Bill to ban conversion therapy for minors in Virginia dies in House

According to the Washington Post, a Virginia bill backed by Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington) that would have banned “conversion therapy” to make gay kids straight has been tabled in the House subcommittee, effectively putting an end to legislation.

If signed into law the bill would have prohibited psychologists, therapists and other health care providers from attempting so-called gay conversion therapy on children under 18. Practicing psychologists would have lost their licenses if caught using the treatment.

Two women who had gone through conversion therapy testified in front of the subcommittee. The women said that they were emotionally scarred from the practice. However, lawmakers also heard from two men who stated that conversion therapy worked for them and helped them overcome same-sex feelings.

Hope said he was introduced to the issue of conversion therapy after speaking with some constituents who had been forced into the process. After seeing what was happening in other states, and reading about the damage the treatment can cause, Hope issued his support behind the bill.

It is important to note that Republicans have a large majority in the Virginia House, and the Health, Welfare and Institutions subcommittee has only one Democratic member.

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