A Republican lawmaker has announced
plans to introduce a bill that seeks to ban therapies aimed at
altering a minor's sexual orientation or gender identity in New
State Rep. Eric Schleien told
the AP that he believes so-called conversion therapy is
ineffective and can be dangerous.
“I think our culture grows stronger
when we're able to accept different people's lifestyles and treat
people with honor and respect,” Schleien said. “I don't think
that's radical. You can't convert people's sexuality. I think most
people get that.”
But some fellow Republican lawmakers
have already expressed their opposition to the bill, saying that it
could undermine religious freedom and parental rights.
“There's no way anyone's going to
convince me that it's proper or good to ban therapy for children, or
a person of any age, that thinks that they are or want to be a gender
other than what they biologically are,” said GOP Rep. David Bates,
a vocal opponent of LGBT rights.
Another opponent of the proposal is
Republican State Rep. Josh Moore, who said that he worries that
churches opposed to gay rights would come under attack or legal
jeopardy, if the bill were to pass.
“What are we leading people into when
we're not attempting to help them out and show them purpose in life?”
Three states – New Jersey, Oregon and
Illinois – followed California's lead in approving similar
legislation. Washington, D.C. also prohibits such therapies to