News (USA)

Colorado, Iowa, Oregon lawmakers considering ‘conversion therapy’ bans

Colorado, Iowa, Oregon lawmakers considering ‘conversion therapy’ bans
Daniel Tobias, Wikimedia
Daniel Tobias, Wikimedia

Three more states could soon join California, New Jersey and the District of Columbia in outlawing therapy that seeks to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBT youth.

Lawmakers in Colorado, Iowa and Oregon are all considering legislation that would ban would conversion therapy on patients under the age of 18.

In Colorado, a House committee will hear a bill Tuesday sponsored by Rep. Paul Rosenthal (D-Denver), reports KUSA-TV.

Rosenthal said that because the mental health profession is a science based practice, the methods used by these professionals should be based on best practices and backed by science.

The American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973. In 1998, they released a statement saying the organization “opposed any psychiatric treatment, such as ‘reparative’ or ‘conversion’ therapy.”

Rosenthal said that studies show that conversion therapy is not successful and in fact has been shown to be detrimental in some cases.

In Oregon, House panel heard testimony Monday on a measure promoted by Basic Rights Oregon, a nonprofit LGBT advocacy group .

Last week, a Iowa Senate subcommittee advanced a similar bill that goes a step further by authorizing disciplinary action by the licensing and professional entities overseeing the service providers.

The measures are part of a national push to prevent mental health care providers from practicing the controversial therapy. A dozen other states are pushing for similar legislation, which already exists in New Jersey, California and Washington, D.C.. Attempts to overturn the bans in federal courts have been unsuccessful.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused consider a challenge to California’s ban, and an anti-gay group is seeking a similar high court review of New Jersey’s ban.

And a judge in New Jersey ruled last week that claims by a gay conversion therapy group that describe homosexuality as a curable mental disorder constituted consumer fraud.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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