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Maryland governor signs bill banning conversion therapy for LGBT minors

17 May 2018

Maryland banned gay conversion therapy Tuesday, a move that has been met with cheers of victory from gay and LGBTQ members of the community.

Hogan's office has yet to release a statement on the passage of SB 1028, but he had previously pledged to sign the bill into law after it passed in Maryland's Senate and House of Representatives by wide margins.

California, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington also have laws on the books, as well as the District of Columbia.

Conversion therapy aims to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. To the contrary, research has clearly shown that these practices pose devastating health risks for LGBTQ young people such as depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, homelessness, and even suicidal behavior.

Image Meagan Simonaire
Maryland bans harmful fake 'ex-gay' therapy

The American Medical Association, National Association of School Psychologists, American Psychoanalytic Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Counseling Association also all discredit the practice, NBC News reported.

Del. Meagan Simonaire, a Republican, spoke on the House floor about the pain she experienced when her parents recommended the therapy to her when she told them she was bisexual. The report also estimated 20,000 LGBTQ youth now between 13 and 17 will receive conversion therapy from a licensed health care professional before they reach 18, and approximately 57,000 will be subjected to the controversial practice from a religious or spiritual adviser. This does not, however, restrict therapy given in churches. More information on the lies and dangers of efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity can be found here. We see you, Red states! "This risky and inhumane form of child abuse has no basis in science and is uniformly rejected by every major mental health and child welfare organization".

New York State has tinkered with regulations to ensure the practice can not be covered by health insurance, as a way to circumvent its Republican-run State Senate. Several municipalities in other states have also passed similar laws in the absence of action by their state legislators. "They are flawless as they are".

There is still much work to do when it comes to combating "conversion therapy" - numerous new laws banning it only apply to youth, and the majority of states operate without any limits on the practice. "Today, the state of Maryland took an important step to ensure that all of Maryland's young people know that they are born ideal".

Maryland governor signs bill banning conversion therapy for LGBT minors