Tags: washington state | gay conversion | therapy | legislation

Washington Legislature Bans Gay Conversion Therapy on Minors

Washington Legislature Bans Gay Conversion Therapy on Minors

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Sunday, 04 March 2018 09:26 PM

The Washington Legislature has passed a bill to ban licensed therapists from trying to change a minor's sexual orientation.

The Senate agreed on changes made in the House to Senate Bill 5722 and passed it on a 33-16 vote Saturday. It now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature.

The bill would deem it "unprofessional conduct" for a licensed health care provider to perform conversion therapy on a patient under the age of 18. 

Under the measure, if the provider violates the law, they would face sanctions ranging from fines to license revocation or suspension. Changes made in the House include the measure applying to non-licensed counselors operating as part of a religious organization, religious denomination or church.

Conversion therapy involving a minor is banned in nine states, and Seattle, Washington's largest city, also banned the practice in 2016. 

The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ organization, celebrated the decision. 

“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,” HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof said in a statement.

“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.”

Former President Barack Obama announced his support to ban the practice, and almost all major medical and public welfare organizations oppose it.  

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The Washington Legislature has passed a bill to ban licensed therapists from trying to change a minor's sexual orientation.
washington state, gay conversion, therapy, legislation
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2018-26-04
Sunday, 04 March 2018 09:26 PM
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