Virginia To Ban Conversion Therapy For Minors

The bill joins other landmark LGBTQ+ rights bills that passed in the state’s House and Senate.

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed a bill Monday banning conversion therapy for minors. The ban will take effect July 1 and will not apply to adults who opt for the therapy themselves. 

According to the Movement Advancement Project, a nonprofit that tracks LGBTQ+ legislation, Virginia will become the 20th state — and the first in the South — to ban the controversial therapy for minors . 

“This issue is personal for me, as a pediatric neurologist who has cared for thousands of children,” Northam said in a statement. “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 into law.”

According to a Washington Post report, the conversation therapy bill joins other landmark LGBTQ+ rights bills that passed Virginia’s Democratic-controlled House and Senate.One such bill would make it easier for transgender people to change the gender on their birth certificates.

Conversion therapy is a practice that attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The controversial practice employs a variety of techniques, including talk therapy, inducing nausea, vomiting, or paralysis; electric shocks, and hypnosis. The practice has been widely discredited by medical organizations.