State Lawmakers Mull Ban On Gay-Conversion Therapy

Jan 22, 2014

A bill that would ban gay-conversion therapy was the subject of a hearing in Olympia Wednesday.

Psychologists and gay rights advocates testified in favor of a ban on therapies designed to convert gay patients younger than 18. The limit would apply to all health care providers in Washington.

Reverend Manny Santiago testified that he experienced trauma from conversion therapy.

“Knowing that I could not change who I was, many times I thought of ending my life while I was being submitted to the pain of these methods of reparative therapy. These methods left me with deep wounds that are still healing,” he said.

Opponents of the bill argued a state ban on this form of counseling would limit the treatment options for gay youth and their parents.

The measure would not restrict effective alternative therapies geared toward helping kids who struggle with their sexual orientation.

Washington would be the third state to ban this form of therapy, after California and New Jersey.