Hawaii has become the 12th state to ban sexual orientation change efforts therapy for minors, joining states like California, New Jersey, Oregon, and the District of Columbia.
Democratic Gov. David Ige signed Senate Bill 270 into law on Friday, prohibiting licensed professional counselors from attempting to alter the sexual preferences of LGBT youth.
“The purpose of this Act is to protect the physical and psychological well-being of minors, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, against exposure to serious harms caused by sexual orientation change efforts by regulating the conduct of specific state-licensed persons,” reads SB 270.
In a statement made at the bill signing, Ige argued that “overwhelming scientific research has shown that conversion therapy is not effective and frequently has lasting harmful psychological impacts on minors.”
Originally introduced in 2017, SB 270 received support from LGBT groups and Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin, who in February submitted testimony to the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce in favor of the bill.
“Protecting our LGBTQ youth from damaging and discredited efforts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity is a critical next step,” said Chin. “A vote for this measure is a vote for a future where every person is empowered to live and love as they wish. No one in Hawaii should be made to feel there is something ‘wrong’ with them based on who they love or how they identify.”
Conservative groups including the Hawaii Family Forum opposed the bill, stating in their February testimony that if enacted SB 270 would have harmful unintended consequences.
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Source: Christian Post