Democrats Reboot Effort for National Ban on Gay Conversion Therapy

Wednesday April 26, 2017

As states and municipalities around the country adopt measures banning the practice of gay conversion therapy on minors, Congressional Democrats are taking a second shot at making the ban national.

On Tuesday, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) introduced the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, as a renewed effort for a national ban on harmful gay conversion therapy on minors. An identical measure was introduced last year, but the House's Republican majority let it die without a hearing.

Currently, six states and the District of Columbia ban the practice of gay conversion therapy on minors. The practice, which often involves prayer or behavior modification, is also banned in a number of municipalities including Cincinnati, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Toledo and eleven cities in Florida.

"So-called 'conversion therapy' isn't therapy at all," Sen. Booker said in a statement. "It's a tortuous, fraudulent practice that has been repeatedly condemned by medical professionals and has no place in our country."

The move was lauded by the Human Rights Campaign.

"So-called 'conversion therapy' is nothing more than child abuse and those who inflict it on others must be held accountable," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "HRC thanks Senators Murray and Booker and Representative Lieu for their efforts to outlaw this dangerous and inhumane practice. Now more than ever, we must send a clear message to the LGBTQ community -- and especially LGBTQ young people -- that who you are is not something that needs to be fixed."

If the measure ever makes it to a vote, it is unlikely that it will pass the Republican majority. The current GOP platform that was adopted at the 2016 Republican National Convention includes language that supports the practice.

"We support the right of parents to determine the proper medical treatment and therapy for their minor children," the current GOP platform reads.

H/T NBC News