Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin today signed a bill into law which protects LGBTI youth from the dangers of conversion therapy.
Vermont follows California, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Washington D.C., and Cincinnati in banning the controversial practice for minors.
‘It’s absurd to think that being gay or transgender is something to be cured of,’ Shumlin said in a statement.
‘Our country has come a long way in a short period of time in recognizing the civil rights of members of the LGBT community, and I am so proud that Vermont has taken a leadership role at every step of the way.’
The governor added: ‘At a time when the rights of LGBT individuals are under attack in other parts of the country, Vermont will continue to stand up to hatred and bigotry and show the rest of the country what tolerance, understanding, and common humanity look like.’
Senate Bill 132 protects LGBTI youth from mental health providers attempting to change their sexual orientation or gender identity through practices that are linked to substance abuse, extreme depression, and suicide.
It was approved by the Senate and the House of Representatives in April and will go into effect on 1 July.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin praised the state and its governor for taking action.
‘No young person should be subjected to this extremely harmful and discredited practice, which medical professionals agree not only doesn’t work, but can also have life-threatening consequences,’ he said.
‘It is nothing short of child abuse.’