Maryland becomes 11th state to ban 'gay conversion therapy' for minors

Maryland becomes 11th state to ban 'gay conversion therapy' for minors

Maryland has joined a growing number of states to ban gay "conversion therapy" for minors, with Governor Larry Hogan signing the measure into law Tuesday.

Gay conversion therapy is defined as "psychiatric therapy aimed at changing a person's sexual orientation, based upon the assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder requiring therapy", according to the Medical Dictionary. The Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law estimated 20,000 minors will be subjected to the practice in states and municipalities with no bans or limits.

Conversion therapy is ineffective, according to several national health organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Hogan's signature makes the Free State the 13th jurisdiction to take steps to curb the practice.

"No child should ever be subjected to the abusive practice of so-called 'conversion therapy, '" Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. "Today, Maryland is a better place for countless young people thanks to the many advocates, allies, parents, and survivors who spoke out against this practice and urged their elected officials - Republicans and Democrats alike - to adopt these crucial protections".

HRC has partnered with the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and state equality groups across the nation to pass state legislation ending conversion therapy.

California, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington also have also passed laws banning the practice, as well as Washington, D.C.

There is still much work to do when it comes to combating "conversion therapy" - numerous new laws banning it only apply to youth, and the majority of states operate without any limits on the practice. More information on the lies and dangers of efforts to change sexual orientation or gender identity can be found here. "They are flawless as they are". Richard Madaleno, who sponsored the bill, reports CBS.

"I think it's fantastic, because it will save the lives of young people in our state", Madaleno told CBS.

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