Maryland Lawmakers Ban Gay Conversion Therapy

Maryland’s House yesterday passed a ban on gay conversion therapy for minors 95-27 which had already passed the Senate.

The bill now goes to Governor Larry Hogan for his signature, who has said he supports it.

Del. Meagan Simonaire of Anne Arundel County gives passionate remarks in regards to legislation on controversion conversion therapy. #mgda2018 @WashInformer

— William J. Ford (@jabariwill) April 4, 2018

The AP reports:

“This issue is not about Republicans or Democrats nor conservatives or liberals,” Del. Meagan Simonaire said before the House vote. “It’s not about religious values. It’s about basic human decency. It’s about the fact that it’s impossible to fix something that was never broken in the first place.”

Simonaire, a Republican, spoke about how, as a teenager, she kept the fact that she was attracted to both boys and girls from her parents. She said when she finally confided to them about being attracted to a female teen, they sought conversion therapy providers for her. While she never had the therapy, she says the thought that her parents believed they could “fix her” was enough to “cause significant pain, self-loathing and deep depression.”

“If this bill keeps even one child from that, it will be worth sharing my story with you today,” Simonaire said.

Simonaire’s father Bryan, a state senator and the one who had sought conversion therapy for her, voted against the bill in the senate last week, saying it would seek young people to seek licensing from unlicensed doctors.

Maryland will join Washington, Connecticut, California, Nevada, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, and Rhode Island in banning the harmful practice.

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