As a new rule took effect on Tuesday,
Utah became the 19th state plus the District of Columbia
to prohibit therapies that attempt to alter the sexual orientation or
gender identity of LGBT youth.
Such therapies go by names such as
“conversion therapy,” “reparative therapy,” “sexual
orientation change efforts” or “ex-gay therapy.”
Utah is also the most conservative
state with such a ban.
Republican Governor Gary Herbert's
office confirmed to outlets that the rule change was now in effect.
Herbert asked state regulators to make
the changes after a bill outlawing such therapies stalled.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, applauded the move.
“No child should be subjected to
so-called ‘conversion therapy,’ which has been debunked and
condemned by every major medical and mental health association,”
HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement. “This is a
hopeful day for Utah’s LGBTQ youth, and we’re grateful to the
leadership of Equality Utah and others on the ground who have been
working tirelessly to make this day a reality. Now, we have to
continue to push for laws and regulations in every state and
jurisdiction in the United States, so that no youth will be forced to
endure this dangerous practice anymore.”