Spreading A Good Idea

NY and WA Lawmakers Think About Copying NJ’s Conversion Therapy Ban

New Jersey’s decision to ban conversion therapy for minors is prompting other states to consider the same. Across the Hudson, legislators in New York are pushing for passage of a similar measure, which has been introduced but is currently stalled.

“Conversion therapy is among the worst frauds in history and has been discredited by the American Psychological Association and other … leading mental health organizations,” said Brad Hoylman, the state’s only openly gay senator.

Under the New York measure, mental health providers would be barred from trying to change the sexual orientation of anyone under the age of 18. Anyone who violates the law faces a citation for unprofessional conduct and possible licensing sanctions.

On the other side of the country, Washington State Rep. Marko Liias is urging the state legislature there to pass a ban similar to New Jersey’s. Liias had previously tried without success to get legislation passed that would have the Department of Health establish a work group to come up with recommendations about conversion therapy.

“I think it’s time to take a fresh look at the issue,” Liias said. “Having another state ban it – particularly one with a conservative governor – makes me want to see if we should take the step to actually prohibit it.”

Photo credit: Lower Manhattan Democrats