Oregon’s bisexual governor, Kate Brown, Monday (18 May) signed a bill into law banning ‘gay conversion therapy,’ making her state the third to do so.
The bill passed the state Senate earlier this month by a vote of 21-3 after clearing the House in March, and makes it illegal for social workers or licensed mental health professionals to practice ‘ex-gay’ therapy on children younger than 18.
Brown, who become the US’ first openly bisexual governor in February, will signing ceremony on Friday.
Last month, President Barack Obama has denounced ‘reparative therapy’ as ‘neither medically nor ethically appropriate’ and California, New Jersey and Washington DC have all enacted similar bans.
Eliza Byard, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network thanked Brown for taking ‘this important step.’
‘We hope Oregon will prove to be just the first of many states to ban this harmful and discredited practice that uses rejection, shame and psychological abuse aimed at changing one’s sexual orientation or gender identity/expression,’ she said.
‘Studies conducted by major mental health organizations and personal testimony from LGBT youth have shown that conversion therapy can create dangerous and even life-threatening effects, including depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse and suicidal behavior.’
A day after Brown signed the law, Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced a bill seeking a nationwide ban on ‘ex-gay’ therapy for all ages, by classifying the practice as fraud under federal law.