Two Democrats have introduced bills
that would prohibit therapies that attempt to alter the sexual
orientation or gender identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender youth in Maryland.
Such therapies go by names such as
“conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay
According to the Washington
Blade, state Senator Rich Madaleno of Montgomery County and
Delegate Bonnie Cullison of Montgomery County introduced their bills
on Thursday, February 8. Madaleno and Cullison are openly gay.
On Twitter, Madaleno, who is running
for governor, described the therapies as “inhumane.”
“We need to ensure a better future
for children free from this mental abuse,” Madaleno wrote.
“[Maryland's governor] needs to be at the forefront of this fight.
Under my Admin the young people of MD will be protected.”
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights group, cheered the introduction of the
“So-called ‘conversion therapy’
is dangerous and inhumane – no child should be subjected to this
cruelty,” said HRC Legislative Counsel Xavier Persad. “This
practice is child abuse that can have life-threatening consequences.
We thank Delegate Cullison and Senator Madaleno for leading on this
important measure and call on their colleagues to protect LGBTQ youth
by quickly passing this bill.”
States which have enacted such bans
include Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon,
Illinois, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island and New Mexico. An
increasing number of local municipalities have also enacted similar
protections, particularly in Florida. Last week, the
New Hampshire House approved a similar bill.