Virginia Bans Conversion Therapy For LGBTQ Children

Wednesday, March 4th 2020, 4:36 am
By: CBS News

Virginia is outlawing the discredited practice of conversion therapy for LGBTQ children.

Conversion therapy is a practice used to try to change sexual orientation or gender identity. Gov. Ralph Northam said Tuesday he had signed into law that bans licensed therapists and counselors from subjecting minors to the practice. The legislation passed the Virginia General Assembly earlier this year.

Northam, a pediatric neurologist, said he was proud to sign the bill into law.

"Conversion therapy sends the harmful message that there is something wrong with who you are," Northam said, according to CBS affiliate WTVR. "No one should be made to feel they are not okay the way they are—especially not a child. I'm proud to sign this ban into law."

The American Psychological Association has said conversion therapy is not based in science and is harmful to mental health. Many people who have been through it say it deepened feelings of depression and increased thoughts of suicide.

The Virginia law will go into effect July 1.

First published on March 4, 2020 / 6:45 AM

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