Oregon state Senate approves bill banning conversion therapy on LGBT youth

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SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon state Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would outlaw therapy that purports to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT youth.

If signed into law, Oregon would become the fourth jurisdiction — behind California, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia — to pass legislation prohibiting the use of conversion therapy on LGBT youth, which has been linked to substance abuse, depression, and suicide.

Groups such as the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association have publicly come out against the therapy.

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The measure was approved by a vote of 21-8, and now heads to Governor Kate Brown for consideration.

The bill was approved in the state House in March.

“This is an important step in protecting LGBTQ youth,” said Nancy Haque, co-director of Basic Rights Oregon. “The harms caused by conversion therapy are very real and we must do everything we possibly can as a state to prevent the loss of even one child. I commend the Senate for its strong support of this bill.”

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