Baltimore County Delegate John Cardin,(D) the bill’s sponsor, withdrew the measure Friday , saying that LGBT advocacy groups and others will instead pursue regulatory oversight of the controversial practice.
“If we can do this without legislation, I am all about it,” said Cardin, in a statement. “I am not interested in the glory. I’m interested in solving problems.”
Cardin’s bill had targeted the state’s professional counselors that fall under regulatory oversight but had excluded unlicensed church clergy or therapists, from engaging in efforts to change a youth’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Cardin and Equality Maryland, Maryland’s largest LGBT equality rights advocacy group, both labeled the practice of conversion therapy, also referred to as reparative therapy, as dangerous, citing multiple professional medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association as opposing the practice.
“Minors or anyone advocating on their behalf can file a complaint with a board, triggering a vigorous investigation,” the statement said. “If the investigation uncovers proof that a licensed health care professional violated the standard of care, then the board has an array of regulatory tools to keep this from happening again.”