Bill banning ‘conversion therapy’ signed into law by Gov. Northam

virginia general assembly
Photo Credit: traveler1116/iStock Photo

Legislation outlawing so-called “conversion therapy” for minors was signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday.

The bill, House Bill 386, sponsored by Del. Patrick Hope, D-Arlington, prohibits healthcare providers and counselors from providing conversion therapy, which attempts to forcibly change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity, to minors.

The bill’s language declares that the provision of conversion therapy is considered unprofessional conduct and is grounds for disciplinary action from the Department of Health Professions.

HB 386 passed the House by a 66-27 vote, and the Senate passed the measure by a 22-18 vote.

“Conversion therapy sends the harmful message that there is something wrong with who you are,” Northam said. “This discriminatory practice has been widely discredited in studies and can have lasting effects on our youth, putting them at a greater risk of depression and suicide. 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.”

“Conversion therapy is a dangerous, destructive practice,” Hope said. “We should be supporting and celebrating our LGTBQ youth, not putting them in harm’s way.”

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press news