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Washington Conversion Therapy Law

By Charlotte Robinson, September 07, 2022

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit unanimously affirmed that Washington state’s law protecting minors from conversion therapy is constitutional & may be enforced ruling: “In relying on the body of evidence before it as well as the medical recommendations of expert organizations, the Washington Legislature rationally acted by amending its regulatory scheme for licensed health care providers to add ‘performing conversion therapy on a patient under age eighteen’ to the list of unprofessional conduct for the health professions.” Shannon Minter, NCLR Legal Director stated, “We are thrilled by today’s decision, which ensures that Washington’s lifesaving law can continue to be enforced & that LGBTQ children in Washington will not be subjected to these discredited practices, which have been rejected as unsafe by every major medical organization in this country.” Mathew Shurka, co-founder of Born Perfect, NCLR’s campaign to end conversion therapy concluded, “Laws like Washington’s are critical to protecting minors & parents from being harmed by unethical therapists who falsely claim to be able to prevent a child from being gay or transgender. As a survivor of more than five years of conversion therapy, I know firsthand how damaging these practices are to young people & their families. The medical community has rejected these practices because they are harmful, ineffective & unnecessary. Being LGBTQ is not a mental health disorder. Trying to change such a fundamental aspect of a person’s identity is not only impossible, it is profoundly dangerous & causes serious, lasting harm.” Since California enacted the first statewide law protecting minors from conversion therapy in 2011 twenty other states & more than 100 municipalities have enacted similar laws. 

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