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Maryland

Md. lawmaker to introduce bill to ban conversion therapy for LGBT youth

Thursday, January 9, 2014

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A Maryland lawmaker said he plans to introduce a bill this legislative session that would prohibit the use of controversial gay-to-straight conversion therapy on LGBT youth.

Del. Jon S. Cardin

Del. Jon S. Cardin

The announcement by Del. Jon S. Cardin (D-Baltimore County) would put Maryland in the company of several other states — including Pennsylvania, Florida, and Ohio — considering similar bans this year, and which have already been approved in California and New Jersey.

“The major medical and psychological organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association have recognized that being gay is not a disease or a choice,” said Cardin, in a statement.

“It is not something you can change with any therapy. Attempting to change sexual orientation with ‘therapy’ does a child far more harm than good,” he said.

Joshua Greenfeld, Cardin’s Chief of Staff and Legislative Director, told LGBTQ Nation on Thursday that that the time had arrived to signal to the rest of the country that these types of discredited practices needed to be eliminated.

The draft legislation is modeled after the recently passed California bill, which withstood a legal challenge in a federal appeals court.

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Greenfeld noted that the bill would be limited to treatment of minors, and that the ban would not apply to religious leaders or organizations or their teachings on issues of sexual orientation. He added that the measure has also been amended to strengthen protections for transgender Marylanders.

Greenfeld said the bill would be co-sponsored by Del. Anne Kaiser, a member of the LGBT Caucus, and would be introduced in the Senate by Sen. Richard Madaleno, also a member of the LGBT caucus.

“Gay conversion therapy is dangerous, unhealthy and is opposed by legitimate medical practitioners,” said Kaiser. “I am proud to co-sponsor this important legislative effort that will support the health and well-being of all Maryland children.”

Greenfeld added that it’s too early to gauge legislative support for the bill, but indicated that co-sponsors in a bipartisan approach are currently being sought.

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23 more reader comments:

  1. We wow

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:50am
  2. About time!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:52am
  3. YES! :D

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:54am
  4. that’s so awesome!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:57am
  5. I read this, and it’s about time! I always hated hearing stories of gay-to-straight conversion therapy! Gawd, how many young people have they messed up for life with that crap?

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:59am
  6. I was sent to one by my parents.

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:14am
  7. Wow. My foster family , some of them will not talk or have anything to due with me. Thier. LOSS

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 5:08am
  8. They didint CONVERT they were just bullied into being not who they are. How is it a crime to be you?

    Replied on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 5:52am
  9. Good!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:03am
  10. That should be banned permanently in the United States and around the world. You cant change who you are, you are born gay, straight, bisexual, etc. This never should have been used in the first place. You can’t pray the gay away even if you tried.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:04am
  11. About fucking time.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:10am
  12. That crap gave therapy a bad name. Finally, they’re shutting it down! Yay! :D

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:20am
  13. This is awesome !! Bet Michelle Bachman is gagging over the very thought that something this important could actually pass!!!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:24am
  14. This is butting out big time.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:33am
  15. Another Republican intent on punishing gay people.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 4:51am
  16. This should have NEVER happened in the first place!!!!!!!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 5:16am
  17. Woo! Thank u!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 5:40am
  18. Good, we need to eliminate this type of child abuse. Anybody caught doing this should be brought up on felony child abuse!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 7:43am
  19. wow, how impressive, why not require th people who are offering “services” thru ComPsych to actually have medical degrees, instead of being just “helpers”? & stop th bogus mental health treatment system all together?

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:49am
  20. I think the people that promote this are sick twisted individuals who vaguely understand what the words compassion and acceptance mean.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 11:20am
  21. I hope something’s done around the world about “curative rape.” I read about the cases in South Africa and it just chilled me to the core.

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 2:22pm
  22. IF the Democrats take back the House in November, this could be a federal bill, as it should be. Given the Republicans’ redistricting and various voter suppression tactics, this will be difficult but can be done if everyone VOTES!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 2:43pm
  23. Anyone or any organization that conducts conversion therapy should be charged with with a crime!

    Posted on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:20pm