Conversion therapy is the discredited practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity through aversive therapies under the assumption that it will cure homosexuality. Conversion therapy is cruel and rejected by every major mental health and child welfare organization, including theAmerican Academy of Pediatrics.
On July 17th, 2017 The Prevention of Conversion Therapy for Children Act was signed into Rhode Island state law by Governor Gina Raimondo. The passing of S267 and H5277 prohibits “conversion therapy” by licensed health care professionals with respect to children under 18. YPI played a significant part in the creation and implementation of these bills and hopes to see other states follow suite.
The first state to ban conversion therapy was California in 2012. Since then, Connecticut, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Washington DC, and the District of Columbia have implemented laws or or regulations around the prevention of conversion therapy. Cities and counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, New York, Arizona, and Wisconsin have enacted similar protections against conversion therapy. Delaware marks the 15th state to sign protective legislation in regards to conversion therapy on minors.Governor John Carney signed SB65 into law on July 23, 2018.
If more states do not adopt similar legislature, “an estimated 20,000 LGBTQ minors in states without protections will be subjected to conversion therapy by a licensed healthcare professional”, according to a recent report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.