Washington, Milwaukee ban conversion therapy
More states and local areas in the US will now ban conversion therapy against LGBTQ youth, ranging from the state of Washington to the municipality of Milwaukee.
This means that 12 states now have protection for children from beings subjected to conversion therapy.
This includes the state of New York with its measures that forbid health insurance providers from covering it for anyone under 18.
Washington state enacts to ban conversion therapy
Washington Govenor Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill last week banning the use of conversion therapy on LGBTQ minors. The bill deems the practice “unprofessional conduct”
“We don’t let parents or doctors make decisions to let broken legs be treated in something that ends up losing both your limbs,” Inslee said.
“It’s unprofessional, it’s damaging, it is not scientifically credible and it violates not only our values, but the mental health of kids with decades of depression ahead of them if they are told to hate themselves,” he added.
“Medical professionals agree this harmful and discredited practice not only doesn’t work, but can also have life-threatening consequences,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.
City of Milwaukee follows with their own ban
Meanwhile, Milwaukee became the first municipality in Wisconsin that will protect LGBTQ youth from the practice.
The Milwaukee Common Council had passed the measure, which prohibits licensed mental health professionals from the practice.
“No child should be subjected to the abusive practice of so-called conversion therapy, which has been rejected by every major medical and mental health organization,” said HRC Wisconsin State Manager Wendy Strout.
Likewise, Michael Vinson, Chairman Emeritus of the LGBTQ group Fair Wisconsin said: “We applaud the City of Milwaukee for taking this important and bold step in protecting the LGBTQ community from these destructive, dangerous practices.”
Campaign to ban conversion therapy
Many LGBTQ organizations and their allies are pushing for the banning of the conversion therapy, which the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics consider as ineffective.
Moreover, the LGBTQ rights group Trevor Project warn the practice can raise the risk of suicide for LGBTQ young.
In a report by The Williams Institute at UCLA’s School of Law, an estimated 20,000 LGBTQ teens from ages 13 to 17 will undergo conversion therapy conducted by licensed health care professionals in states with no protections,
There are 12 states with protections against the practice: Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Washington.
Likewise, there are cities and counties in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Florida, New York, Arizona, and Wisconsin with the same protections.
Other states, like the Maryland state Senate, have pending legislation to address this issue. For Maryland, the measure is now set to be debated at the House of Delegates.