Nevada Gov. Signs Bill to Protect LGBT Youth From Abusive Conversion Therapy

Brian Sandoval

Nevada has become the 10th state or jurisdiction to ban the abusive practice of subjecting LGBT youth to conversion therapy since Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval signed Senate Bill 201 into law Wednesday, according to a press release from the Human Rights Campaign. 

“No child should be put through the dangerous and inhumane practice of conversion therapy,” said HRC president Chad Griffin in a statement. “Medical professionals agree this outdated and discredited practice not only doesn’t work but can also have life-threatening consequences. It is nothing short of child abuse. We thank Governor Sandoval and the Nevada State Legislature for passing these crucially important protections for the state’s LGBTQ youth.”

Sandoval’s move to sign the legislation to protect LGBT youth from the abusive practice comes even as Mike Pence, a man who once supported channeling federal funds from the HIV-focused Ryan White CARE Act to conversion therapy, sits beside Donald Trump in the White House. 

The signing of the legislation makes Nevada the 10th state or jurisdiction and the third one this year to ban conversion therapy, following Connecticut, California, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, and New Mexico. Additionally, cities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida have banned the harmful practice, according to the release. 

A grassroots advocacy campaign spearheaded by National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gender Justice Nevada, the Kaempfer Crowell law firm, and HRC helped to bring the legislation to fruition. 

NCLR’s youth policy counsel and Born Perfect Campaign director Carolyn Reyes praised the bill in a statement saying, “Today, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and elected officials have prioritized the safety, health, and well-being of LGBTQ Nevadans by putting an end to the discredited practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy.’ The American Psychological Association has linked conversion therapy to depression, substance abuse and even suicide — risks that are particularly acute for youth. Nevada knows that all of our children are born perfect.”

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