By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
The state of Washington is only one signature away from banning licensed therapists from practicing the debunk method of converting a minor’s sexual orientation.
Washington State’s Senate passed a bill on Saturday March 4 that will impose sanctions on licensed therapists who attempt to perform gay conversion therapy on anyone under the age of 18.
Senate Bill 5722, passed on a 33-16 vote and now is on the desk of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) for his signature. Bill 5722 says that those who are found guilty of breaking the law could their medical license being revoked, suspension and fines for the practice.
Washington State follows nine other states who have banned conversion therapy involving a minor ― California, Connecticut, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.
New Hampshire is also following suit as it’s state House of Representatives passed a similar bill in February that bans conversion therapy. Their bill is now on the calendar of the state’s Senate. The question is will the bill pass this time? The reason why many are asking is because the New Hampshire state Senate rejected a similar bill back in January on a party line vote.
The Human Rights Campaign was overjoyed with Washington Legislature’s decision to pass Bill 5722 and called upon Gov. Inslee to “sign this crucially important” bill. “Children across the Evergreen State deserve to live their lives authentically and should never be subjected to the abusive practice of so-called conversion therapy,” said Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs, JoDee Winterhof.
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