Virginia Governor Ralph Northam on
Monday signed a bill into law that bans 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.”
The law, a first for a Southern state,
takes effect on July 1.
“This issue is personal for me, as a
pediatric neurologist who has cared for thousands of children,”
said Northam in a statement, The
Washington Post reported. “Conversion therapy is not only
based in discriminatory junk-science, it is dangerous and causes
lasting harm to our youth. No one should be made to feel wrong for
who they are – especially not a child. I’m proud to sign this ban
Democrats, who in November regained
control of the House and Senate for the first time since 1996, have
introduced a number of LGBT rights bills this legislative session.
lawmakers approve LGBT protections bill; Governor Northam requested