Delaware yesterday enacted SB 65: legislation that bans the damaging practice of conversion therapy on minors. Delaware Governor John Carney signed the bill into law.
In doing so, it becomes the 15th US state (in addition to Washington DC) to the ban the practice. Mental health practitioners use the so-called therapy in an attempt to change people’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It is often used in combination with religious-based counselling.
The practice has been widely discredited and it is believed to cause harm to those who experience it – often young lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and trans kids.
The Delaware legislation to ban the practice on LGBTI youth was welcomed by Human Rights Campaign. Its National Press Secretary is Sarah McBride, who made history in 2016 as the first trans person to speak at a Democratic party convention. McBride is from Delaware itself.
‘So-called ‘conversion therapy’ is dangerous, cruel and uniformly rejected by every major mental health and child welfare organization,’ she said in a statement.
‘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.’
‘Discredited practices like conversion therapy have no place in Delaware’
Carney himself tweeted a photo of himself signing the bill. He said: ‘All Delawareans, including Delaware children, deserve to be respected for who they are, and I was proud to sign Senate Bill 65 into law today.
‘Discredited practices like conversion therapy have no place in Delaware.’
All Delawareans, including Delaware children, deserve to be respected for who they are, and I was proud to sign Senate Bill 65 into law today.
Discredited practices like conversion therapy have no place in Delaware. pic.twitter.com/ljacguEZfd
— Governor John Carney (@JohnCarneyDE) July 23, 2018
Representative Debra Heffernan (D-Bellefonte) and Senator Harris McDowell sponsored the bill.
Rep. Heffernan told Delaware Public Media conversion therapy, ‘is pseudoscience and child endangerment, plain and simple.’
Senate Bill 65 is now law. @JohnCarneyDE took to the Carvel Building in Wilmington to officially make conversion therapy on the LGBTQ youth of Delaware illegal. details @WDEL @SarahEMcBride @EqualityDE #netDE #wilmDE #LGBTQ https://t.co/99QWpYievE pic.twitter.com/MZOTyorUop
— Kevin Hayes (@KHnewsNOW) July 24, 2018
Ealier this year, another State Representative, Richard Collins (R-Millsboro) tried to have an amendement added to SB 65 to allow conversion therapy if a person requests it. The amendment failed.