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Bill to Prevent Gay Conversion Passes Wash. House

Friday Feb 14, 2014
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A bill intended to prevent health care providers from trying to convert gay people under age 18 has passed the state House.

House Bill 2451, which passed on a 94-4 vote, would make it an act of unprofessional conduct to try to change the sexual orientation of a patient under 18. That would include efforts to change behaviors, gender expressions or to reduce sexual or romantic attractions toward people of the same sex. The lawmakers who opposed the measure were: Reps. Mark Hargrove, R-Covington; Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick; Jason Overstreet, R-Lynden; and Elizabeth Scott, R-Monroe.

Psychotherapies providing "acceptance, support and understanding" would be exempt from the measure. It also would not apply to speech, religious practices or counseling not considered efforts to change a person’s sexual orientation.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

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