A bill to ban the controversial practice of trying to change the sexual orientation of LGBTQ people is making its way through the Washington Senate.
The bill considers so-called ‘conversion therapy’ for people under 18 “unprofessional conduct” for health care providers.
Carey Morris from Equal Rights Washington testified in favor of the bill Thursday. She said its passage would send a strong message to LGBTQ youth.
“Our educated, knowledgeable, experienced professionals have told us, this is a step in protecting kids in Washington,” Morris said. “And I think it’s a really important step, they’re listening. And we can say we hear you, we see you, we think you’re worthy. And more importantly we shouldn’t have regrets because we know this is the right thing to do.”
But some therapists testified the ban is unnecessary, hard to enforce, and could interfere with their practices.
Past efforts to ban conversion therapy have died in the Republican-controlled Senate. But this year Democrats are in control of both houses.
Seattle passed a ban on gay conversion therapy last year through a unanimous vote in the city council.