The District of Columbia Council on
Tuesday unanimously approved a bill that prohibits therapies that
attempt to alter the sexuality or gender identity of LGBT youth.
Mayor Vincent Gray is expected to sign
When the bill is signed into law,
Washington D.C. will become the third jurisdiction behind California
and New Jersey to outlaw such therapies.
The legislation bans “efforts [by
licensed mental health providers] to change behaviors, gender
identity or expression, or to reduce or eliminate sexual or romantic
attractions or feelings toward a person of the same sex or gender.”
Sarah Warbelow, legal director for the
Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights
advocate, praised the move.
“While the LGBT youth in our nation's
capital will soon be protected once this bill is signed into law,”
Warbelow said in a statement, “HRC is committed to making sure
these kinds of protections are secured throughout the entire nation.”
Groups opposed to gay rights have lost
legal challenges to similar laws in California and New Jersey.