Health Care

Maryland bans harmful fake 'ex-gay' therapy

Maryland bans harmful fake 'ex-gay' therapy”

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

People who have previously been subjected to conversion therapy have reported that it can take various forms, ranging from mental tricks or breathing techniques when tempted to act upon their feelings, to more intense forms of aversion therapy, such as public shaming, hypnosis, inducing vomiting, or electroconvulsive therapy. The harmful practice is condemned by every major medical and mental health organization, including the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and American Medical Association.

Today, HRC, along with FreeState Justice, a legal advocacy organization that seeks to improve the lives of LGBTQ Marylanders, and WISE claimed victory as Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed into law SB 1028 - critical legislation protecting LGBTQ youth from the risky and debunked practice of so-called "conversion therapy". 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.

Despite broad opposition to LGBT rights within the GOP, a number of Republican Governors have previously signed bills banning gay "cure" therapy - including New Jersey's Chris Christie, Nevada's Brian Sandoval, New Mexico's Susana Martinez and Bruce Rauner of IL.

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.

"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", added FreeState Justice Executive Director Mark Procopio in a press release. Their respective governors are expected to sign the bills into law. "They are flawless as they are".

California banned gay conversion therapy in 2012, and 10 other states have followed suit.

"Right now, there is a growing movement across the country", said Carolyn Reyes, youth policy counsel for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, in a statement.

"We will keep fighting until all of our youth are protected, no matter where they live", she continued.

"I'm so proud of everyone's hard work", Simonaire said.



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