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Oregon to Ban 'Ex-Gay' Therapy for Minors

Oregon to Ban 'Ex-Gay' Therapy for Minors

The state of Oregon will soon join California, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., in banning the use of “ex-gay” therapy on minors.

A bill barring state-licensed professionals from subjecting minors to the discredited and harmful practice passed the Oregon Senate today by a vote of 21-3, with one member excused, The Oregonian reports. The House had passed th legislation March 17, and it now goes to openly bisexual Gov. Kate Brown, who is expected to sign it into law.

The practice, also known as “conversion” or “reparative” therapy and designed to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, has been denounced by all major mental health groups in the nation, as well as President Obama and other top federal officials.

“Conversion therapy at its core, I believe, is an act of violence,” said Oregon Sen. Sara Gelser, a backer of the bill, according to The Oregonian. “Being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is not a mental disorder, and it is not something that should be cured.”

Basic Rights Oregon, the Human Rights Campaign, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights all worked for the bill’s passage. “We applaud Basic Rights Oregon and bill champions Rep. Rob Nosse and Sen. Sara Gesler for their unshakeable leadership in guiding this bill through the legislative process as well as the courageous survivors who testified on its behalf,” said a statement issued by NCLR #BornPerfect campaign coordinator and staff attorney Samantha Ames. “Without their willingness to share their stories, sacrifice their privacy, and at times even come face-to-face with the very unethical therapists responsible for their trauma, this legislation would not have passed.” Similar legislation is under consideration in 17 other states.

This week the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from a right-wing group that had challenged New Jersey’s conversion therapy ban, therefore letting the law stand. It took the same action in a case involving California’s ban last year.

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