The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints has come out against a proposed Utah rule that
would ban therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or
gender identity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
Such therapies go by names such as
“conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy,” “sexual
orientation change efforts” or “ex-gay therapy.”
Republican Governor Gary Herbert in
June asked state regulators to craft the rule after a similar bill
died in the Legislature.
governor issues directive to regulate “ex-gay” therapy.)
The church's statement comes just
months after it said that it wouldn't stand in the way of the failed
“Although well-intentioned, the
proposed rule as written will strongly dissuade many responsible
therapists from providing much-needed therapy to minors,” the
church said in a 13-page letter released Tuesday. “That is
especially true of therapists whose counseling respects the religious
identity and faith perspectives of Latter-day Saints and members of
other faith communities with biblically informed beliefs about gender
The church reiterated its position in a
The rule “fails to protect individual
religious beliefs and does not account for important realities of
gender identity in the development of children,” the church said in
Nearly two-thirds of Utah residents and
nearly every state lawmaker is a member of the LDS Church.
Similar bans have been enacted in 17
states plus the District of Columbia, including Colorado, California,
Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland,
Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York,
Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont.