Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a
Republican, on Tuesday signed a bill into law that prohibits
therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender
identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, making
Maryland the 12th state to enact such a law.
Such therapies go by names such as
“conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, cheered the news.
“No child should ever be subjected to
the abusive practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy,’” HRC
President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “This dangerous and
?inhumane form of child abuse has no basis in science and is
?uniformly rejected by every major mental health and child welfare
?organization. Today, Maryland is a better place for countless
young people thanks to the many advocates, allies, parents, and
survivors who spoke out against this practice and urged their elected
officials – Republicans and Democrats alike – to adopt these
Democratic Delegate Bonnie Cullison
introduced the bill in the House, while out Senator Richard Madaleno,
a Democrat, sponsored the bill in the Senate. Madaleno is also
running to unseat Governor Hogan.
“It's a significant move forward to
say, 'You know what? Be who you are,'” Madaleno told The
Similar legislation has been enacted in
Washington, Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon,
Illinois, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, New Mexico and the
District of Columbia. Governors in Hawaii and New Hampshire are
expected to sign similar legislation approved by lawmakers. An
increasing number of local municipalities have also enacted similar
protections, particularly in Florida. In March, Milwaukee
became the first municipality in Wisconsin to enact such a ban.