Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed Senate Bill 1028 into law Tuesday, prohibiting health providers from practicing "conversion therapy" — which attempts to make LGBT people straight or cisgender — on minors.
With Hogan's signature, Maryland becomes one of nearly a dozen states to ban or limit the damaging and debunked practice. States including California, Nevada, New York, and Washington have all passed laws in recent years against the "therapy."
"In signing this legislation, Gov. Hogan joined the General Assembly in choosing to not only protect LGBTQ youth from harm, but to send an affirmation to children across Maryland who may be struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity," Mark Procopio, executive director of the LGBT advocacy group FreeState Justice, said in a statement. "They are perfect as they are."
There is still much work to do when it comes to combating "conversion therapy" — many of the new laws banning it only apply to youth, and the majority of states operate without any limits on the practice. 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.