HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A bill has been introduced in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives to ban conversion therapy on minors.
Conversion therapy is the practice of trying to change an LGBTQ child’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
House Bill 1293, introduced by Representative Brian Sims, would ban it in Pennsylvania for those under the age of 18.
Supporters of the bill say conversion therapy is actually child abuse, describing things like mental and physical abuse, as well as electric shock therapy, as methods used.
“We’re not talking about praying the gay away. We are talking about abusing children in a way that is measurable, in a way that causes lifelong damage,” said Representative Sims.
Eighteen other states, as well as the District of Columbia, have banned conversion therapy. It has also been discredited by the American Psychiatric Association.
The Pennsylvania Family Institute says the bill interferes with Pennsylvanians’ freedom to seek professional help, saying the government should not control a person’s therapy goals, and that mental health professionals should be free to assist those who seek it.
House Bill 1293 is currently in the House Health Committee.