A bill which sought to ban “ex-gay”
therapy to minors in Virginia is likely dead, a casualty of a
Virginia Senate committee's vote.
According to the Washington
Blade, the Senate Education and Health Committee voted 8-7 to
table Senate Bill 988 on Thursday, 10 days after its introduction.
The bill was championed by Senator Louise Lucas.
James Parrish, executive director of
Equality Virginia, the state's largest LGBT rights advocate, lamented
the quick defeat in a statement.
“It is extremely disappointing that
our lawmakers cannot come together in support of a bill that would
protect Virginia’s LGBT youth,” said Parrish. “We cannot
continue to allow our youth to be put through this so-called
‘treatment’ that can cause depression, anxiety, and
self-destructive behavior. At best, allowing this harmful treatment
on our youth is irresponsible, and at worse, it could contribute to
Virginia Delegate Patrick Hope backed a
similar measure in the House.
The House Health, Welfare and
Institutions Subcommittee heard testimony Thursday for and against
Hope's legislative proposal but didn't take a vote.
Washington, DC recently became the
third jurisdiction behind California and New Jersey to outlaw
therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender
identity of LGBT youth. DC's law is currently under Congressional