March 7, 2018 | Sex & Society

Gay conversion therapy banned for minors in Washington state

A bill banning "gay conversion" therapy in Washington state has passed the Senate, and now only needs the signature of Governor Jay Inslee to become law. Once approved, Washington will become the tenth state to outlaw the abusive practice when it involves anyone 18 years old or younger.
This means that all licensed healthcare practitioners who attempt to change a young person's sexual orientation could face prosecution and the loss of their license. 
“Children across the Evergreen State deserve to live their lives authentically and should never be subjected to the abusive practice of so-called conversion therapy,” argued Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof.
He added: “It’s time for Washington to join the growing number of states and municipalities who are enacting these critical protections. We thank the state legislators who voted to protect LGBTQ youth from this dangerous practice and now call on Governor Inslee to sign this crucially important legislation.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics has already called out conversion therapy for not only being cruel but for being totally useless and ineffective.
"Therapy directed at specifically changing sexual orientation is contraindicated, since it can provoke guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation," the academy explained in a statement. 
Conversion therapy involving a minor is already banned in California, Connecticut, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico and Rhode Island, as well as the District of Columbia.
Hopefully one day soon no young person in the country can be forced to undergo such a cruel process. In fact, anyone who pushes it should be charged with child abuse.

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