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Washington State bans gay conversion therapy on minors

It's the 10th US State to ban the controversial practice

Washington State bans gay conversion therapy on minors
Ted Eytan/Flickr
Washington has become the latest state in the US to ban gay conversion techniques being used on minors (Picture: Flickr)

Washington has become the 10th state in the US to ban gay conversion therapy for those aged 18 or under.

The controversial practice is set to be outlawed after SB 5722 was passed on Saturday (4 March) on a 33-16 vote.

Conversion therapy uses a mixture of behavioral, cognitive and psychoanalytic practices.

But it will become a prosecutable offence for medical practitioners to perform so-called conversion therapy on anyone under the age of 18.

Gay conversion law applies to religious organizations and non-licensed councilors

A person in anguish

The numbers of teenagers forced into the controversial therapy technique is disheartening. | Photo: Unsplash/Nik Shuliahin

House amendments to the bill include applying the law to religious organizations and non-licensed councilors, reported Newsweek.

Human Rights Campaign Vice President JoDee Winterhof said minors are now protected from the ‘abusive’ practice by law.

‘Children across the Evergreen State deserve to live their lives authentically and should never be subjected to the abusive practice of so-called conversion therapy.’

‘It’s time for Washington to join the growing number of states and municipalities who are enacting these critical protections,’ she continued.

‘We thank the state legislators who voted to protect LGBTQ youth from this dangerous practice and now call on Governor Inslee to sign this crucially important legislation.’

Washington joins other states such as California, Connecticut, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia in banning conversion therapy for minors.

However, New Hampshire failed to pass a law banning the practice.

In January 2018, the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law stated that 75,000 teens aged 13 to 17 in the United States will  be subjected to conversion therapy before adulthood.

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