Hawaii has banned licensed professionals from practicing so-called “conversion therapy” on minors, Hawaii News Now reports.
Democratic Gov. David Ige signed the bill into law Friday, making Hawaii the 12th state to ban the practice, which dangerously seeks to change the orientation or identity of LGBT people.
“Today I signed SB 270, which prohibits therapists from offering ’sexual orientation change efforts’ or ’conversion therapy’ to patients under the age of 18,” Ige wrote on Facebook.
“Overwhelming scientific research has shown that ’conversion therapy’ is not effective and frequently has lasting, harmful psychological impacts on minors,” Ige continued. “This practice is neither medically nor ethically appropriate.”
“I’m proud to join the 11 other states who have banned conversion therapy and send a strong message to our LGBT youth: that sexual orientation is not an illness to be ’cured’—we accept you just the way you are. #BornPerfect.”
Signed SB270, prohibits therapists from “#conversiontherapy” to patients under 18. I’m proud to join the 11 other states and send a strong message to our #LGBT youth: that sexual orientation is not an illness to be “cured” – we accept you just the way you are. #BornPerfect #HIGov pic.twitter.com/wEa3cmibeS
— Governor David Ige (@GovHawaii) May 25, 2018
SB 270 now becomes ACT 13, which also establishes a temporary task force in the state health department to address concerns from minors regarding counseling on sexual orientation or gender identity. The new law takes effect July 1.
“The Trevor Project calls on even more states to join Hawaii in banning this barbaric practice,” says Amit Paley, the LGBT youth organization’s CEO and executive director, in a statement.
As we reported last month, the State Senate had passed SB 270 with just one nay vote.
HRC’s JoDee Winterhof praised the Senate for passing the bill, calling conversion therapy “nothing short of child abuse with life-threatening consequences for countless LGBTQ youth.”
“This has been a priority of the caucus for years,” said Michael Golojuch, chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii’s LGBT Caucus. SB 270 “ensures that LGBTQ youth will not be tortured by mental health professionals.”
Even Lt. Gov. Doug Chin, who has come under fire in the past for his homophobic rhetoric, said he supported the bill “based upon my firmly held belief that no one should ever be made to feel there is something ‘wrong’ with them because of who they love or how they identify.”
Maryland became the 11th state to ban conversion therapy on minors earlier this month.