A bill that sought to ban therapies
that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth has died in
Such therapies go by names such as
“conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy” or “ex-gay
According to the Washington Blade,
the bill died on August 1 despite passage in the House and Senate.
The bill cleared the House in June with
an overwhelming 137-14 vote. The Senate approved the bill by voice
vote on the final day of the 2018 legislative session. The session
ended without time to “enact” the bill.
A controversial amendment that declared
conversion therapy a form of child abuse and authorized the state to
remove children from parents who force their children to undergo such
therapy proved the bill's undoing. The provision, found in the
original bill, was removed in the House. The Senate passed a version
of the bill that included the amendment. At three minutes after
midnight, the Senate approved the watered-down version of the bill,
but time had run out for both chambers to take final votes on the
Deborah Shields, executive director of
Mass Equality, said that the bill would be re-introduced in the 2019
legislative session, which starts in January.
“So we have to start the battle all
over again,” she
told the Blade.
“As you can probably tell, I'm frustrated and aggravated by the
Fifteen states plus the District of
Columbia have enacted similar bans. An increasing number of local
municipalities have also enacted similar protections; Bethlehem,
Pennsylvania being the latest.
Senate approves bill seeking to ban selling of “ex-gay” therapy.)