According to a press release from the Human Rights Campaign, Nevada has become the the 8th state to ban the widely discredited practice of “gay conversion therapy,” which purports to be able to reverse the sexual orientation of gay people. This Wednesday, the state’s Republican Governor Brian Sandoval signed Senate Bill 201 into law.
“No child should be put through the dangerous and inhumane practice of conversion therapy,” HRC president Chad Griffin said. “Medical professionals agree this outdated and discredited practice not only doesn’t work but can also have life-threatening consequences. It is nothing short of child abuse. We thank Governor Sandoval and the Nevada State Legislature for passing these crucially important protections for the state’s LGBTQ youth.”
From The Advocate:
Sandoval’s move to sign the legislation to protect LGBT youth from the abusive practice comes even as Mike Pence, a man who once supported channeling federal funds from the HIV-focused Ryan White CARE Act to conversion therapy, sits beside Donald Trump in the White House.
The signing of the legislation makes Nevada the 10th state or jurisdiction and the third one this year to ban conversion therapy, following Connecticut, California, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, and New Mexico. Additionally, cities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida have banned the harmful practice, according to the release.
A grassroots advocacy campaign spearheaded by National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gender Justice Nevada, the Kaempfer Crowell law firm, and HRC helped to bring the legislation to fruition.
“The American Psychological Association has linked conversion therapy to depression, substance abuse and even suicide — risks that are particularly acute for youth,” Carolyn Reyes of the National Center for Lesbian Rights said, according to The Advocate. “Nevada knows that all of our children are born perfect.”
Gay conversion therepy is still revered in right-wing Christian circles by practitioners and ‘patients’ alike, but has been roundly debunked as substantially damaging, especially when practiced on young people. Unfortunately, there’s a contingent in Washington who still have faith in this quackery.
During the Republican National Convention this summer, McClatchy reported that “delegates voted to approve a platform that backs the right of parents to determine the proper medical treatment and therapy for their minor children.”
“The platform makes no specific mention of gay conversion therapy,” McClatchy noted, “but critics say that passage is aimed at accepting the notion that one’s sexual orientation can be changed.”
Featured image via Nevada Senate Democrats