People supporting their queer kids at Baltimore Pride | Photo: Flickr/Ted Eytan
It’s official: 13 states and the District of Columbia now ban conversion therapy for minors in the United States. Maryland became the 13th state today (15 May).
Governor Larry Hogan signed SB 1028 into law.
The bill prohibits mental health or child care practitioners from engaging in conversion therapy with minors. If they do so, it now falls under ‘unprofessional conduct subject to disciplinary action’.
‘No child should ever be subjected to the abusive practice of so-called “conversion therapy,”‘ said HRC President Chad Griffin.
Conversion therapy is the practice, typically involving psychotherapy and spiritual means, to change someone’s sexual orientation.
Numerous medical associations condemn the practice. They say that it doesn’t work and, in many case, can have detrimental effects, such as depression and more.
Griffin further added that now Maryland is ‘a better place for countless young people’.
‘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,’ said FreeState Justice Executive Director Mark Procopio.
‘They are perfect as they are.’
A wave of bans
Over the past several weeks, numerous states have adopted similar bans.
Most recently, New Hampshire and Hawaii prohibited the practice.
UCLA released a study this year revealing more than 75,000 teens in the US face conversion therapy before adulthoot.
That’s why it’s so important it’s becoming more and more uncommon in the US.