Delaware on Monday became the 15th state to ban the practice of gay conversion therapies, The Hill reports.
Gov. John Carney signed a new law into place that fines or revokes the license of a licensed medical practitioner who performs the practice. Senate Bill 65, which prohibits the use of conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth, was approved by the Senate last year. The Delaware House in early June voted to approve the same measure.
Conversion therapy is now banned in Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii and New Hampshire.
“So-called ‘conversion therapy’ is dangerous, cruel and uniformly rejected by every major mental health and child welfare organization,” said Sarah McBride of the Human Rights Campaign. “Today’s signing is a critical step forward in the fight to ensure that Delaware is a safe and affirming state for all LGBTQ youth, and we hope that the values and progress reflected in this law guide the ongoing conversation in Delaware about protecting LGBTQ students from discrimination.”
Conversion therapy is a practice that aims to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Talk therapy is currently the most commonly used technique, but some practitioners have also used aversion treatments, such as “induced nausea, vomiting or paralysis; providing electrical shocks,” according to a 2009 report.
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