Utah became the 19th and most conservative state to ban LGBTQ conversion therapy on children under 18 after a new rule went into effect Wednesday that now punishes medical experts for practicing the widely discredited method of attempting to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Every reputable science-based organization in the country recognizes that conversion therapy is a dangerous fraud. It exacerbates depression, anxiety and suicide ideation,” Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah, told Fox 13 Salt Lake City. “We are grateful to Governor Herbert and the Board of Psychologists for acting swiftly on behalf of LGBTQ youth.”
Despite pushback from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which argued on Capitol Hill that the proposed ban violated religious freedom or parental rights, Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, ordered state regulators to move forward with an administrative rule against the practice.