Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Maryland Has Become the 11th State to Ban Conversion Therapy

Maryland Has Become the 11th State to Ban Conversion Therapy

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan [official website] signed [press release, PDF] a bill on Tuesday that will ban conversion therapy from being practiced on LGBT minors.

Gay conversion therapy is defined as "psychiatric therapy aimed at changing a person's sexual orientation, based upon the assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder requiring therapy", according to the Medical Dictionary. Conversion therapy is now defined as "unprofessional conduct" and health care practitioners could be subjected to disciplinary action.

"We know 700,000 people in the United States have been through conversion therapy, and 78,000 teenagers will go through it in the next five years, and this is getting us closer to zero", Shurka said.

Conversion therapy is ineffective, according to several national health organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"Today, Maryland is a better place for countless young people thanks to the many advocates, allies, parents, and survivors who spoke out against this practice and urged their elected officials-Republicans and Democrats alike-to adopt these crucial protections", he continued.

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"In signing this legislation, Governor Hogan joined the General Assembly in choosing to not only protect LGBTQ youth from harm, but to send an affirmation to children across Maryland who may be struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity", Mark Procopio, the executive director of FreeState Justice, said in a statement. "LGBTQ youth are ideal as they are and are deserving of every opportunity to help them thrive".

Legislators in New Jersey and Hawaii have also passed bills banning the practise, but the measure has yet to be signed into law.

Her father voted against the bill. States including California, Nevada, New York, and Washington have all passed laws in recent years against the "therapy".

California was the first state to ban the practice for minors in 2012. The District of Columbia also prohibits gay conversion therapy.

"I think it's fantastic, because it will save the lives of young people in our state", Madaleno told CBS.

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