of witnesses 
        or the production of documentary or other evidence.
            (4) Preemptive action by federal trade commission.--If the 
        Federal Trade Commission institutes a civil action or an 
        administrative action with respect to a violation of subsection 
        (a), the attorney general of a State may not, during the 
        pendency of such action, bring a civil action under paragraph 
        (1) against any defendant named in the complaint of the 
        Commission for the violation with respect to which the 
        Commission instituted such action.
            (5) Venue; service of process.--
                    (A) Venue.--Any action brought under paragraph (1) 
                may be brought in--
                            (i) the district court of the United States 
                        that meets applicable requirements relating to 
                        venue under section 1391 of title 28, United 
                        States Code; or
                            (ii) another court of competent 
                        jurisdiction.
                    (B) Service of process.--In an action brought under 
                paragraph (1), process may be served in any district in 
                which--
                            (i) the defendant is an inhabitant, may be 
                        found, or transacts business; or
                            (ii) venue is proper under section 1391 of 
                        title 28, United States Code.
            (6) Actions by other state officials.--
                    (A) In general.--In addition to a civil action 
                brought by an attorney general under paragraph (1), any 
                other officer of a State who is authorized by the State 
                to do so may bring a civil action under paragraph (1), 
                subject to the same requirements and limitations that 
                apply under this subsection to civil actions brought by 
                attorneys general.
                    (B) Savings provision.--Nothing in this subsection 
                may be construed to prohibit an authorized official of 
                a State from initiating or continuing any proceeding in 
                a court of the State for a violation of any civil or 
                criminal law of the State.

SEC. 5. SEVERABILITY.

    If any provision of this Act, or the application of such provision 
to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the 
remainder of this Act, and its application to any person or 
circumstance shall not be affected thereby.
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