The Washington state legislature has
approved a bill that seeks to ban therapies that attempt to alter the
sexual orientation or gender identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and
Such therapies go by names such as
“conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay
The House approved Senate Bill 5722 on
Wednesday, sending it back to the Senate, which had previously
approved the bill, to vote on amendments added in the House. The
final version of the bill cleared the Senate on Saturday. It now
heads to the desk of Democratic Governor Jay Inslee.
Under provisions of the bill,
therapists who violate the law face fines and the possible revocation
or suspension of their license.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, called on Inslee to sign the
bill into law.
“Children across the Evergreen State
deserve to live their lives authentically and should never be
subjected to the abusive practice of so-called conversion therapy,”
HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs JoDee
Winterhof said in a statement. “It’s time for Washington to join
the growing number of states and municipalities who are enacting
these critical protections. We thank the state legislators who voted
to protect LGBTQ youth from this dangerous practice and now call on
Governor Inslee to sign this crucially important legislation.”
Connecticut, California, Nevada, New
Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, New Mexico
and the District of Columbia have enacted similar bans. Similar
bills have been introduced this legislative session in New Hampshire,
Maryland and Virginia. An increasing number of local municipalities
have also enacted similar protections, particularly in Florida.