Conversion therapy ban advances in New Mexico

Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Proposed legislation is advancing in New Mexico to ban the use on minors of conversion therapy that seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Senate voted Thursday to approve the Democrat-sponsored bill from Sen. Jacob Candelaria and Rep. Andres Romero, both of Albuquerque.

The prohibition would apply to licensed physicians, nurses, psychologists and other health practitioners who apply conversion therapy to people under 18. It changes provisions of a consumer protection law and outlines disciplinary measures that can be taken by state licensing boards. Candelaria says the ban does not apply to ministers or clergy.

At least six states have enacted bans on conversion therapy, which some religious conservatives believe can stop gay people from being gay. There is no scientific basis for the practice which has been deemed dangerous by all major medical associations.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives.

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